'What are those?' Trump's gold high-tops show how out of touch he is.

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Did you see the shoes that apparently are the key to a second presidential term for Donald Trump?

The “Never Surrender” gold high-top sneakers debuted at Sneaker Con in Philadelphia this month, sporting an American flag detail on the back with a bold “T” on the side. The limited edition sold out at $400 a pair.

Conservative commentators said the shoes show Trump's uncanny ability to connect with people and surely will win him Black votes. On Fox News, Raymond Arroyo told viewers he loves the sneakers and even suggested that Black people have such an attachment to athletic shoes, it could cause some to jump parties.

“As you see Black support eroding from Joe Biden," Arroyo said. "This is (the shoes) connecting with Black America. Because they're into sneakers, they love sneakers. This is a big deal. Certainly in the inner city."

He continued, “The culture always trumps politics. And Trump understands culture like no politician I’ve ever seen.”

I have a few questions for Arroyo:

Who did he talk to in the “inner city”?

Who told him Trump’s shoes are resonating with the Black community?

I’m not a sneakerhead, but I know a lot about shoes, and in my honest opinion, if anyone in my neighborhood hooped in these at Washington Park, they would get hit with a “What are those?” While I don’t speak for all Black Americans, I talked to my friends, and they labeled the shoes “trash.”

If conservatives believe Blacks are so simplistic that shiny sneakers will sway them to vote, it shows you how out of touch they continue to be with the community. Comments made by Trump over the weekend further illustrate why.

Trump sneakers? Whichever presidential candidate offers the best footwear gets my vote.

Trump said Black voters favor him over Obama

Trump usually believes he’s the most intelligent person in the room, and he even said he understands Black culture unlike no other politician. Based on Friday's comments at the Black Conservative Federation Gala in Columbia, South Carolina, I would say he has much more to learn.

Trump suggested Black voters support him because of his 91 criminal indictments related to his attempts to overturn the 2020 election, allegations he mishandled classified documents and made payments to a porn actress.

“I got indicted for nothing, for something that is nothing,” Trump told the crowd. “And a lot of people said that’s why the Black people like me, because they have been hurt so badly and discriminated against, and they actually viewed me as I’m being discriminated against.”

Gold Trump sneakers sit on the podium after Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump spoke at Sneaker Con Philadelphia, an event popular among sneaker collectors, and announces a gold Trump sneaker, in Philadelphia, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024.
Gold Trump sneakers sit on the podium after Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump spoke at Sneaker Con Philadelphia, an event popular among sneaker collectors, and announces a gold Trump sneaker, in Philadelphia, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024.

Trump compared his legal battles to the injustices African Americans have suffered in the legal system for centuries. He even suggested that Black voters would choose him over former President Barack Obama.

He also called President Joe Biden a racist while saying that he has spent his entire life working “hand in hand” with Blacks to create jobs, build buildings and invest in our communities.

I’ve built a lot of buildings, and I want to tell you a Black worker is a great worker; you’ve done an incredible job," Trump said. "They’ve done an incredible job, really talented great people. And that goes for others, too – Hispanic is incredible.”

I'm worn from years of racial slurs. But I'll no longer be silent about bigotry.

Now, I know some of you will say Trump is just giving Blacks and Hispanics a compliment. You may also say Trump can’t be racist because he is considering U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., who is Black, to be his running mate.

If Trump’s not a racist, can we acknowledge that he’s severely out of touch, much like anyone who believes his shoes will resonate among Blacks in the inner city? This isn’t just an indictment on Trump. The remaining candidates running for president are also flawed when it comes to referencing the Black American experience.

In January, Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley claimed that the United States has “never been a racist country.” The history books say otherwise. Does slavery ring any bells?

Biden has stumbled at times, as well. In an interview with Charlamagne tha God on “The Breakfast Club” in 2020, Biden said, “Well, I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t Black.”

Trump and most conservatives don't understand Black values

When Trump appeared at the sneaker convention, he was met with a mixture of boos and cheers. Not surprisingly, you can find sneakers on a website where you can also buy a $99 bottle of Trump cologne called “Victory47,” signifying the fact that if he’s reelected, he will be the 47th president.

Did Nikki Haley forget her own past? Haley says America has never been 'racist.' Her own family history says otherwise.

Trump is a salesman. He’s placed his name on vodka, steaks, energy drinks, suits, ties, cufflinks and even gold bullion chocolate bars. The sneakers are the latest in a series of things he hopes to profit from.

Any controversy over sneakers, comments or indictments hasn't slowed Trump’s momentum. On Saturday, he easily defeated Haley in South Carolina’s Republican primary. I have no problem with the “Never Surrender” sneakers. I wouldn’t wear them, but I wouldn’t wear a “Make America Great Again” hat, either.

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My problem with the Trump sneaker and the love Trump believes Blacks are giving him because of the indictments is he proves that he and other conservatives don’t understand African Americans' values at all.

No, a shiny shoe is not more important than your policies and how they impact people of color. And no, 91 indictments don’t make most Blacks love you. Your mugshot doesn’t make you one of us, either.

Most of us are upset at the hypocrisy. If Trump were Black, he'd be in prison and not running for president again.

James E. Causey is an Ideas Lab reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, where this column first published. Email him at jcausey@jrn.com. Follow him on X: @jecausey

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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Republicans say Trump's shoes will win over Black voters. Nope