Sunday, September 4, 2016

Trump's Visit to a Detroit Black Church Was a Day of Shame

Jamil Smith had very strong words for the black bishop who made this photo op happen.

"Even if he doesn't claim to be a Trump supporter, @bishopwtjackson is forever stained by this. This is shameful."

It is in the way that the Mexican President deserves condemnation for meeting with Trump last week. I think you have to argue that if you as a person of public standing-like the President of Mexico or the bishop of a major black church-meet with Donald Trump 'without preconditions' it is shameful.

Trump had wanted to meet with the Irish Prime Minister back in June. Enda Kenny said he'd be happy to, but:

"Ireland's prime minister said on Friday he is open to meeting Donald Trump, who is due to visit Ireland this month, but he would use the opportunity to tell the presumptive Republican U.S. presidential nominee that his views are racist."

"Enda Kenny told the Irish parliament last week that he believed Trump had made "racist and dangerous" comments during his campaign to secure the Republican nomination and later said there were no plans in place to meet him."

This is what Jackson should have done. If Trump wants to show up, then call him out on what he's said, done, and represented. Don't just smile for the photo op. Anyone of any public reputation who meets with Trump and just smiles for the photo op does two things:

1. Diminishes themselves.

2. Much worse, they also elevate Trump.

I can agree with Jamil Smith's tough position on Bishop Jackson because this is not about black voters. As Charles Blow pointedly reminds us, this is fake black outreach.

Or as Charles Blow puts it:

"Wolf in the hen house… #FakeBlackOutreach"

This is not black outreach. It's outreach to suburban white voters who don't want to vote for a racist but want an excuse to vote for the Republican Presidential candidate. 

"This is about making wht ppl (who are uncomfortable voting for a racist) feel better about voting for the racist."

In other words, Bishop Jackson used black folks at his own church yesterday as props to reassure suburban white folks that they can vote for a bigot.

Again, if you're a person of public standing, do not meet with Donald Trump in public unless you are going to do an Enda Kenny.

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