This week in an effort to make inroads with black voters, Donald Trump met with black pastors in New York City. The specific details of the meeting have yet to emerge and no meaningful endorsements have been issued by any of the clergy in attendance. Despite this, Trump remains convinced that black people will turnout for him heftily in the general election. Here's why he's wrong:
On the issues that matter most to black people--the economy, violence, education and healthcare--Trump is consistently on the wrong side of the debate. On the economy, he wants to freeze the minimum wage and allow Wall Street Hedge Fund Managers to take the lead on policy and programs. His economic plan also fails to include any real effort to address the disproportionately high unemployment rate for African-Americans. At 11.6 percent, it is nearly double the national rate of 5.5 percent.
What to do about the violence perpetrated against young black men and women in schools, neighborhoods and cities across the country is also top priority for African-Americans. However, Trump has referred to Black Lives Movement leaders and activists as "trouble," and blocked protesters from entering his campaign rally. He also recently cited misleading statistics on the level of black-on-black crime in order to deflect from the string of murders of young black men and women by law enforcement or vigilantes.
Next, 38 percent of Americans believe healthcare is an extremely important issue, including black people. Nationally, just over one in five (21 percent) of blacks do not have health insurance. They are also less likely than whites to have employer-sponsored coverage. This does not matter to Trump. He would repeal Obamacare and replace it with "something terrific." Repealing the Affordable Care Act and other provisions would have a devastating effect on African-American low-income individuals and families.
On education, Trump wants to cut the Department of Education "way, way down." He also believes public education should be treated as a business and that school vouchers would improve public schools. He's wrong. Starving the Department of Education and treating the public education system like a for-profit venture would hurt the neediest and most disadvantaged students. Black students are more likely to attend schools where fewer than 60 percent of teachers have the appropriate state certification and only one in two students had access to full range of math and science courses in their high schools.
In his head, Trump believes he has the black vote sewn up. In reality, it is a different story. Ninety-two percent of black people polled says Trump doesn't care about them or their issues and only 5 percent said they would vote for him if the election where held today.
After the historic two-term election of Barack Obama, African-Americans and the American electorate, in general, understand the power and weight of their vote. They will not throw it away on a candidate that does not care about them or their communities.