Despite his history of inflammatory, racist rhetoric, there are times when Donald Trump can be circumspect. This election cycle, he’s focused most of his bigotry on immigrants, whether the undocumented from Mexico or Muslims from the Middle East (or judges from Indiana). He’s been a bit more careful in how he treats African-Americans—not tolerant, exactly, but also not calling for a wall around Chicago either.
To judge by the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, though, Trump might have to give up even the limited solicitude he’s shown Black America. On the issue 0f black-white relations, it seems like the GOP is to the right of Trump, and that party members are raring for a fight against Black Lives Matter and the newly resurgent civil rights movement.
To be sure, Trump has a sordid history in this area. He and his father both ran into legal trouble for refusing to rent to black tenants in the 1970s. In 1989, Trump paid for an ad calling for the execution of five black teens wrongly convicted of rape. And in 2011, Trump launched his current political iteration as a darling of the Republican right by proclaiming his doubts about President Barack Obama’s citizenship. And in April 2015, before declaring his candidacy, he said, “Our great African American president hasn’t exactly had a positive impact on the thugs who are happily and openly destroying Baltimore.” (New Republic)