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OPINION: Black Americans should be particularly concerned about a second Trump presidency, with the leading Republican presidential candidate promising to send the military to largely Democratic (and Black) U.S. cities.

Donna Brazile |
Dec 1, 2023
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A supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump wears an oversize "Make America Great Again Hat" as he waits for the start of a "Keep America Great" rally at Southern New Hampshire University Arena on February 10, 2020 in Manchester, New Hampshire. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

The prospect of Donald Trump becoming president again ought to scare every American because all of us will suffer if he does. Blacks Americans could be hit especially hard.

Trump can be expected to worsen “systemic racism” (which he claims doesn’t exist), cut anti-poverty and education programs (including aid to schools and college students), seek to further weaken the implementation of the Voting Rights Act, try to repeal Obamacare, oppose efforts to reduce police misconduct, reject gun safety measures and oppose diversity, equity and inclusion programs.

While he says he wants to make America great again, the truth is that Trump wants to make America hate again. He would turn the American Dream into the American Nightmare and endanger the survival of our democracy. 

Trump denounces anyone who refuses to bow down to him and accept his Big Lie that he won the 2020 presidential election. He attacks all who want to hold him accountable for the 91 felonies he’s charged with for trying to overturn President Biden’s election victory, hoarding classified government documents he refused to return and other alleged crimes. 

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Trump has also stated that he plans to deploy the military in largely Democratic (and Black) U.S. cities. 

And of course, there are all these stories about how Trump plans to wield  executive powers to go after enemies, etc.

On top of this, Trump calls the news media “enemies of the people” and threatens to take legal action against news organizations and TV networks that don’t shower him with praise and refrain from all criticism. He wants to rule as an unquestioned authoritarian, like his good buddies Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

Despite facing an enormous number of criminal charges and additional civil lawsuits, Trump absurdly claims he is the president of law and order — but only when it comes to cracking down on crimes he characterizes as being committed primarily by people of color.

Supporters of former President Donald J. Trump pose with a demonstrator who identifies himself as Steven Daniel Wolverton dressed like the Q-Anon Shaman outside Trump Tower on March 21, 2023 in New York, New York. (Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

What about crimes committed primarily by Trump supporters who rioted at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 to overturn his defeat? Trump calls the Capitol rioters political prisoners and says he will consider pardoning them if he becomes president again. And he has said many times that he is a victim of political persecutions and witch hunts. He calls Black judges and prosecutors handling his court cases racists who hate him because he is white. There’s no truth to it.

Trump would also be bad news for your wallet. He wants to impose tariffs of perhaps 10% on most imported goods, which would be passed on to consumers and send prices on much of what we buy skyrocketing, worsening inflation.

And all that is just the beginning of problems Trump would cause for Americans of all races, with the greatest harm inflicted on people at the bottom of the income ladder, and the greatest benefit going to millionaires and billionaires like him.

Acting like Robin Hood in reverse, Trump wants to rob funding from programs that help those in the greatest need to fund massive tax cuts for the rich, who already are paying less than their fair share thanks in part to tax cuts he signed as president.

To cite just a few of many other examples, based on what Trump has indicated he wants to do:

Trump wants to end civil service job protections for many career federal employees so he can replace them with political appointees willing to do whatever he orders. About 18% of the nearly 2 million federal civilian employees are Black. 

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The former president wants to slash environmental regulations that protect our health and protect us against climate change, and instead increase domestic oil, natural gas and coal production.

Women’s reproductive rights could be further eroded following decisions by even more Trump appointees to the Supreme Court.

This is just a partial list.

Surprisingly, Trump holds narrow leads (often within the margin of error) over Biden in polls. A lot can change, of course, but the race will be won or lost on the margin in several key battleground states.

Even more surprisingly, Trump is doing better among Black voters in early polling than he did in the 2016 and 2020 presidential races. A series of New York Times polls in November found that 22% of Black voters in six battleground states said they would vote for Trump for president. That’s a lot less than the 71% support Biden received in the polls, but more than the 12% of the Black vote Trump received in 2020. 

Why is Trump doing so well?

The former president is a first-class con artist and reality TV star. He’s a great entertainer and knows how to capture public attention like no one else. Scandals that would force any other politician into retirement only make Trump stronger with his base in the Republican Party.

The media are so used to Trump lying and making outrageous comments that they don’t adequately expose the craziness of what he says. At the same time, reporters examine every word that Biden utters under a microscope for the slightest imperfection.

One of Biden’s biggest weaknesses is that he is 81, and Trump keeps harping on that to portray Biden as senile, feeble and incapable of governing. This is a blatant lie. I’ve seen Biden up close and personal as well as on TV, and I know many of the people who work with him. He’s mentally sharp and has extraordinary knowledge and unparalleled experience that make him an outstanding president.

At 77, Trump is almost the same age as Biden. If you watch him as he rants and raves while rattling off his many grievances, it’s clear that he’s the candidate clearly past him prime and unfit to be president again. He cares only about basking in fame, enriching himself, and now escaping prosecution and a possible prison sentence by becoming president again.

The American people must open their eyes, remember the bad old days under Trump, learn about his plans for the future, and reject his effort to lead us to another four years of his chaotic, uninformed, incompetent, impulsive and dangerous presidency.

Donna Brazile Headshot

Donna Brazile is a veteran political strategist, Senior Advisor at Purple Strategies, New York Times bestselling author, Chair of the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, and sought-after Emmy- and Peabody-award-winning media contributor to such outlets as ABC News, USA Today and TheGrio. She previously served as interim Chair of the Democratic National Committee and of the DNC’s Voting Rights Institute. Donna was the first Black American to serve as the manager of a major-party presidential campaign, running the campaign of Vice President Al Gore in 2000. She serves as an adjunct professor in the Women and Gender Studies Department at Georgetown University and served as the King Endowed Chair in Public Policy at Howard University and as a fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School. She has lectured at nearly 250 colleges and universities on diversity, equity and inclusion; women in leadership; and restoring civility in American politics.

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