In a Fox News interview over the weekend, Donald Trump admitted what many voters already knew — he doesn’t understand the Black Lives Matter movement.
When asked his thoughts on what has arguably become the largest civil rights movement in recent decades, Trump responded that he knows “nothing about it.” “I’m seeing lots of bad stuff about it right now,” he continued, launching into a diatribe on presidential candidate and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who apologized to Black Lives Matter for diminishing their concerns with the response, “All lives matter.”
“I thought when O’Malley made the statement that…white lives matter, all lives matter and then he apologized like a baby, like a disgusting, little weak pathetic baby,” Trump said.
O’Malley made the comment (often used to invalidate the concerns of Black communities under the scourge of systemic oppression and police brutality at alarming rates) while speaking at the liberal activists Netroots Nation conference earlier this summer. While activists shouted “Black Lives Matter” in response to state violence – specifically police brutality – O’Malley responded by saying “Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter.”
Later, he issued an apology, claiming his comment wasn’t an attempt to minimize the movement.
“I meant no disrespect. That was a mistake on my part and I meant no disrespect. I did not mean to be insensitive in any way or communicate that I did not understand the tremendous passion, commitment and feeling and depth of feeling that all of us should be attaching to this issue,” he said.
But while O’Malley at least understands it, how the “All Lives Matter” movement reduces concerns of a community literally under fire is lost on Trump, proving he doesn’t understand what members of the Black Lives Matter movement are fighting for. Even more telling is Trump’s response to calls for police reform to prevent fatal shootings at the hands of officers. When asked about police brutality on Meet The Press earlier this month, Trump said, “we have to give power back to the police, because crime is rampant.”
And as if we needed any more proof that Trump is out of touch with the concerns of Black voters, he once threatened to “fight” protesters if they interrupted him at a campaign event.
From NewsOne’s PolitickerOne Blog, “Trump Says He’ll Fight #BlackLivesMatter If They Go For His Mic:”
Speaking at a press conference before a fundraiser in Michigan that was aired on CNN, he slammed Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders for allowing Black Lives Matter protesters to spirit away his microphone last weekend at a Seattle rally of his supporters.
“I would never give up my microphone,” he said in response to a question about the incident. “I thought that was disgusting. That showed such weakness the way he was taken away by two young women. They just took the whole place over, and the audience, which liked him, they were saying what’s going on? How can this happen?”
“That will never happen with me,” Trump continued. “I don’t know if I will do the fighting myself or if other people will, but that was a disgrace. I felt badly for him, but it shows that he’s weak. Believe me, that’s not going to happen to Trump.”
While he’s full of hot air, Trump’s comments underscore Republicans’ problem with trying to attract Black voters, which the party desperately needs to win the White House in 2016.
Instead of threatening protesters with violence, Trump and his party should listen to their demands, which is simply a message of justice and equality.
Bingo. Listening is the first step. Trump may want to take note if he plans to gain the Black vote.