Up until the past week, much of Donald Trump’s “minority outreach” had happened in front of white voters.
That changed on Saturday as Trump visited a Detroit church, where he made a surprisingly cogent and seemingly heartfelt speech to the Great Faith Ministries’ congregation.
It was a positive move for Trump, who has been speaking about the difficulties faced by the black community in this country, but had yet to do so in front of a representative audience.
Importantly for Trump, some members of the Great Faith Ministries congregation reacted positively to Trump’s speech, as The Huffington Post showed in a piece on Sunday.
He used phrases like: “I believe that we need a civil rights agenda for our time,” and “I fully understand that the African-American community has suffered from discrimination and that there are many wrongs that must still be made right and they will be right.”
These approaches are rarely heard from the most recent iteration of right-wing American politics. Particularly not from politicians who take their time disavowing former KKK leader David Duke, and who retweet white supremacists. And not from parties whose loudest voices have claimed: “Unfortunately for liberals, there is no more racism in America,” as we’ve heard from Ann Coulter.
For context, Trump has rejected multiple invitations from the NAACP and the National Urban League to speak to their members throughout his campaign.
Kellyanne Conway has made a strong impact on Trump. For one, she seems to be “softening” the Trump image we’ve all known. From Mexico City to Detroit, we’ve experienced a new Trump in the past week.
The difficulty is, the old Trump still gets some airtime in between his bouts of flaccidity.
Trump’s post-Mexico immigration speech in Arizona caused more confusion than assurance for many in the conservative Hispanic community.
On Sunday morning’s ‘Face the Nation,’ U.S. Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) was asked about whether Trump cleared up his position on immigration. His simple answer was no.
This new posture seems squarely aimed at attracting the white conservative voter, who thus far refused to support Trump, given the overwhelming racist image he has built. For the white vote, Trump’s minority outreach may ease some fears of overt racism.
For minority voters, however, these moves confuse rather than explain how a Trump administration would deal with discrimination and immigration.