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At least half of Black Americans think Trump is bad for minorities

Carol Ozemhoya | OW Contributor | 10/1/2019, 10:03 a.m.
Large majorities of Black and Latino Americans think..

Large majorities of Black and Latino Americans think President Donald Trump’s actions as president have made things worse for people like them, and about two-thirds of Americans overall disapprove of how he’s handling race relations, according to a new poll conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. About half of all Americans think Trump’s actions have been bad for African Americans, Muslims and women, and slightly more than half say they’ve been bad for Hispanics. Trump’s 33 percent approval rating on handling race relations makes that one of his worst issues in recent AP-NORC polls. That stands in stark contrast to his handling of the economy: About half say they approve of his handling of that issue, while views of current economic conditions continue to be rosy amid robust employment numbers and a strong stock market. Four in 10 Americans said they approve of Trump overall, according to the poll, conducted before the release of a rough transcript of a phone call showing Trump prodded the president of Ukraine to investigate Democratic political rival Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s announcement that she would launch a formal impeachment inquiry. The poll provides a bleak assessment of how the nation views Trump on race issues as he runs for a second term and repeatedly boasts of his popularity among African Americans and Latinos. Trump has consistently said his economic policies have been good for African Americans and other people of color. But the poll shows few Black Americans think that’s true. Just 4 percent said they thought Trump’s actions have been good for African Americans in general, while 81 percent thought he’s made things worse. Similar shares of Black Americans think Trump has been bad for Hispanics, Muslims and women. “He speaks nothing but hate rhetoric,” said Chris Smith, 38, an African American information technology worker in Columbia, Tennessee, who considers himself independent but leans Democratic. “If the leader of this country is free to speak like that, there’s going to be people who think it’s OK to speak like that. He’s making people live their life in fear.” Trump has drawn widespread condemnation for racist rhetoric throughout his presidency. He’s warned of an “invasion” at the southern border, posted racist tweets about four women of color in Congress and attacked Democratic U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings’ largely Black district as a “rat and rodent infested mess.” He’s showered praise on Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, a slave owner who fought to protect the institution of slavery during the U.S. Civil War, and said there were “very fine people on both sides “ of clashes between White nationalists and counter protesters. But he has claimed he doesn’t have a “racist bone” in his body. The poll comes weeks after a suspected gunman, who is White, apparently wrote an anti-Hispanic rant before opening fire in El Paso, Texas, with an AK-47-style rifle on Wal-Mart shoppers, many of them Latino. Some blamed Trump’s rhetoric for inciting the gunman.