California Black Republicans have expressed mixed reactions to the shocking election of Donald Trump. His election has sparked nationwide protests and the Southern Poverty Law Center has recorded more than 700 incidents of racial attacks.
John Wood Jr., former second vice chair of the Los Angeles GOP, previously said he would not support Trump. He cast a ballot for Gary Johnson and admitted he was surprised by Trump’s victory.
“The night of the election, I thought it would be close, but I was surprised he pulled it out,” said Wood.
Wood attributed Trump’s victory to several
factors—economic pain among the White working class, frustration with the status quo and the fact that Hillary Clinton was a problematic candidate. Trump tapped into all of those things.
“Hillary wasn’t a good candidate,” he said. “Her campaign was an extension of the status quo.”
However, Wood said he isn’t surprised about the racial violence that has followed Trump’s victory. He said it’s an indicator of the polarization in America.
But Trump is president-elect now, and he is faced with staffing the White House and his new administration. He is also waffling on some of his major campaign promises such as deporting all illegal immigrants. (He now says he wants to get rid of the ones with criminal records.) He has also talked about building a border fence, not a wall.
Wood added that Trump is going to run into trouble fulfilling his promises to blue-collar workers. One of his central messages was bringing back jobs in areas such as coal mining and manufacturing. But, those sectors have been changed so much by new technological developments many of those jobs don’t exist anymore.
Micah Grant, a GOP consultant based in Sacramento, said Trump supporters expect him to follow through with his campaign promises.
“I think his supporters took him seriously, not literally. That’s why he won,” said Grant.
Some of them might be disappointed when he doesn’t come through on the promises he made during the campaign.
“They’ll probably be a little disappointed, but in their minds it’s better than the alternative,” said Grant.
Although Grant voted for Gary Johnson, he is cautiously optimistic about Trump’s presidency. He said the president-elect has some ideas that could improve the Black community.
“I didn’t vote for the guy, but I think we have to give him a chance,” he said. “He promises a new deal for Black Americans and we’ll just have to hold him to that. It remains to be seen what type of president he will be.”
Grant thinks Trump has some good ideas that are worth looking at.
“He says he wants to promote school choice and pursue infrastructure investments in inner cities. That includes tax holidays,” said Grant. “I’m a fan of school choice and enterprise. Those are good things. And I think they’ll be a net positive for our community.”
Shirley Husar, a reality TV star and conservative commentator, was a strong backer of Trump. She said that she is excited about the future.
Husar said Trump’s victory showed that the “media and pundits were not telling people the truth.”
“People don’t always tell you the truth,” she said. “They tell you what they want you to hear.”
On the night of the election all of the polls showed Trump behind, but by Tuesday night he was declared the victor.
Husar says Trump has a developed a “new deal,” that will help the Black community. Trump’s New Deal focuses on safe communities and jobs. She also added that she expected Trump to enforce the nation’s immigration laws and get rid of undocumented workers, who she accused of “demolishing” the Black community.
Husar dismissed the racial attacks that are being attributed to Trump supporters and the mass protests against him.
“That’s not true,” she said. “The people rioting now are professional protesters. The people rioting are illegal immigrants.”
Husar also said she expected Trump to end the privatization and commercialization of the correctional system. She said that many Black men have been devastated by long drug sentences that keep them in private prisons, which have a vested interest in keeping them behind bars. She said these policies were passed by the Clintons.
However, recently the Department of Justice issued orders to scale back the government’s use of private prisons. Also, the Washington Post reported that stock in private prison corporations has risen, because they expect Trump’s “law and order” policies to send them more prisoners.