Detroit’s African-Americans cast cynical eye on Trump


DETROIT: Donald Trump insists he is the change agent that America’s blackest big city needs in the White House, but residents have a message for the Republican presidential nominee: Not buying it. Many here acknowledge that Barack Obama, the nation’s first black president, has fallen short in improving conditions in blighted communities. But in interviews ahead of the Republican flagbearer’s scheduled appearance at a black church, several African-American Detroiters told AFP they were adamant that Trump is not the answer. “We have evaluated the Republican Party’s platform and found it wanting, examined its most recent messenger and found him revolting,” said Eric Williams, who runs a clinic at Wayne State University Law School that helps black small business owners. “There’s absolutely nothing Donald Trump can do to significantly raise his standing in the African-American community.” Trump in recent weeks has repeatedly argued that despite their propensity to vote Democratic, black Americans have been let down by the policies of party stalwarts like his campaign rival Hillary Clinton. Detroit, which is more than 80 percent black, is all-too-familiar with such problems. The city filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history in 2013, and its failing schools are under emergency management, with enrollment steadily shrinking. Downtown is undergoing a renaissance of sorts. But midtown black neighborhoods remain decimated, with buildings boarded up, rows of homes abandoned, and crime and drugs abundant.



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