On My Mind (Vol. 4)

This week’s round-up of my thoughts on political stuff, etc. includes Trump’s odd outreach to minorities, Hillary’s never-ending email saga, annoyance about the “burkini” kerfluffle, and… some less divisive stuff.

Apparently Donald Trump has been attempting to reach out to African Americans, though “attempting” might be a generous word for it. His statements have come across more like, “Black people, your lives are complete and total disasters, but HEY, I love you!”

What a novel idea: insult people in order to persuade them to vote for you.

Truly, though, I was flummoxed when I heard his remarks. How could he think such statements would be persuasive to black voters? It seemed to me that he wasn’t really trying to persuade them, but rather checking off a box on The Presidential Candidate’s To-Do List, which must include “reach out to minorities” right along with action items like “pretend you like babies” (whoops!) and “eat in folksy-looking diners.”

Or was he trying to persuade someone else? I heard a reporter (sorry – can’t remember who) suggest that Trump’s “outreach” to black voters might actually be aimed at suburban white women. And aahhh, yes – that made more sense. The white suburban mom demographic (and I speak from experience here) seems to be uncomfortable with Trump on a number of counts, but a big flashing neon one is his treatment of minorities. We don’t want to think of ourselves as racist, we don’t want to be associated with racists, and so we need assurances that our presidential candidates aren’t racist. I guess.

Read more at the Catholic Review.

The Space Between - On My Mind


3 thoughts on “On My Mind (Vol. 4)

  1. Although I agree with you that the burkini ban is not a good idea (I’m French btw), I can’t help but notice that the woman in the photo doing the round is in Nice. Litteraly metres away from where the lorry attack happened. I understand wanting to challenge a silly law, but I’m not sure anyone would think their point is best carried by say, having a protest for muslim rights on the site of the twin towers. It seems callous at best.

    • I get what you’re saying and I’m sympathetic to the people of Nice for the anxiety and mistrust they must be feeling. But a woman enjoying the beach with her family isn’t necessarily aiming to challenge a law or issue a protest.

      And regardless of her motive, I think the onus is on a democratic, liberal society to protect even the rights that make people uncomfortable. (Think of the free speech protections for Charlie Hebdo.)

      Also, the image of police officers forcing a woman to undress in public is just plain horrible, and will surely be used as a recruiting tool or rallying cry for extremists. I think if I were in Nice, that prospect would make me far more nervous than seeing a fully-covered woman on the beach.

      (Thank you for your great comment!)

  2. I get your point, and yes, the pictures are terrible, but considering the huge amount of debating and agonising happening over the specific garment she chose to wear (which she chose to put on immediately after the decree) it strains the imagination that it wouldn’t have been a deliberate, political action. And I am all for challenging bad decrees, I agree with you that it is something she should be able to do, I just wish she hadn’t done it there. More out of politeness, maybe? Definitely not wishing for another meddling law!

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