On Saturday, Donald Trump visited the Great Faith Ministries International church in Detroit. During his visit, Trump spoke to the predominantly black congregation, telling them that “we’re all brothers and sisters” who “must love each other and support each other.” He also busted out some pretty embarrassing dance moves.
A writer for The Daily Beast, Matt Wilstein, recorded a video of Trump awkwardly rocking from side to side as the choir sang.
— Matt Wilstein (@mattwilstein) September 3, 2016
Donald Trump’s awkward dancing is fun to laugh at. However, the fact that he was clearly uncomfortable in a congregation of black voters is the bigger issue.
Trump has been trying — and failing — over the past few weeks to court black voters, among whom his polling numbers are dismally low. According to NBC, a recent poll shows that only 8 percent of black voters are planning to vote for Trump, while 88 percent are supporting Hillary Clinton.
Due to Trump’s consistent racism throughout his campaign, it is understandable that voters are hesitant to take his recent outreach attempts seriously. Alando Reeves, a political consultant, told NBC that he’s not sure he would say Trump has actually reached out to black voters.
‘I think that, when you address somebody, you have to talk from their cultural perspective. I think Mr. Trump has insulted not only blacks, but everybody else. I don’t see it as a way of engaging black folks to have an in between if you havin’ a conversation in a black community. I don’t need somebody to speak for me. So if you want to hear my opinion, then ask me.’
Eric Fowlkes, a recent college graduate, also weighed in on Trump’s efforts.
‘I don’t see him talking about, “Well, this is what I plan to do for African-Americans.” I just see a bunch of him trying to get brownie points for making comments about African-Americans. And I think it’s very disrespectful.’
Another person who has perfectly described the problem with Trump’s visit to an African-American church is President Obama. All the way back in 2006, Obama discussed the problem of inauthenticity, and his remarks still ring true today:
‘Nothing is more transparent than inauthentic expressions of faith… Some politicians come and clap — off rhythm — to the choir. We don’t need that.’
Although, at the time, President Obama was actually referring to progressives who “suddenly latch on to religious terminology,” his comments still seem to fit Trump’s situation pretty well. Watch a video clip of his remarks below, shared to Twitter by Vanity Fair’s Kia Makarechi.
Watch 2006 Obama roast 2016 Trump’s black church visit and “off rhythm” clapping pic.twitter.com/CbMYhgXJ2r
— Kia Makarechi (@Kia_Mak) September 4, 2016
Featured image via Getty/ Etianne Oliveau