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Monday, September 16, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Opinion >  Syndicated columns

Res Huppke: Black voters, Trump is reaching out to you – Hands against the wall

By Rex Huppke Chicago Tribune

I have great news for black voters: Donald Trump is reaching out to you!

Yes, the Republican presidential candidate, whose campaign CEO up until recently ran a right-wing news(ish) website that has an entire section dedicated to “black crime,” is trying very hard to connect with black voters, particularly here in the Windy City.

Trump cares so much about you that he held a town hall at a black church in Cleveland, hosted by noted black-issues expert and Fox News host Sean Hannity. (Hannity is well known for comparing the Black Lives Matter movement to the Ku Klux Klan and for stirring up racial fear by pushing the false narrative that young black men nationwide play something called “the knockout game” where they run up and attack random white people.)

At the town hall event, Trump said how he would address crime in black communities: “One of the things I’d do is I would do stop-and-frisk. I think you have to. We did it in New York, it worked incredibly well.”

That’s correct, except that there’s no proof it actually worked well, and a federal judge ruled it unconstitutional, and a large study by the New York Civil Liberties Union found that people of color were disproportionately targeted.

Thursday morning, Trump clarified on “Fox & Friends” that he was only talking about implementing a stop-and-frisk program in Chicago, noting: “They will stop, they will frisk, and they will take the gun away and they won’t have anything to shoot with.”

Problem solved! I’m not sure why we didn’t think of this sooner, though it may have something to do with the fact that there was no correlation between New York City’s stop-and-frisk program and a drop in crime and, in fact, according to the Washington Post, “In four of the past five years, levels of crime fell alongside the number of stop-and-frisks.”

But who cares about numbers? There’s something about stop-and-frisk that feels right to Donald Trump. And he’s a winner who knows how to get things done, so I’m sure black voters will agree.

Geoff Betts, a black man who attended Trump’s town hall, gave Reuters his reaction: “I just couldn’t take it anymore, I had to go. I don’t think that Donald Trump gets it.”

Well, maybe that’s because Betts doesn’t live in Chicago and he feels jealous that Trump wants our city to be the stop-and-frisk capital of America.

I’m sure we’ll learn more about this great idea, but let’s first let Trump continue his outreach.

If you’re a black Chicago voter, please stop for a minute. Mr. Trump is going to come a little closer to reach out to you.

Actually, it would make this easier if you would just face the wall and put your hands up there and maybe spread your legs a bit. That’s good. Now Trump’s going to reach out to you.

You might feel like you’re being patted down, but don’t worry, that’s just part of the outreach.

Hey, what do we have here in your pocket, is that a gun? Oh, never mind, it’s just a phone.

Move along.

Rex Huppke is a Chicago Tribune columnist.

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