• The Financial District


Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has been raked over the coals for claiming that Blacks lack the ambition to be successful, rekindling the outrage over Ronald Reagan’s claim in 1976 that Blacks were lazy and were con artists, CNN reported.

"One thing we've seen in a lot of the Black community, which is mostly Democrat, is that President (Donald) Trump's policies are the policies that can help people break out of the problems that they're complaining about," Kushner, a senior White House adviser, said Monday morning (Monday night in Manila) on Fox News. "But he can't want them to be successful more than they want to be successful."

Of all the things the Trump administration has said about Black Americans, this remark is one of the more damning ones, tapping into the cruel "welfare queen" rhetoric of the late 1970s and '80s. In 1976, Reagan said of Linda Taylor: “She used 80 names, 30 addresses, 15 telephone numbers to collect food stamps, Social Security, veterans' benefits for four nonexistent deceased veteran husbands, as well as welfare. Her tax-free cash income alone has been running $150,000 a year."

Yet Kushner's comment did something else, too: It arguably sketched a more honest portrait of the White House's views toward the country's Black citizenry. While in recent months the Trump campaign has made tremulous (and by some accounts failed) efforts to court Black voters, particularly Black men, tossing around "welfare queen"-like rhetoric questions the legitimacy of these efforts and throws them down the drain. The Democratic National Committee National press secretary Brandon Gassaway immediately issued a sharp rebuke of Kushner and his ilk. "This dismissive approach to the issues that Black voters care about is indicative of Trump's callousness and disregard for the lives of Black people," Gassaway said in a statement. "We cannot afford another four years of a White House that does not take our voices seriously and tells us to be grateful for whatever scraps are left over from the bargaining table." A January Washington Post/Ipsos poll found that more than 8-in-10 Black Americans think that Trump is a racist, and 65% say that now is a "bad time" to be Black in America.

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