Trump: Black Americans Live in ‘Ghettos’

Trump calls largely Black areas "ghettos" and paints Black neighborhoods as having "so many horrible, horrible problems."

Trump speaks at a rally in Toledo, Ohio. REUTERS

Trump promised to solve the problems Black Americans face living in “ghettos” on Thursday at a rally in Toledo, Ohio.

The Republican nominee, stumbling over his words at some points, said to the crowd:

“And we’re gonna work on our g-ghettos, our — and so, you take a look at what’s going on, where you have pockets of, of, areas of land, where you have the inner cities, and you have so many things, so many problems. So many horrible, horrible problems. The violence, the death, the lack of education, no jobs. We’re gonna work with the African American community and we’re gonna solve the problem of the inner city. We’re gonna solve the problem.”

The word “ghetto” is widely considered an outdated term and is no longer used in mainstream media discussions.

Trump also spoke about violence and seemed to limit it to a problem that only Black Americans face.

“And we’re gonna bring safety back. We’re gonna bring safety back,” he said. “You can’t walk out the street, you buy a loaf of bread, and you end up getting shot. So we’re gonna work very strongly with the African American community.”

Trump has made similar comments before about the endless plight of the Black community. However, recent statistics show that income and educational attainment have been on the rise for America’s Black population, and the poverty rate has gone down.

According to a recent U.S. Census report, median income for Blacks in America increased 4.1 percent from 2014 to 2015, to $36,898. Further, the number of Blacks living in poverty dropped two percentage points during the same period, from 26.2 percent to 24.1 percent.

Unemployment is also decreasing, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. In the third quarter of 2015, 9.5 percent of Blacks were unemployed; for the third quarter of 2016, that number went down to 8.5 percent.

And educational attainment has been improving steadily. The percentage of Blacks who completed high school has increased every year since 2011; in 2015, 92.5 percent of all Blacks aged 25 to 29 had completed at least high school. The number of Blacks with a bachelor’s degree has varied slightly over the past few years but has remained above 20 percent consistently since 2011.

Related Story: Dear Trump: Not all Black People Live in Inner Cities

Trump has previously made even more inaccurate remarks. Earlier this month at the presidential debate in St. Louis, a Black audience member asked Trump if he would be a president for all Americans.

“I would be a president for all of the people, African Americans, the inner cities,” he said. “Devastating what’s happening to our inner cities.

“You go into the inner cities and — you see it’s 45 percent poverty,” he went on. “African Americans now 45 percent poverty in the inner cities. The education is a disaster. Jobs are essentially nonexistent,” he continued. “And I’ve been saying in big speeches where you have 20 or 30,000 people, ‘What do you have to lose?’ It can’t get any worse.”

Media Reaction: Trump’s Language ‘a broader problem for Republicans at large’

Following Thursday’s rally, CNN anchor Don Lemon spoke on air with David Swerdlick, assistant editor for the Washington Post, and discussed Trump’s use of the word “ghettos.”

Swerdlick cited a recent Washington Post poll that showed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton at “plus 81 among Black voters.”

Lemon questioned why Trump has repeatedly made so many inappropriate, offensive and inaccurate remarks about and directed toward the Black community.

“David, why does he continue to do this, and why aren’t his advisors educating him? Could they not know any better as well?” he asked.

“Another problem is the language he uses,” Swerdlick explained. “People are going to come after me on Twitter and say this is being politically correct — but look, a part of being able to talk to a slice of the electorate is being able to sort of speak their language at least a little bit.

“People don’t use the word ‘ghetto’ anymore in this context, just like you don’t use the word ‘negro’ anymore or the word ‘Oriental’ anymore. It’s not a matter of political correctness. It’s a matter of being polite and respectful, and also understanding where that discussion has gone.”

“In terms of his advisors, I couldn’t hazard a guess, Don,” Swerdlick added. “This is a broader problem for Republicans at large, not just the Donald Trump campaign.”

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  • I’ve been watching this guy (Trump) over this election cycle and realize that he has a very limited vocabulary, with ‘horrible’ being his favorite adjective. I’m sure he would consider having no bone china for his tea to be horrible, horrible. He has no comprehension of how the rest of the world lives. He can’t possibly understand, nor does he seem to care. The article notes that he was tripping over his words–a sure indicator of a liar.

    I voted this week and feel relieved that it’s over.

  • What Trump said about St Louis, and “inner city”, is true and I challenge anyone to elaborate that it is not. During this election cycle in the “ghetto” the only candidate yard signs I see is some candidate named “We must stop killing each other”. The remarks on education, services, and economics is on target. St Louis Public School District and surrounding county districts under some sort of receivership. Trump is right.

    • It’s so easy to look at places like St. Louis, etc., as if the African American Community is the only community has schools under pressure, etc. They’re not. In posh cities where students go to private and parochial schools, they have serious problems as well. They are not achieving as highly as they used to, and are turning out students unprepared for the world. Trump’s words are NOT on target, they would be if he was looking at students and education as a whole, and he’s not. He’s trying to get a ‘bang’ a ‘sound bite’ and he’s using outdated materials to do so. He is myopic in a world he occupies that does not reflect 2016 in many cases. It’s not the “inner cities” with such problems, it’s cities period.

      And let me add that if he wanted to change this, he’s had decades to. He knows what his father did in denying fair-housing. When he went on his own, he never changed his view from his father’s. Name one instance where he went in and assisted a city, offered a scholarship, to elevate their children’s rights or education. Building a casino does not count.

      He is an awful candidate who has said awful things about America and have introduced into the vernacular awful intimidation and bully tactics (poll watchers my Aunt Fanny! Not every State uses these polling places, thank goodness, and the mail-in balloting this cycle has gone up…WAY up and I would guess to avoid this horrific tactic), if he does get elected, Americans will experience a combination of discourse that hasn’t been done since Russia 1917, Italy 1922 and Germany 1933.

      • He’s psychologically stuck in the early 1970s, when daddy was alive, the banks would still do business with him, the casinos hadn’t failed and the world was new and fresh for him to plunder. All the pu$$ys not yet grabbed.

        • Luke..I laughed for 5 minutes at your answer. Thank you. It was right on point. I hope more American realize this come election day.

    • I just love the fact that the majority of voter fraud cases this year have been committed by republicans…. so watch your own and stop them from trying to vote twice please.

  • I personally believe that Donald Trump has virtually no understanding of anyone beyond those that look like him and fall into the same socioeconomic background. Every time he opens his mouth, his ignorance shows; and not just related to the African American community – Foreign Affairs, Terrorism, Immigration, Global warming, the list goes on. I understand that many Americans across the realms of age, gender, and ethnicity are disenchanted with the political machine and progress, or lack thereof in helping ALL Americans achieve the “American Dream.” Desperate times lead to desperate actions, but another 4 years of the same is a much better alternative than 4 years of who knows what kind of nightmare. I know many of us do not approve of the stagnated, get-nothing-done political system as it is today. Changing it however, will require flushing the system of the sludge and waste that has built up through no term limits. We have to clear the system of lifers who spend years swimming in a cesspool of bad decisions and personal greed, and get fresh members that have appropriate term limits that keep our systems from continuing in the same light they are today.

    • I think it’s more narrow than you describe. There is nothing in trump’s history that shows he cares for anyone besides himself and maybe his children (not even the wife du jour).

      • Charity Dell

        Luke–Your term “wife du jour” is funny!

        You are waaaay too generous–perhaps the term should be:

        “Femme du temps”

        The Dumpy Don appears to change mates as quickly as the rest of us
        change our socks, n’est-ce pas?

    • Charity Dell

      KRISTI–The Malibu-Barbie Blond Dumpy Ken Doll has permitted that Surfer Ocean Wave
      to roll over what brain cells he has left that are still housed in his cranium!

      You cannot expect a crass, under-educated, boorish Philistine to understand–let alone comprehend–the concept of a Modern Nation State. His Primitive Tribal Thinking is clearly the result of a non-functioning cortex. That is why he clings to the view that only his
      tribe–wealthy white males–has a place at the American table.

  • Trump seems to be playing the ‘old man stuck in the 80s’ card. I mean, look at what he’s been doing and saying. He’s stolen President Ronald Reagan’s whole Republican candidate campaign and the so called plans and proposals he has up on his site are mashables from other Republican Candidates from the 70s and 80s. In that frame of reference then, he would project that African Americans have never prospered, and they are all living in conditions like New York City in 1975. He keeps speaking of “the inner cities”… “the ghettos”; while he’s NEVER been to an inner city during his campaign. Nor does he intend to.

    However, look and listen to Trump closely. There is a not so hidden agenda here. This could be a brilliant move on his part to continue to try to debunk the accomplishments and status of the African Americans, more directly, current President of the United States. By continually parroting how ‘bad’ African Americas are, how they are still ‘in ghettos’ and from ‘the inner cities’, etc., it is also trying to negate the fact that African Americans have progressed to even occupy the highest office in the Country. It is an attempt to change history. It is an attempt to solidify class distinction. These messages from Trump to the African American Community, which aren’t for that community in reality, is more damaging to African Americans than it outwardly appears in my view.

    • Thanks for your well thought out comment. It is true that not everyone who comes across as a fool truly is. Some people are just cunning enough to slap you in the face and make you think it was the wind. These people are a dangerous breed; by the time you are finished laughing at their tomfoolery you’ve been cut a thousand times. Now your bleeding too death wondering what the hell just happened.

      “Tales of the hunt will always glorify the Hunter until lions have their own historians”. People write your own stories. Don’t just let anyone show up and tell you who you are and where you’ve been! Black people are not a monolithic group. We like any other ethnic group are independent thinkers. Whenever I hear someone trying to paint me or my ethnic group into a box of lies… I immediately stop them and tell them my story. It’s usually a lot different from the one they foolishly thought I was living.


    • MANDI–You got the TRUE revelation! :-)

      I’ve often wondered how the press missed the fact that The Dumpy Donmeister has systematically been telling us that all people of color ARE NOT AMERICAN CITIZENS.
      This started with his “birther” campaign, then progressed to LATINOS–witness all his
      ignoramous rhetoric about building walls to keep out Mexicans–then he put down
      Elizabeth Warren as “Pocohontas”–a SLAP at ALL Native Americans.

      But he can bow to Pompous Putin–the reincarnation of NERO and assorted other
      megalomaniacs of history–and commit sedition and treason by inviting the Russians
      to hack our government servers to “find Hilary’s emails.”

      Call me cautions, but I believe he should be shipped back to GERMANY or better yet,
      RUSSIA, since he clearly cares nothing about the United States.


    He’s accused when he doesn’t mention BLACKS. Now he’s accused when he does. I think he’s the only politician I’ve heard speak of jobs IN the community instead of for the community in a loooong time. So many BLACK people do live in inner-cities that suffer from poverty, lack of jobs, and violence. His attempts might lead to more thoughtful discourse and solutions than throwing 125 BIL, HILLARY’s idea, would do, compared with the cost of programs that have already been implemented over the years. And here we remain. If materialized, these jobs would be welcomed as convenient and a good place for newly employable people to start.

    • VERNON–Maybe we could listen to the Dumpy Donmeister if we could just IGNORE these facts:

      A. The Dumpy Donmeister discriminated against African-Americans who wanted to live in one of his buildings;

      B. The Malibu-Barbie Blond Ken Doll has all his own products manufactured in CHINA,
      not the United States.

      Until the Dumpy Don decides to have all his knick-knacks and hats made in United States
      factories that employ American workers–of EVERY ethnic group–his empty promises
      about “we’re gonna bring jobs back” are just that: EMPTY.

  • Hillary/Podesta, in “private policy vs. public policy” emails: “The main reason behind successful immigration should be painfully obvious to even the most dimwitted of observers: Some groups of people are almost always highly successful given only half a chance (Jews, Hindus/Sikhs and Chinese people, for example), while others (Muslims, blacks and Roma, for instance) fare badly almost irrespective of circumstances. The biggest group of humanity can be found somewhere between those two extremes – the perennial overachievers and the professional never-do-wells.”

    • REIBSON–There are SEVERAL factors that determine “success” in the United States.

      1. Do not be of AFRICAN origin. If you are, do NOT have dark brown skin or African hair.
      You CANNOT get rid of that RACE CARD, which is handed to you at BIRTH and is carried your ENTIRE LIFE. If you are melanin-challenged with alabaster skin, European features
      and flaxen hair, you are born with the WHITE ADVANTAGE CARD, whether or not you
      feel “privileged” or “superior.”

      ASIANS may benefit IF they do not possess tan or brown skin.

      2. Be middle class BEFORE you arrive in America. It is a MYTH that all former immigrants
      came here poor. Many of today’s immigrants hail from mercantile classes BEFORE
      coming to these shores.

      3. “Success” is relative to the person, family or ethnic group in the United States that faces

      These factors STILL affect how well people may succeed in the “land of the free and
      home of the brave.”

  • I must reiterate that tRUMP needs to go into the trailer parks of his supporters and see moonshine murders, beef jerky beatings and pork crackling nutrition deficits. His statements, like Pianki’s are direct evidence of his RACIST views about African Americans. White racists overlook their 200-300 year head start and still they are just as uneducated, impoverished, violent, shoeless and toothless as Blacks.
    . We should congratulate ourselves and be proud of how much we have succeeded against all odds! Even if everything racist ignoramuses like tRUMP and Pianki believe is true, when you factor in white racist and sexist oppression and attempted genocide in “ghettos,” Blacks in AmeriKKKa should be more dysfunctional than everyone else!
    . It’s also true that we live in a GHETTO–it’s called AMERIKKKA with its crude, uncouth, hate-filled penchant for maintaining a plantation nation, including prisons. Gill Scott Heron was right–the white man (tRump) has a God complex and tRump believes that he’s the Great White Hope.

    • ZAZIJAMS–Now you know that The Malibu-Barbie Blond Senior Edition Ken Doll cannot
      go into trailer parks to meet the Duck Dynasty Wannabes of America–that would risk
      messing up his suits. He cannot look poverty in the face and see the results of “globalization”
      policies that removed work from these people, in order to exploit Asian workers overseas!

      Also, you have to wonder why ANYONE who had three uneducated wives–and failed to
      get ANY graduate education in 48 years!–believes he is even qualified to run for the highest political office of the land.

      The Dumpy Donmeister is truly the QUINTESSENCE OF IGNORANCE and has a real
      PhD. PhD in this case, is an acronym for:


      Do I have a witness? :-)

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