During the town hall-style presidentialdebate between Hillary Clinton and Trumpin St. Louis Sundaynight, an African American audience member asked if the candidates would be a president for all Americans. Trump responded by explaining the plight of people living in “inner cities,” conflatingthe Black questioneras a representative ofthe inner city, and using inaccuratestatistics to make his point.
“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 percentpoverty. African Americans now 45 percentpoverty 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.”
Trump said the poverty rate for Blacks in inner cities is at 45 percent. According to Census.gov’s “Poverty Rates for Selected Detailed Race and Hispanic Groups by State and Place: 20072011” the poverty rate for Blacks is approximately 25.8 percent. A Brookings Institutionanalysis of Census data found that more than two-thirds of the increase in major metro poverty from 2000 to 2013 occurred in suburbs.
“The suburban poor population grew more than twice as fast as the urban poor population between 2000 and 2013 (66 percent versus 30 percent).
“By 2013, the suburbs accounted for 56 percent of the poor population in the nation’s largest metro areas, with the number of poor in suburbs outstripping the urban poor by 3.5 million.”
Gentrification occurring within large metropolitan regions, such as New York City, has resulted in a decrease of African American residents. For example, theCenter for Urban Research found that in Brooklyn, New York, between the years 2000 and 2010, the white population grew by 38,774 and Blacks lost almost 50,000 people.
As a Twitter user commented:
Factcheck: gentrification put an end to the ‘inner city’
Dante H. Burress (@danteburress) October 10, 2016
Many criticize gentrification for displacement of the low-income residents due to an influx of speculative investors causing rents and property taxes to significantly increase, resulting in a loss of a neighborhood’s authenticity. Others support gentrification, saying it improves a city.
Response on Social Media
Twitter users, including the NAACP, tweeted on Sunday and Monday that all African Americans do not live in inner cities:
#Fact: the majority of black people in America don’t live in the “inner city”.
NAACP (@NAACP) October 10, 2016
can someone tell trump i’m black but not from an inner city his mind will explode
Gallant (@SoGallant) October 10, 2016
Im black and not from an inner city. These generalizations need to stop. Trump knows nothing about black people.
Arlyn Reed (@Arlyn_Reed20) October 10, 2016
Fascinated and telling that whenever a black person asked a debate question, Trump immediately jumped to inner city crime.
Jill Filipovic (@JillFilipovic) October 10, 2016
Black journalists also responded to Trump’s statements. Perry Bacon Jr., NBC News senior political reporter, tweeted:
Again, Trump wrongly seems to use the words “inner-city” and “African-American” interchangeably and suggest blacks are mostly jobless.
Perry Bacon Jr. (@perrybaconjr) October 10, 2016
New York Times columnist Charles Blow also tweeted:
BTW, when Trump says “inner city” he just means “where ever blk ppl live.” Trump Tower is on 5th Ave. Doesn’t get more inner city than that
Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) October 10, 2016
In August, Trump began to publicize his campaign’s attempt to court African American voters at a rally in Dimondale, Michigan, while speaking to a predominantly white audience.
“What do you have to lose” he said, addressing African Americans at large. “What do you have to lose You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good. You have no jobs 58 percent of your youth is unemployed.”
Blow said in an interview with CNN that Trump’s comments were an outreach to white people.
“That’s all it is,” he said. “People have been on television saying this is an outreach to Black people, and that is a lie. It is a lie because it is the most insidious kind of bigotry. It is the kind of bigotry that says I will knock you down while I pretend to pick you up.”
On Monday, a hashtag #whereblackpeoplelive started to gain traction.
Black Twitter users tweeted photos of different locations where Black people live in the U.S.
David L. Casey, Vice President of Workforce Strategies and Chief Diversity Officer for CVS Health (one of DiversityInc’s 25 Noteworthy Companies) tweeted a photo of the White House:
David L. Casey (@kcdiversity) October 10, 2016