Donald Trump continued his last minute attempted outreach to the African American community by visiting Flint, Michigan, the site of the Flint water crisis where, in an effort to save money, government officials switched the water source for the city causing the city’s drinking water to become contaminated with elevated levels of lead, among other toxins.
Donald Trump’s recent outreach to African American voters did not even take place in African American neighborhoods until two weeks ago when he appeared in Detroit in order to do a pre-scripted interview with Bishop Wayne T. Jackson at Great Faith ministries International.
On Wednesday, Mr. Trump ventured into Flint, a predominantly African American and Democratic city. He first visited a water treatment plant at Flint before stopping to speak at the Bethel United Methodist Church where about 50 Flint residents were gathered to hear him speak. You can read about the visit and watch a clip of some tense moments here.
Things did not get any better for Trump during a pre-arranged with “Little Miss Flint,” the same 8 year old girl (now, she’s 9) who famously inspired President Obama’s visit when she wrote him a letter letting him know that she is taking a trip to Washington D.C. in order to attend the Flint water crisis hearings in Congress and “would love for a chance to meet you or your wife.” The President wrote her back apologizing that he was not in D.C. when she was there, but announcing his visit to Flint.
Someone at the Trump campaign decided that it was a good idea for Trump to meet the young girl, whose birth name is Mari Copeny, for a photo op, not realizing that it was going to be all but impossible to upstage the story with the President. The visit with Mari went even worse than expected. Mari looked anything but happy, even frightened.
It was a startling contrast to her meeting with President Obama where Mari ran into the President’s arms smiling as the President lifted her up with the two embracing.
Little Miss Flint meeting Obama vs. Little Miss Flint meeting Trump pic.twitter.com/PNGzaWJQ9y
— Alexis Benveniste (@apbenven) September 15, 2016
It was surely not the welcome that Mr. Trump was expecting, but indicative of the tone of the entire trip. Mr. Trump’s Flint visit demonstrated the uphill climb that Trump has with African American voters, as he is not only polling historically low with them, but judging by the receptions that he is receiving in these last minute outings to black neighborhoods, he is very unlikely to make any headway.
The thoughts and opinions expressed here are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of Citizen Slant.