23 Sep 2016

Black people 'only have themselves to blame' - Trump campaign chair

10:07 am on 23 September 2016

Donald Trump's campaign chair in an Ohio county claims there was "no racism" during the 1960s and black people "only have themselves to blame" for their lack of success.

Kathy Miller, who is white and the chair of Mr Trump's campaign in Mahoning County, told the Guardian the Black Lives Matter movement was a "stupid waste of time" and social issues facing black communities in the US were "not our fault".

"If you're black and you haven't been successful in the last 50 years, it's your own fault. You've had every opportunity, it was given to you," she said.

She said the United States had not had any problems with racism until president Barack Obama had been elected, saying there were no issues in the 1960s.

"Growing up as a kid, there was no racism, believe me. We were just all kids going to school."

When it came to segregation and the civil rights movement, Ms Miller said she "never saw that as anything".

Donald Trump

Donald Trump Photo: AFP

Mr Trump has had a difficult time reaching out to black voters - aside from a blip in one unconventional tracking poll, Mr Trump's black support continued to be mired in low single digits.

He drew a swift backlash in his latest attempt this week for declaring that African Americans were in the worst shape "ever, ever, ever".

At Tuesday's campaign event in Kenansville, the White House hopeful said: "We're going to rebuild our inner cities because our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape they've ever been in before."

He continued: "You take a look at the inner cities, you get no education, you get no jobs, you get shot walking down the street.

"They're worse, I mean honestly, places like Afghanistan are safer than some of our inner cities.

"And I say to the African-American communities, and I think it's resonating, because you see what's happening with my poll numbers with African Americans. They're going, like, high."

Last month, Mr Trump also raised eyebrows when he asked black voters: "What do you have to lose?"

He told a nearly all-white audience in Michigan that African Americans "are living in poverty" and their "schools are no good".


Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs