KENANSVILLE, N.C. — Donald Trump made another eyebrow-raising comment in his efforts to speak to the African-American community Tuesday, telling a rally in North Carolina that blacks in the United States are in their worst shape “ever, ever, ever.”
“We’re going to rebuild our inner cities because our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape that they’ve ever been in before,” Trump told the crowd. “Ever, ever, ever.”
Trump’s comments came in a town named for a slaveowner’s family: Kenansville was founded in the early 1800s and the Kenan family, according to the town’s website, owned “20 to 50 slaves.” As he has done in other recent speeches, Trump compared inner city shootings to war-torn countries like Afghanistan.
“You take a look at the inner cities: You get no education. You get no jobs. You get shot walking down the street,” he said.
“They’re worse, I mean honestly, places like Afghanistan are safer than some of our inner cities.”
Trump continued: “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.”
The GOP nominee’s actual poll numbers among African-Americans have been dismal: according to Washington Post/ABC polling, Trump is only taking 5 percent of the demographic, based on an average of data from August and September.
Still, he is not far behind other recent Republican candidates, who typically get single-digit support from African-American voters: in 2012, exit polling found Republican nominee Mitt Romney took 6 percent of the African American vote (compared with 93 percent who voted for President Obama).