The Trump administration, meanwhile, has implemented a number of policies that have made life harder for black Americans.
A tax-exempt "charitable" group run by a close Trump ally is reportedly hosting pro-Trump events that aim to win over black voters with cash raffles.
According to a report in Politico on Wednesday, the events are being hosted by the Urban Revitalization Coalition, a 501(c)(3) "charitable organization" run by Darrell Scott, co-chair of Black Voices for Trump. At the gatherings, attendees hear pro-Trump messages, and envelopes stuffed with hundreds of dollars in cash are raffled off.
The Urban Revitalization Coalition's December "Christmas Extravaganza" in Cleveland was advertised as having a "$25,000 cash giveaway" and featured one of Trump's few black staffers. The money was distributed to some of the attendees, mostly in $300 to $500 bundles.
Scott refused to tell Politico where the money came from; the Trump campaign denied any involvement.
A tax law expert told Politico this scheme could run afoul of tax law if the group does not first determine whether the recipients are actually needy. "It's not immediately clear to me how simply giving money away to people at an event is a charitable act," a former Internal Revenue Service official said.
But while this group is seemingly attempting to win support for Trump by giving small cash prizes to a few black voters, his administration has spent the past three years working against their broader interests.
Trump has repeatedly tried to repeal and sabotage the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, even after a 2017 study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that under the law the number of uninsured African Americans had dropped by more than a third.
Under Secretary Ben Carson, the Department of Housing and Urban Development has worked to eliminate housing rules that ensure communities address racial segregation.
And under then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Justice Department greatly limited the use of consent decrees where police departments with a history of civil rights violations agreed to change their behavior.
After a deadly march by neo-Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017, Trump praised the racists as "very fine people." He has repeatedly attacked prominent lawmakers of color, including Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL), and members of "the squad," including Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA). He mocked African nations as "shithole countries."
A recent poll found that over 80% of African Americans say Trump is a racist and has made racism worse in the United States.
While Trump has often bragged that African American unemployment is at a historic low, the same poll found only 1 in 5 of the black adults surveyed believe Trump deserves credit for that.
Ironically, Trump and 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney have complained that their Democratic opponents win by giving "free stuff" to minority groups in order to win votes via government social programs.
Back in 2017, Trump reportedly tried to buy affection from another prominent black American. Rapper 50 Cent said last year in a television interview that Trump had offered him $500,000 just to attend his inauguration. He said he rejected the offer because "All money is not good money."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.