Trump rhetoric could widen the rift between blacks, police

Written by on August 15, 2016

Police in Milwaukee shot and killed a black man this weekend, sparking protests although police say 23-year-old Sylville K. Smith was armed when he was shot.

In another community, citizens might be more willing to believe the official account. But on the heels of numerous high profile police shootings, African Americans are particularly mistrustful.

Still, there are many working to repair the rift. That’s why it’s so troubling to watch Donald Trump attempt to widen the chasm.

“We’re hiring a lot of people,” Trump said at a Friday rally in Altoona, Pennsylvania. “We’re putting a lot of law enforcement — we’re going to watch Pennsylvania, go down to certain areas and watch and study, and make sure other people don’t come in and vote five times.”

At a time when Washington Post data show that police disproportionately kill blacks, the voting booth is one of the few places where blacks feel free from the specter of police mistreatment.

We must not allow Donald Trump to take that away.

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