Henry Childs Jr. Believes Donald Trump Is The President The Black Community Needs
To many spectators, the Republican National Convention is the last place you'd expect to hear reasonable remarks about diversity. But that's exactly what's on the table for Henry Childs Jr., a party delegate from Texas and advisor for the National Diversity Coalition for Trump. When posed with the question, "How can Donald Trump win black voters?" Childs had some ideas. In an interview with Bustle on the floor of the convention, Childs, who is president of the Texas Federation of African American Republicans, was unequivocal in his reasons for supporting Trump. For him, it all boils down to jobs.
"The African American community is affected more than any other in joblessness, in unemployment, and systematic poverty. The answer is jobs ... Donald Trump is the candidate who talks about economics and has a proven track record of creating jobs, so I believe he is the solution that’s best for the black community," he says.
Childs, a former Ted Cruz supporter, said that Trump's best bet in reaching black voters is meeting them where they're at: "We have to start talking to black voters. It’s nice to be at the convention around all Republicans, but that’s not how you increase the vote. You increase the vote by going where the people are and actually listening to them, instead of telling them why you’re so great. People don’t wanna hear how great you are if they think you don’t like them. Go there, build trust, build a relationship and then ask for the votes."
"Donald Trump is the candidate who talks about economics and has a proven track record of creating jobs, so I believe he is the solution that’s best for the black community."
Between reports that Trump is polling 0 percent among black voters in Pennsylvania and Ohio ahead of the convention and Rep. Steve King's trainwreck commentary about white contributions to history, Childs's advice couldn't be more timely. But how likely is Trump to take that advice and steer his campaign away from the racially-divisive rhetoric he's employed from the start? With reports that Trump hired former Apprentice contestant Omarosa Manigault to help him appeal to black voters, it appears that he may be aiming to steer the ship toward racial unity after all.
Compared to Clinton, who enjoyed a history of African American support long before Trump became a frontrunner, Trump's attempts to appeal to minorities may seem transparent. When asked about the comparison, however, Childs offers up some intriguing food for thought: "Black voters need to stop supporting the candidate who talks best to them and start supporting the candidate whose policies are best for them." Given the terse and perhaps weakening stance Democrats have with black voters, Childs' advice may indeed prove to be prophetic.
Image (1) by Emily Shire; Additional reporting by Emily Shire.