Conversations about race in the United States have been reinvigorated with protests against the murder of George Floyd by police and against the epidemic of police brutality against Black people in the country.
With President Donald Trump's approval rating in single digits among Black voters, the President is scrambling to make himself a viable candidate for people of color in the United States, despite his history of white supremacist dog whistles and his abundance of support among white nationalist circles.
The issue of race was a hot topic in Trump's recent interview with Fox News host Harris Faulkner. Faulkner asked Trump about his infamous "When the looting starts, the shooting starts" tweet, as well as his maligned decision to hold his first rally in months in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Juneteenth—a day and location with immense Black historical significance.
Trump, as he often does, claimed that his administration has done more for Black Americans than any President in history—maybe even more than Lincoln.
Trump: I think I’ve done more for the black community than any other President and let’s take a pass on Abraham Lin… https://t.co/0G0Xeev4Dr— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn Torabi) 1591983695.0
"I think I've done more for the Black community than any other President. And let's take a pass on Abraham Lincoln, cause he did good—although, it's always questionable. In other words, the end result—"
"Well, we are free, Mr. President."
For those who may not know, Lincoln presided over the union during the Civil War and issued the Emancipation Proclamation—an executive order which changed the legal status of 3.5 million African Americans from slave to free. Lincoln was crucial in crafting the 13th Amendment, which officially made slavery and involuntary servitude illegal—unless one is being punished for a crime.
Lincoln's part in emancipation is considered one of the most consequential events in American history.
Or, if you're Donald Trump, it's "questionable."
Here is the President of the United States telling a black woman that he's been even better for black people than A… https://t.co/aOzPrfbFgG— Matt Rogers 🎙️ (@Matt Rogers 🎙️) 1591985238.0
Wherein a Black anchor has to correct Donald Trump for suggesting he's done more for Black people than the presiden… https://t.co/31KQLQHKM8— Brian Tyler Cohen (@Brian Tyler Cohen) 1591984046.0
I really don't know how to process the president saying that the "end result" of Lincoln freeing the slaves is "que… https://t.co/Qs6KoeliS4— Walter Shaub (@Walter Shaub) 1591986248.0
The degree of dissociation from reality is increasing, and horrific. https://t.co/m82uOlTjP3— Elizabeth C. McLaughlin 🩸🦷 (@Elizabeth C. McLaughlin 🩸🦷) 1591984808.0
If anything was "questionable," it was the President's comments, and not Lincoln's legacy.
I can name a lot of other Presidents who have done more for the black community than Trump, but what is he getting… https://t.co/9Fgw3GoBjm— Ahmed Baba (@Ahmed Baba) 1591984226.0
I am actually genuinely curious what the "always questionable" part of this refers to! https://t.co/MNpPKYU1Ip— Chris Hayes (@Chris Hayes) 1591987302.0
Ok I'll bite. @realDonaldTrump which of Lincoln's "results"- which can be summarized as ending slavery by decree &… https://t.co/ly44N2Uezo— Joy Reid (@Joy Reid) 1591989336.0
It's still unclear exactly what Trump meant, but whatever it is, it doesn't seem good.