Trump in trouble revisits his tried-and-true — protecting your neighborhood from ‘them’

As polls show his base stagnant and his poll numbers dropping, Donald Trump has decided to replay an old favorite. While trying to strike fear of the invading “other” is right out of the 1968 playbook of both Richard Nixon and George Wallace, it’s also a tactic Trump honed at his father’s knee. It makes perfect sense for Trump in trouble to return to what he knows — and he knows all about shutting the literal and figurative door on Black folks moving into white neighborhoods.

In the 1970s, Trump and his father, Fred Trump — president and chairman, respectively, of Trump Management — were named as defendants in lawsuits brought by the Justice Department, accusing them of turning away African Americans who applied to rent apartments in some of the company’s buildings. That would be breaking the letter and spirit of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, something that was by no means the exception among property owners of the time.

The reaction, though, was pure Donald Trump. Rather than settle the lawsuits quietly, as some did, he called the charges “absolutely ridiculous,” denied them, countersued and said the government was trying to make him rent to “welfare recipients,” all sadly predictable. Though the Trumps eventually settled without admitting guilt, test renters of different races received different treatment, and investigations found that certain discarded applications were marked with “C” for “colored.”

Though the coding for a tenant deemed undesirable has changed, the sentiment remains. Trump 2020, in the middle of tweeting misinformation about COVID-19 treatment during a pandemic that has taken more than 150,000 lives in the United States, has decided that the best reelection strategy is fear, warning “Suburban Housewives of America” that Joe Biden “will destroy your neighborhood and your American Dream,” and that electing the former vice president would mean hordes of people moving in, and lowering home values and raising crime rates.

Yikes! Is the president trying to protect me from me?

Mary C. Curtis: Differences Between Democrat and GOP Stimulus Bills

CHARLOTTE, NC — Lawmakers are debating the next round of coronavirus relief to help struggling Americans.

The senate republicans $1 trillion dollar proposal was released Monday, but how does it differ from what the democrats are seeking.

Here’s our political contributor Mary C. Curtis with a look at the key differences.

POLITICAL WRAP: Unemployment Benefits; Latest on Race for White House

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Millions of jobless Americans are waiting on Congress to decide whether to extend a $600 weekly boost to unemployment benefits.

Republicans are proposing another $1200 stimulus check, while offering unemployment benefits that would replace a laid-off worker’s wages by up to 70 percent.

Our political contributor Mary C. Curtis has more on that and the latest on the race for the White House.

To remember John Lewis, remember the real John Lewis — and his righteous fight

Many Americans, when they remember the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, reflexively turn to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, quoting selective passages about content of character. But my sister Joan, who stood under a shaded tent that day, making signs with freedom slogans for out-of-towners to raise high, had a different answer when I asked for her thoughts. Not to take anything away from King, she told me, “It wasn’t just that speech. It was all the speeches.” And what impressed her teenage self most were the words of a man who was just 23, a few years older than she was.

On that day, John Lewis was already stirring up the “good trouble” he favored when he said: “To those who have said, ‘Be patient and wait,’ we have long said that we cannot be patient. We do not want our freedom gradually, but we want to be free now!”

It was a speech that, in an early draft, was a tad fiery for some elders in the movement for equality and justice. Lewis did tone it down — but not enough to lose its urgency.

Some of the tributes to Lewis, who died last week at the age of 80, emphasized his generosity of spirit, evident in his ability to forgive and embrace those who beat him into unconsciousness. But the picture is incomplete without acknowledging the impatience, the fury to make it right, that saw him through more than three dozen arrests, five after he was elected to Congress. Just as those who would have been or probably were in that majority of Americans who considered King a rabble-rouser then and revere him now, many are all too eager to recast Lewis as a secular saint who just wanted everyone to get along.

Of course, they would. It would let them off the hook.

Mary C. Curtis: Coronavirus Relief Bill

CHARLOTTE, NC — All eyes on Congress to see lawmakers will include in the next stimulus package. Senate Republicans and the white house are on different pages – despite being in the same party. While Democrats say they want a deal done soon.

Political contributor Mary C. Curtis has the latest from Washington.

POLITICAL WRAP: Trump Campaign “Culture War” Strategy; A New Silent Majority?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – President Trump, at Mount Rushmore on Friday night, set the stage for a campaign increasingly focused on “culture war” issues.

“Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children,” the President said.

So, is the appeal of a “culture war” campaign too narrow?

Or is there a Nixon-esque “Silent Majority,” as the President is saying, ready to show up in November?

Click above for more with our political contributor, Mary C. Curtis.

Mary C. Curtis: Russia Bounty Allegations

CHARLOTTE, NC — What did the president know?

That’s the question lawmakers want answered– after reports that U.S. intelligence found out Russians offered a bounty if Taliban terrorists killed U.S. and British troops in Afghanistan.

The white house says the president was never briefed on the plot.

Here’s WCCB political contributor Mary C. Curtis.

POLITICAL WRAP: Coronavirus Mask Mandate; Presidential Poll Numbers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The debate over a mask mandate, just one part of how the coronavirus pandemic is becoming increasingly political.

Our political contributor Mary C. Curtis has more on the recent spike in cases we’re seeing in the South, and the strategies for the presidential campaigns, as we move closer to November.

The very American Postal Service now a partisan pawn, with democracy at stake

When I was a little girl, the youngest of five children in a family with parents who made ends meet while never letting us see them sweat, the U.S. Postal Service was as welcome as Santa during the holidays. While dad was tending bar and waiting tables at parties after he signed off from his 9-to-5, mom picked up shifts at the post office, handling the packages and cards that swamped the system in December.

God bless the Postal Service, an essential piece of America’s history before it was America and included in the U.S. Constitution, which gave Congress the power “to establish post offices and post roads.” Founding father Benjamin Franklin was the first postmaster general under the Continental Congress, and a young Abraham Lincoln was appointed postmaster of New Salem, Illinois, in 1833.

Though African American postal workers experienced discrimination, they sought work and served despite routine and harsh obstacles. Well into the civil rights era, that federal job could be sustenance for African Americans locked out of corporate America. Among the postal force could be found many civil rights activists, such as John L. LeFlore, a letter carrier in Mobile, Alabama, from 1922 to 1965, and an NAACP organizer who fought for the desegregation of Mobile’s public schools and businesses and for voting and housing rights.

The post office has been a pathway to the middle class for many hardworking families of every race, and has delivered in urban centers and rural outposts without fear or favor, in snow and rain and heat and gloom of night and … you know the rest, to bring mail, medicine and more. Connections forged with letter carriers could be more personal than businesslike.

What’s not to like?

A lot, to listen to some of our country’s leaders, who seem determined to sabotage something that has been integral to the country’s development. This is at a time when the Postal Service could be crucial to the right to vote, which might explain one reason for the controversy — the No. 1 reason, perhaps.

Mary C. Curtis: Trump Holds Rally in Arizona Amid Surge in Coronavirus Cases

CHARLOTTE, NC — Fresh off a disappointing campaign rally over the weekend, President Trump spoke to a packed crowd of students at a rally in Arizona Tuesday night.

But the president’s visit didn’t come without criticism… as COVID-19 cases in Arizona are surging.

Here’s more from our WCCB political contributor Mary C. Curtis.