Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color of Change, responds to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s support for the controversial police tactic of stop-and-frisk. “Wouldn’t it be great if stop-and-frisk was actually implemented on white billionaires?” says Robinson. “To stop and frisk them for their foundation records, to stop and frisk them for their tax records, to stop and frisk them for the ways in which the housing market was crashed and black wealth was lost, the ways in which deals are cut on Capitol Hill.”
NERMEEN SHAIKH: On Wednesday, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump responded to a question about violence in the black community at a town hall meeting in a black church in Cleveland hosted by Fox News.
RICARDO SIMMS: There’s been a lot of violence in the black community. I want to know what would you do to help stop that violence, you know, black-on-black crime.
DONALD TRUMP: Right. Well, one of the things I’d do, Ricardo, is I would do stop-and-frisk. I think you have to. We did it in New York. It worked incredibly well. And you have to be proactive. And, you know, you really help people sort of change their mind automatically. You understand. You have to have—in my opinion, I see what’s going on here, I see what’s going on in Chicago. I think stop-and-frisk—in New York City, it was—
AMY GOODMAN: You’ve been listening to Donald Trump talking about the stop-and-frisk program. Meanwhile, a former federal judge, who ruled the controversial policing tactic unconstitutional in 2013, told BuzzFeed News, quote, “Stop and frisk was not beneficial. … [I]t was destructive,” and talked about how it targeted the black and Latino community. It’s believed, over a period of years, 4 million particularly young black men, and some women, and Latino men and women were targeted.
Joining us now is Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color of Change. If you can talk both about Donald Trump suggesting the stop-and-frisk program and, overall, what’s been taking place, from Charlotte to Tulsa?
RASHAD ROBINSON: Well, you know, what’s been taking place, overall, is the overpolicing of our communities, black people being treated like enemy combatants in their own neighborhoods. And Donald Trump, this is just Donald Trump continuing to shoot from the hip, not having any facts, not having any data, not knowing how these policies actually play into how people are treated and community and police relationships.
But it also speaks to the larger fact that Donald Trump is really not trying to get black people’s votes here. He is trying to appeal to white moderates. He is trying to appeal to white Southerners. This is a sort of Sister Souljah moment à la Bill Clinton during his '92 campaign of going into black communities and channeling for white folks: “I'll shoot straight with them. I’ll tell them honestly what needs to happen.”
AMY GOODMAN: Talk about—and I want to play this clip for you right now. This is Don King speaking for Donald Trump on Wednesday at a meeting of black pastors in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.
DON KING: I told Michael Jackson, I said, if you’re poor, you are a poor Negro. I would use the N-word. But if you’re rich, you’re a rich Negro. If you are intelligent, intellectual, you’re an intellectual Negro. If you’re a dancing and sliding and gliding nigger—I mean, Negro, you are a dancing and sliding and gliding Negro. So dare not alienate, because you cannot assimilate.
AMY GOODMAN: That’s Don King using the N-words. Behind him, Donald Trump’s white supporters laughing, and Donald Trump at his side?
RASHAD ROBINSON: It’s all a joke. Donald Trump and Don King both are sort of cut from the same cloth. They are entertainers that have used casinos. They have made deals with folks where they’ve gotten rich and other people have gotten poor or lost money.
And to the point about the stop and frisk, wouldn’t it be great if stop and frisk was actually implemented on white billionaires? To stop and frisk them for their foundation records, to stop and frisk them for their tax records, to stop and frisk them for the ways in which—you know, the ways in which the housing market was crashed and black wealth was lost, the ways in which deals are cut on Capitol Hill—why don’t we have that type of stop-and-frisk? I think a lot of people would support that.
AMY GOODMAN: I want to thank you so much for being with us, Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color of Change, speaking right at the time of the Wells Fargo hearing.
RASHAD ROBINSON: Absolutely.
AMY GOODMAN: Certainly, a very interesting question you have raised.