RSN Fundraising Banner
Trump Asked African Americans for Their Votes at a Rally Where He Also Praised Confederate Icon Robert E. Lee
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=49312"><span class="small">Gabriel Pogrund, The Washington Post</span></a>   
Saturday, 13 October 2018 08:32

Pogrund writes: "President Trump praised the Confederate general Robert E. Lee while asking African American voters to 'honor us' by voting for him at an Ohio rally that included an unexpected and provocative monologue on America's Civil War history."

Donald Trump. (photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
Donald Trump. (photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Trump Asked African Americans for Their Votes at a Rally Where He Also Praised Confederate Icon Robert E. Lee

By Gabriel Pogrund, The Washington Post

13 October 18


resident Trump praised the Confederate general Robert E. Lee while asking African American voters to “honor us” by voting for him at an Ohio rally that featured an unexpected and provocative monologue on America’s Civil War history.

Addressing an open-air rally of around 4,000 supporters, Trump appeared buoyant as he declared that Lee was a “true great fighter” and “great general.” He also said Abraham Lincoln once had a “phobia” of the Southern leader, whose support of slavery has made his legacy a heavily contested and divisive issue.

The comments came during an anecdote about Ohio-born President Ulysses S. Grant’s alleged drinking problems, which historians deem exaggerated.

“Robert E. Lee was winning battle after battle after battle. And Abraham Lincoln came home, he said, ‘I can’t beat Robert E. Lee,’ ” Trump said. “They said to Lincoln, ‘You can’t use [Grant] anymore, he’s an alcoholic.’ And Lincoln said, ‘I don’t care if he’s an alcoholic, frankly, give me six or seven more just like him.’ He started to win.”

Minutes earlier, Trump had hailed African American unemployment numbers and asked black voters to “honor us” by voting Republican in November. “Get away from the Democrats,” he told them. “Think of it: We have the best numbers in history. … I think we’re going to get the African American vote, and it’s true.” He also celebrated hip-hop artist Kanye West’s visit to the Oval Office on Thursday, adding: “What he did was pretty amazing.”

Trump’s speech threatened to reignite a highly divisive debate over America’s racial history with just weeks to go until the midterms. Trump has previously defended statues commemorating Confederate leaders, tweeting last year: “Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments.” Critics say such statues glorify historic advocates of slavery.

Grant was not the only Ohio-native whom Trump deployed as a foil in his interventions on a series of sensitive cultural issues. He also referenced astronaut Neil Armstrong, telling crowds: “He’s the man that planted the flag on the face of the moon. . . . There was no kneeling, there was no nothing, there was no games, boom” in a reference to NFL athletes kneeling in protest during the national anthem.

Trump was in Lebanon to boost the campaign of Rep. Steve Chabot, the incumbent whose 1st Congressional District encompasses the county and who had distanced himself from the president ahead of the event. “We didn’t ask him to come. . . . He wasn’t my first choice or my second or my third,” he told one newspaper, apparently fearful Trump’s rhetoric could prove costly in the competitive race. On the night, however, Chabot appeared content to revel in the president’s support. “God bless the president. And, I never thought I’d say this, but God Bless Kanye West,” he said.

Standing before a super-sized American flag suspended between two diggers, the president listed his achievements whilst redoubling his attacks on his traditional opponents in a rally that exceeded an hour in length. He described Democrats as “the party of the mob” and said of the media: “We’ve learned how to live with them. We don’t like it, but we’ve learned.”

Supporters gleefully chanted “Trump! Trump! Trump!” and “Ka-va-naugh! Ka-va-naugh!” during the event, while booing in reference to the media and Democratic politicians whom Trump accused of trying to stymie the Supreme Court nomination of Justice Brett M. Kavaugh.

At the outset of his speech, Trump celebrated the release of American pastor Andrew Brunson from house arrest in Turkey, telling supporters at the rally: “He went through a lot, but he’s on his way back” — but sidestepping the suspected killing of a Saudi journalist amid growing pressure on the White House to address the diplomatic crisis.

“I’m really proud to report that earlier today we secured the release of Pastor Andrew Brunson from Turkey,” he declared to a rapturous applause in Ohio as a plane transporting the evangelical leader from Istanbul landed in Germany. “I think he’s going to be in great shape. . . . We bring a lot of people back, and that’s good.”

He earlier told reporters in Cincinnati that there had been “no deal” to secure the pastor’s release. The president had been less vocal on the suspected murder of U.S. resident and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, although he said he would raise it with his Saudi counterpart King Salman. “I will be calling at some point,” he added, before pivoting to the threat posed by Iran.

Trump also praised GOP gubernatorial candidate Attorney General Mike DeWine, who is seeking to replace the term-bound Trump-critic Gov. John Kasich. He faces Democrat Richard Cordray, an Obama administration official who served as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. “He was hurting people and I think he enjoyed it,” said Trump of Cowdray’s time in office. “No really, I think he enjoyed it.”

The rally took place in Warren Country, a GOP fortress where Trump more than doubled Hillary Clinton’s tally in the 2016 election and that has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate in over half a century.

It marked Trump’s fifth visit as candidate or president to greater Cincinnati, a city that has a spot in Trump lore as the place where he spent high school summers working for his father’s business. The “Art of The Deal” includes a chapter, “The Cincinnati Kid,” in which Trump claims credit for spotting investment opportunities in the city. “I love it,” he later said. “I worked here, I was here, I lived here.”

Email This Page your social media marketing partner
Last Updated on Saturday, 13 October 2018 08:53


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

-2 # margpark 2018-10-13 14:56
Gee, I said something nice about Gen. Lee on Facebook and was vilified in further comments. Then too when I favored removing Confederate statues from the city park, again I was vilified by further comments. Seems one has to pick a side and stick to it these days.
0 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-10-14 07:53
"the Southern leader, whose support of slavery has made his legacy a heavily contested and divisive issue."

This is not true. Lee did not support slavery. He did not own any slaves. His wife's family did. He was against slavery in the long term; that is, he knew it was a dying institution and did not support it.

This is a typical WashPo article. Karl Kraus way back in the 1920s understood this sort of journalism:

"The making of a journalist: no ideas and the ability to express them.” – Karl Kraus, Half-Truths & One-and-a-Half Truths

I doubt that Trump offended any African Americans with his remarks about Lee and Lincoln. African Americans know the real enemy is in local police departments, the FBI, and the whole of contemporary America that is rigged against them. Lee is long gone.

I don't think any African American should vote for a republican. But I feel the same way about their voting for democrats as well. Jill Stein's 2016 running mate Ajamu Baraka has written excellent articles on this. Or look at Glen Ford at blackagendarepo
0 # Cowboy 45 2018-10-14 08:12
Black people are starting to look at Trump. Turns out black people care about the same things as white people. They want a safe place to raise their families and a good economy so they can prosper. Democrats worst nightmare.