Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Photograph by Scott Olson — Getty Images
By Madeline Farber
August 20, 2016

Donald Trump is facing backlash after his attempt to win over black voters during a campaign rally Friday near Lansing, Michigan.

During the rally—which was held in a predominately white suburb— Trump asked what black voters have to lose by voting for him.

“Look how much African-American communities have suffered under Democratic control,” Trump said. “To those I say the following: What do you have to lose?”

He continued: “You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good. You have no jobs—58% of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?”

Only shortly after his speech, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton responded with a tweet, saying, “This is so ignorant it’s staggering.”

Pew Research Data from early July showed that Hillary Clinton is leading among black voters, with 59% of them expressing levels of strong support for her.

Trump’s most recent comments only add to his history as an incendiary on matters of race and ethnicity, leading some to ask if Trump is a racist.

The backlash also comes after the Republican nominee announced Theresa “Omarosa” Manigault, a former contestant on Trump’s reality-TV show The Apprentice, as director of African-American Outreach for the his campaign in July. Naming her director was a part of Trump’s strategy to win over the African American community in the U.S., especially after recent polls showed he had 0% approval among black voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania— key states for the Republican nominee. In the same month Manigault was hired, Trump was invited to speak at the NAACP annual convention, but declined.

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