To say that Donald Trump enjoys wide support among black voters, even those in his own party, would be an overstatement of truly Trumpian proportions. An estimated 18 black delegates attended the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this year—less than one percent of all RNC delegates, and only a third of the number who turned out to support Mitt Romney in 2012. Even among wealthy white scions, it seems, Trump has a race problem.
The black delegates who showed up at the convention are acutely aware of their isolation, from both their own communities and their fellow Republicans. “I’m a unicorn,” laughs Henry Childs II, head of the Texas Federation of African American Republicans. Supporting the GOP, he says, has made him “the most hated man in America”—unappreciated by Republicans and held in suspicion by Democrats.
So why do it? What drives these men and women to back a candidate who delights in playing the racial provocateur, who has campaigned with a rollicking mix of barking xenophobia and unabashed nativism surpassed only by George Wallace?
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