Trump to Make Appeal to Black Voters, Who Largely Oppose Him

President Donald Trump will make an appeal Friday to Black voters to help re-elect him in November, promising them money to expand small businesses and further criminal sentencing reductions.

Trump will deliver a speech outlining policies he argues have helped the Black community in Atlanta, a symbol of Black prosperity that is home to scores of African American-owned businesses and entrepreneurs. He plans to outline a policy the White House calls the “Platinum Plan” to increase Black employment and give Black-owned businesses access to $500 billion in capital, according to people familiar with the proposal.

The people asked not to be identified discussing the plan before Trump announces it.

His plan also calls for the government to encourage greater “activity” in Opportunity Zones, a program created by the 2017 tax law Trump signed, according to a memo obtained by Bloomberg News. Under the law, investors can reap substantial tax benefits by investing in areas states designate as low-income.

But the program has drawn criticism for sending investment toward neighborhoods that were already developing and for encouraging gentrification, displacing Black residents who are supposed to benefit.

Trump will also promise further action to overhaul criminal sentencing, along the lines of a law he signed in 2018 to reduce federal sentences for some non-violent offenses.

The president will make his pitch to Black voters with the nation still convulsed by unrest over police shootings of Black people. Fresh protests erupted this week after a Kentucky grand jury chose not to file murder charges Wednesday against any of the police officers involved in the fatal shooting of a Louisville woman, Breonna Taylor.

Two police officers were shot Thursday during protests in Louisville.

Trump has placed himself at the center of the protests, castigating demonstrators as rioters and looters and siding with police. He has threatened to turn the military on people protesting police brutality and sent federal agents to break up demonstrations in Portland, Oregon, over the summer against the wishes of local and state leaders.

In a poll in January, the Washington Post found that about 83% of Black Americans consider Trump racist and think he’s exacerbated U.S. racial tensions. A Quinnipiac University poll this week found that the same percentage of likely Black voters support Joe Biden for president, while just 10% support Trump.

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