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Race relations is one issue impacting voters as midterm election nears

Posted at 2:51 PM, Oct 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-30 14:51:55-04

Race relations is one issue impacting voters as they head to the polls for the midterms next week.

A recent poll from the Associated Press found 77 percent of Democrats and about 50 percent of Republicans say they're dissatisfied with race relations.

During a speech this week, President Donald Trump stirred up another controversy.

“They have a word. It sort of became old fashion. It's called a nationalist. And I say, really, we're not supposed to use that word?” President Trump said. “You know what? I am, I'm a nationalist, OK?”

The president says he used the word because he's proud of our country, but some say the word is a signal to white nationalists and points back to the president's comments after the Nazi rally in Charlottesville last year.

“He's allowing white nationalist to feel comforted in those words,” says Andre Perry, with the Brookings Institution. “It's clear he's using a divisive rhetoric to rally his base, and that rhetoric is racist.”

But for the past year, Candace Owens with the conservative, non-profit organization Turning Point USA, has defended Trump.

“No matter what he says, they spin it,” Owens says. “No matter how he says it, they spin it. You saw that with [the] Charlottesville thing. What he said was factually accurate, but they spun it like he was supporting the KKK.”

At the White House, President Trump recently hosted a summit with young black conservatives like Owens.

“Just because somebody thinks differently than you does not make them a racist,” Owens argues. “And when you keep continually calling people racist, what you're actually doing is diminishing the experiences that real people who lived through eras like that actually had.”

“Black Americans on many social issues are very conservative, but until Trump rids himself of the very racists policies, blacks should not find comfort in that administration,” Perry argues.