Trump and Biden fight for Black voters: Where they stand on race

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With Election Day just days away, both President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden are making their final pitches to Black voters, including presenting competing plans to invest in Black communities.

Throughout the race, Trump has harped on the record-low Black unemployment seen before the coronavirus pandemic, while Biden chose Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., as his running mate, making her the first Black and Indian American woman on a major-party presidential ticket.

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But their responses to the death of George Floyd in May and the unrest that followed set them apart — Biden denounced systemic racism, while Trump called Floyd’s death a “very, very sad” situation but quickly pivoted to hammering a “law and order” message in the wake of riots across the country.

Biden held an 81-point lead over Trump among Black voters, according to Pew Research data posted on Oct. 9. However, data analysis released by The New York Times on Wednesday showed that the so-called racial gap among voters has shrunk since 2016 as Trump has picked up support from both Black and Latino voters. New York Times/Siena College polling also found that nonwhite voters were split on whether “law and order” or the coronavirus pandemic were more important to their vote.

Participants at voting parades on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Orlando, Fla.  (Octavio Jones/AP Images for #walkthevote)

Participants at voting parades on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Orlando, Fla.  (Octavio Jones/AP Images for #walkthevote)

Biden’s Plan for Black America focuses on economics, education and justice reform. His plan includes “ensuring equal access to credit and capital” for Black entrepreneurs and improving teacher diversity in public education.

Biden would also eliminate cash bail, end the federal government’s use of private prisons, encourage states to restore voting rights for felons and implement a $20 billion grant program “to support criminal justice reform at the state and local level.”

“Tackling systemic racism and fighting for civil rights has been a driving force throughout Biden’s career in public service,” his campaign states on the plan’s webpage. “He has a record of fighting for and delivering for the African American community. As a U.S. Senator he co-sponsored the Civil Rights Act of 1990 to protect against employment discrimination and led multiple reauthorizations of the Voting Rights Act, protecting African Americans’ right to vote.”

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Meanwhile, rapper Ice Cube has praised the Trump camp for taking interest in his “Contract with Black America” proposal before the election. Ice Cube defended himself against social media attacks for working with Trump on his “Platinum Plan” for Black Americans, telling “Fox News Sunday” in October that he is “not playing politics with this.”

“I’m willing to meet with anybody who could bring this to life and make it a reality,” he told host Chris Wallace.

Earlier this month, the rapper praised the president’s Platinum Plan to invest $500 billion in Black communities. In the video, Ice Cube said that Democrats “got every Black celebrity” on “their team,” so “they just figured tell Cube to shut the f— up and vote.”

Trump’s proposed Platinum Plan would include creating 3 million new jobs in the Black community over the next four years, increasing access to capital by nearly $500 billion and strengthening Trump’s immigration policies to protect American jobs, according to his website.

Separately, Trump signed a bill in 2019 to provide over $250 million in annual funding for historically Black colleges and universities after Congress had failed to renew it a few months earlier.

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But Trump has had to fight against accusations that he has failed to take a stand against White supremacy. In late October, the Trump campaign released a video compiling more than three dozen times Trump has denounced White supremacy as Biden and Harris continued to claim on the campaign trail that he has failed to do so.

Fox News’ Talia Kaplan, Andrew O’Reilly, David Aaro and Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

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