(In These Times) -- In Donald Trump’s worldview, black Americans live in “war zones” characterized by poverty, failing schools, no home ownership, no jobs and high crime. “You walk down the street, you get shot,” he says. Trump punctuates this tale of an immiserated black community with another perversion—that black people are suffering because they live in cities that are governed by Democrats.
This popular and self-serving conservative theme casts cities as wholly autonomous entities immune from outside forces such as state and federal policy. Frustratingly, it is one that Democrats and journalists have done little to counter. In an August 26 exchange with Republican National Committee communications director, Sean Spicer, MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle let stand Spicer’s claim that Chicago has suffered from “at least 50 years” of Democratic rule, and that Democrats have presided over the pervasive violence that afflicts Chicago’s urban communities.
Without glossing over the real failures of Democratic mayors, whose political machines have over the past three decades embraced neoliberalism and facilitated corporate capture of city politics to the detriment of working class communities, Ruhle might have asked Spicer:
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