Donald Trump Doesn't Care About Black People, Americans Believe: Poll

In what remains an infamous video clip more than a decade after it happened, Kanye West, in the midst of a televised fundraiser following 2005's devastating Hurricane Katrina, went off script (stunning his screen mate, Mike Myers) and proclaimed that then-President George Bush "doesn't care about black people." Now, as the effects of Hurricane Harvey come into full view in the Gulf, many Americans apparently think the same about the current president.

A new poll this week from The Economist/YouGov posed the question "How much do you think Donald Trump cares about the needs and problems of black people?" A majority of respondents—57 percent—said either "not at all" (38 percent) or "not much" (19 percent). Twenty-four percent said they believed Trump cared "some," while just 19 percent felt he cared "a lot." 

Among black respondents, 61 percent thought Trump cared "not at all," while 14 percent thought he cared "not much." Pretty much the only people who thought Trump cared about black people were those who voted for the former reality-TV star. Eighty-eight percent of Trump voters thought he either cared "a lot" or "some" about black people's issues and needs. Just 1 percent of Hillary Clinton voters thought he cared "a lot," while 95 percent thought he cared "not much" or "not at all." 

The poll found that Americans weren't sure the president cared about Hispanic people either. Forty-two percent thought Trump cared "not at all" about their needs and problems, while 19 percent thought "not much." Among Hispanic respondents, a majority—54 percent—felt the president didn't care at all.

While the poll showed Americans think Trump doesn't care about large swaths of the U.S. population, respondents largely agree that he does care about white people. Forty-two percent thought he cared "a lot" about white people's needs and issues, while 37 percent thought he cared some (that's 79 percent total). 

It's worth noting that Trump recently came under fire for seemingly defending white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, by saying there were "very fine people on both sides" (among the marchers and counterprotesters). This came even after the right-wing marchers chanted Nazi slogans and a woman was killed after a reported white supremacist rammed a group of counterprotesters with a car. 

Trump has said "racism is evil" but has regularly been accused of racism dating back to his real estate days—he was, for instance, sued twice by the Justice Department for not renting to black people. The president drew additional ire for his recent pardoning of Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of racially profiling and was a brother-in-birtherism-arms with Trump.

The Economist/YouGov poll interviewed 1,500 U.S. adults from August 27 through 29. It had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

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