A Black voter asked Trump if he knows how 'tone deaf' his MAGA slogan sounds to the African American community

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  • Carl Day, a pastor, challenged President Donald Trump on his “Make America Great Again” slogan during Tuesday night’s ABC News town hall event. 
  • “Are you aware of how tone deaf that comes off to the African American community?” Day asked him.
  • The president responded by touting his administration’s economic record, saying it benefitted African American communities. 
  • Trump has waged a racially divisive re-election campaign, focussed on stirring fears of anti-racism protests and anti-segragation laws. 
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A Black voter during a town hall event pressed President Donald Trump on his ‘Make America Great Again’ campaign slogan, which he said said was “tone deaf.”

Carl Day, a pastor who leads a group of churches called Culture Changing Christians, challenged Trump at the event hosted by ABC News in Philadelphia.

He said: “When has America been great for African Americans in the ghetto of America? Are you aware of how tone deaf that comes off to the African American community?”

Trump, whom critics say is running the an openly racist re-election campaign, responded that he has “tremendous” support from Black Americans. 

He went on to claim that before the coronavirus pandemic devastated the economy, African Americans were enjoying historic levels of prosperity under his administration. 

“That was probably the highest point, home ownership for the Black community, home ownership, lower crime, the best jobs they’ve ever had, highest income, the best employment numbers they’ve ever had,” Trump replied.

“If you go back and you want to look over many years, you could just go back six or seven months from now, that was the best single moment in the history of the African-American people in this country.”

The president has consistently exaggerated the positive impact of his policies for African Americans during his four years in office.

An Associated Press fact-check in July found that African American unemployment dropped to a historic low of 5.4 % last August, but that this was a continuation of a trend that began during the Obama administration.

On other economic measures, such as income inequality, it found the situation of Black Americans had not improved. 

Trump has focussed his re-election campaign on portraying anti-racism protests that have swept America after the death of George Floyd as the work of left-wing extremists fomenting anarchy.

He has also stirred fears of anti-segragation legislation leading to “low-income” households invading mostly white suburbs.

In his new White House exposé, called “Rage,” Bob Woodward writes that when he asked Trump whether he had  a responsibility to “understand the anger and pain” felt by Black Americans the president responded with incredulity, telling Woodward “you really drank the Kool-Aid, didn’t you?” 

On Tuesday, Day pressed the president on the issue, and said that under successive presidential administrations, the situation of Black Americans had not significantly improved. 

“We need to see when was that great, because that pushes us back to a time in which we cannot identify with such greatness. And I mean you’ve said everything else about choking and everything else, but you have yet to address and acknowledge that there’s been a race problem in America,” he continued, in a seeming reference to Trump’s condemnation of the police officers who killed George Floyd in Minneapolis. 

Trump replied: “Well, I hope there’s not a race problem. I can tell you, there’s none with me, because I have great respect for all races, for everybody, this country is great because of it.”

He repeated his claims about his about his administration’s economic record, and said that his administration’s policies had been on track to reduce income inequality before the pandemic.