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Donald Trump on Thursday said the protests in Charlotte, North Carolina, that have followed a police-involved shooting there could be chalked up to a “lack of spirit” between races.
“There’s a lack of spirit between the white and the black. It’s a terrible thing that we’re witnessing,” Trump told “Fox and Friends” during an interview. “There’s a lack of something. Something is going on that’s bad. What’s going on between police and others is getting worse.”
He added: “You have to have law and order. At the same time, you have to have a level of spirit, a level of unity. There’s no unity. You look at the level of hatred, the rocks being thrown.”
Charlotte experienced a second straight night of unrest Wednesday following the killing of Keith Scott, a 43-year-old black man, by the police. Officers say Scott was armed and refused commands to drop a handgun before he was shot, while Scott’s family says he was holding a book, not a weapon.
With less than 50 days before Election Day, Trump has made frequent attempts at reaching out to minority voters. But his poll standing among black voters in many states is extremely low – some surveys in August found him with 0% support among black voters in several states.
The real-estate magnate has attempted to cast himself as sympathetic to the plight of black voters, recently visiting a black church in Detroit and meeting with some black leaders in key battleground states.
But he has raised some eyebrows in the process.
After the Republican presidential nominee claimed earlier this week that black Americans were in the “worst shape they’ve ever been,” critics quickly pointed out that Trump neglected much of the history of mistreatment of African-Americans in the US.