Noted Christian televangelist and prominent black Trump supporter Mark Burns has a message for Hillary Clinton's black supporters, and it's a patently offensive one.
This afternoon, the South Carolina-based pastor made the argument that Clinton was openly pandering to black voters. He drove his point home by attaching a racist caricature of the Democratic nominee in blackface wearing a t-shirt reading "no hot sauce no peace!"
The t-shirt is an uninspired reference to Clinton's recent comments that she (much like Beyoncé) happens to carry a bottle of hot sauce with her. The blackface, on the other hand, is somewhat more complicated to explain.
It's a well established fact that many black voters, particularly those of older generations, have a long and storied history with the Clinton family stretching back to Bill's days in the White House. For many voters, Hillary represents the logical next step in their relationship to the Clintons as political figures, but her nomination carries with it a significant amount of baggage tied to those instances in which the Clintons did not do right by black families.
In recent weeks, the Trump campaign has attempted to spin black voters' understandable skepticism of Clinton's campaign as a reason to support the GOP in what can only be described as a series of tone-deaf, ham-handed grasps from across the aisle. Last week while speaking to a crowd of mostly white people during an Iowa campaign stop, Trump insisted that black and Latino voters had "nothing" to lose in casting their votes for him, ignoring the fact that a number of black and brown people have been attacked for even daring to attend his events.
In many ways, Burns' tweet was a doubling down on that sort of thinking from within the Trump campaign. Rather than confronting the fact that racism and bigotry play important roles in the momentum Trump's been able to maintain, it's easier to trot out a black supporter who can comfortably use racist imagery to deflect attention away from his party's own flaws.