Donald Trump Thanks African-Americans Who 'Didn't Come Out to Vote' During Pennsylvania Rally

Trump said that African-Americans were "smart" to stay home on Election Day.

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Complex Original

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Donald Trump continued his Thank You Tour on Thursday with a visit to Hershey, Pennsylvania. At the rally, he did a number of Trump-like things: denied ties to Russia, criticized the media, recounted (in detail) how he won the election, and lied about crime statistics. Most notable, though, was a moment where he directed the largely white crowd to applaud African-Americans who "didn't come out to vote."

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"That was the big thing, so thank you to the African-American community," Trump said, according to the Chicago Tribune. 

Trump's statement does not exist in a vacuum. There has been a rise in hate crimes since the election, and Trump's senior strategist Steve Bannon is very popular among white nationalists. The president-elect himself was endorsed by the KKK during the campaign.

In the 2016 election, according to the Pew Research Center, Hillary Clinton won African-American voters by an 80% margin (88% to 8%), as compared to Obama's 87% edge in 2012 and his whopping 91% edge in 2008. However, the gutting of the Voting Rights Act led to a number of new state restrictions on voting in this election. A whopping fourteen states added new laws restricting peoples' ability to vote, laws that had a disproportionate impact on minorities. In the key state of Wisconsin, authorities confirmed that the new laws had lowered turnout.

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