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Trump's Bold Moves in Deep Dem Territory

Updated: May 25

Biden bleeding Black and Hispanic voters

Trump is executing a series of campaign masterstrokes — despite politically-motivated lawsuits designed to hamstring him.

Tomorrow, May 23, Trump is set to make a historic visit to the South Bronx, for decades a no-go zone for GOP presidential candidates and an area ravaged by Democrat leadership for just as long.

"I lived right here in the South Bronx for 15 years right in the projects. This is the poorest most depressing most unemployment most high crime rate area within the five boroughs of New York City." — Black Patriot for Trump

This is Trump's first rally in New York state since 2016. In the 2020 election, Biden secured 76% of the city's vote and 61% of the vote statewide.

This is also the first time a Republican presidential candidate has campaigned in the area since 1980, when Ronald Reagan paid a visit to the South Bronx. Stunned by the borough's devastation, he declared he had not seen anything like it since "London after the Blitz."

In the 1980 election, the Gipper won the state with 47% of the vote to Jimmy Carter's 43%. He went on to win the 1984 election by wider margins.

Poorest District in the US

The Bronx contains the highest rate of poverty in New York City, and the greater South Bronx, included in New York's 15th congressional district, is its poorest area.

From the late 1960s-1980, the area struggled with a surge of violent crime — murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault and arson. Over 40% of the South Bronx was burned or abandoned between 1970 and 1980.

After 1980, parts of the South Bronx experienced an urban renewal, marked by rehabilitated or new family homes and apartments for the working class.

Now, housing prices are out of reach for many people, and the cost of food is becoming prohibitive.

Black Lives MAGA

Trump is responding to the growing enthusiasm for him and the disillusionment with the Democratic party in Black, Latino and so-called other minority communities.

Last Saturday, a group known as "Black Patriots for Trump" held a high-profile rally in the South Bronx, where a number of leaders spoke to the assembled crowd and roused them to attend the May 23 rally.

Madeline Brame, a Blexit leader dedicated to promoting patriotism in Black American communities, announced she will be voting for Trump in November,

She urged others — especially those afraid of reprisals — to do the same:

"We need to come out of the closet. There's Patriots that are listening to the sound of my voice behind those windows that are afraid to come out of the closet. You need to come out of the closet and let yourself be known and let yourself be heard."

"[Trump] is offering a hand up and not a handout" and will "actually bring employment opportunities to this community," she said. "[H]e will fix dilapidated housing and failing schools. He will create jobs. He will give people pathways out of poverty up on their own feet to be independent."

"Donald Trump would end their welfare. We don't want welfare. We want jobs. We want fair housing," she said, poking at a local Dem leader who posted that Trump "is on a mission to dismantle the social safety net on which Bronx families depend."

"We want better schools so our children won't be accused of not being able to know what a computer is" — a dig at the state's Democratic governor, Kathy Hochul, who sparked criticism recently with her remark that "Black kids growing up in the Bronx … don't even know what the word computer is."

Another anti-Dem speaker, Derrick Gibson, thundered to the crowd: "The Democrat Party's set up to trap the black man, to take the black man out of the home because the home is the foundation."

"If [Trump] can make time to go to the Bronx, then you have no excuses to go to the Bronx!" challenged Lou Valentino, another speaker.

Attendees carried signs reading "Trump 2024" and "Black Lives MAGA" while shouting, "We love Trump!"

In preparation for the May 23 grassroots rally, Rev. Ruben Diaz, Sr. has been leading parades up and down the old streets of the South Bronx, carrying, along with other Trump supporters, a street-wide, horizontal red, white and blue banner reading: "The South Bronx for Donald Trump."

Diaz is a Pentecostal minister and former State Senator who leads what he calls an "army of Black and Hispanic Evangelicals" in the South Bronx.

"We are here to tell the people that we are with Trump!"

We are not here in preparation just "to see Trump," he says. "We are here to tell the people that we are with Trump! God Bless you all."

Other Incursions Into 'Dem' territory

Days ago, a record-breaking crowd of 100,000 gathered in deep-blue New Jersey to greet the 45th president — on course, many believe, to be the 47th. Representative Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ) described the massive gathering on the beach in Wildwood as "the largest political gathering in state history."

In April after day two of the so-called hush money trial, Trump made an impromptu visit to the bodega in Harlem, New York City, where a clerk was hit with a murder charge for stabbing an attacker in self-defense. (The clerk, who eventually had charges against him dropped after community uproar, went back to live in his native Dominican Republic.)

The former president met with the current bodega workers to discuss how rising crime is impacting their business and vowed to bring resources to combat crime if he wins in November.

People outside the bodega cheered Trump, shouted his name and chanted "Four more years!"

GOP Kudos

Many are cheering Trump's visit to people and places previously neglected or left off the roster of official campaign stops.

Vivek Ramaswamy, former 2024 presidential candidate, told Fox News that Trump's moves reroute enthusiasm in the GOP's direction.

His going to the South Bronx is "fantastic," Ramaswamy said. He's "not putting on theatrics like Joe Biden is doing," but is doing it "authentically, speaking to the voters."

"Reagan's visit to the South Bronx in 1980 made a big difference then. I think we can have a 1980 and 1984 outcome this year," he predicted.

Thursday's South Bronx Rally

The May 23 rally will be held at 6 p.m. in Crotona Park — a green space remembered as a respite for residents in a once-safer and kinder South Bronx. The setting has an estimated capacity for 3,500 people, according to Trump's campaign staff. Many are expecting an overflow crowd.

Right Side Broadcasting Network will cover the rally, calling it an "historic visit," beginning at 6 p.m. (ET.)

Dr. Barbara Toth has a doctorate in rhetoric and composition from Bowling Green State University. She has taught at universities in the US, China and Saudi Arabia. Her work in setting up a writing center at Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahmen University, an all-women's university in Riyadh, has been cited in American journals. Toth has published academic and non-academic articles and poems internationally.

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