After the presidential election results, Jason L. Riley took a walk around the ‘hoods of Harlem to ask several dozen black residents their thoughts on the election and ensuing protests. “I didn’t come across any Trump voters—or at least any who admitted it—but many told me they had expected Hillary Clinton ’s defeat. No one thought it was the end of the world,” reports Mr. Riley.
Here are a few responses Mr. Riley heard:
- “Hillary wasn’t strong enough. She didn’t fight enough,” said a gentleman leaving a drugstore, who introduced himself as Pace. “People saw her as weak and thought she’d be weak in the White House.”
- “(Hillary) was talking about what she did in other countries as secretary of state. I can understand the situation around the world, but we live here.” Mr. Trump, in contrast, “was talking about the people who live here—the poor, the veterans.”
- “I think things will be different in a good way. (Trump) might surprise us. I don’t think he’s a bad person. It’s just the way he talks. He was real and people like that. I don’t think he’ll do the really crazy things like deporting everybody.”
- “If Trump can go in there and shake things up a little—he ain’t got to complete everything—but shake things up and make things a little better, I’d like that.”
Al Sharpton ’s National Action Network, MoveOn.org, Showing Up for Racial Justice, the Equity Coalition are well-organized groups “supported by people who make a living manufacturing outrage.” Continues Mr. Riley:
But Mr. Trump should understand that some of the minority voters who opposed him are open-minded, even swayable. They are more tolerant than the Democratic partisans and professional protesters would have him believe. The people I spoke with want to see their president succeed, not to deny his legitimacy because their preferred candidate didn’t win.
The residents of Harlem are keeping things in perspective, They are not writing Donald Trump off.