Are gold high tops key to Trump win? No. They show how badly out of touch he is. | Opinion

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Did you see the shoes that apparently are the key to a second term for Donald Trump?

The “Never Surrender” gold high top sneakers debuted at Sneaker Con in Philadelphia earlier this month, sporting an American flag detail on the back with a bold “T” on the side. The limited edition sold out at $400 a pair.

Conservative commentators said the shoes show Trump's uncanny ability to connect with people and surely will win him Black votes. On Fox News, Raymond Arroyo told viewers he loves the sneakers and even suggested Blacks have such an attachment to athletic shoes it could cause some to jump parties.

“As you see Black support eroding from Joe Biden," Arroyo said. "This is (the shoes) connecting with Black America. Because they're into sneakers, they love sneakers. This is a big deal. Certainly, in the inner city."

Arroyo continued, “The culture always trumps politics. And Trump understands culture like no politician I’ve ever seen.”

I have a few questions for Arroyo:

Who did he talk to in the “inner city”?

Who told him Trump’s shoes are resonating with the Black community?

I’m not a sneakerhead, but I know a lot about shoes, and in my honest opinion, if anyone in my neighborhood hooped in these at Washington Park, they would get hit with a “What are those?” While I don’t speak for all Black Americans, I talked to my friends, and they labeled the shoes “trash.”

If conservatives believe Blacks are so simplistic that shiny sneakers will sway them to vote, it shows you how out of touch they continue to be with the community. Comments made by Trump over the weekend further illustrate why.

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Trump usually believes he’s the most intelligent person in the room, and he even said he understands Black culture unlike no other politician. Based on comments at the Black Conservative Federation Gala in Columbia, S.C., I would say he has much more to learn.

Trump suggested Black voters support him because of his 91 criminal indictments related to his attempts to overturn the 2020 election, allegations he mishandled classified documents and made payments to a porn actress.

“I got indicted for nothing, for something that is nothing,” Trump told the crowd. “And a lot of people said that’s why the Black people like me, because they have been hurt so badly and discriminated against, and they viewed me as I’m being discriminated against.”

Trump compared his legal battles to the injustices African Americans have suffered in the legal system for centuries. He even suggested that Black voters would choose him over former president Barack Obama.

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He also called President Joe Biden a racist while saying he’s spent his entire life working “hand-in-hand” with Blacks to create jobs, build buildings, and invest in our communities.

I’ve built a lot of buildings, and I want to tell you a Black worker is a great worker; you’ve done an incredible job," Trump said. "They’ve done an incredible job, talented, great people. And that goes for others, too – Hispanic is incredible.”

Now, I know some of you will say Trump is just giving Blacks and Hispanics a compliment. You may also say Trump can’t be racist because he is considering U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina, who is Black, to be his running mate.

If Trump’s not a racist, can we acknowledge that he’s severely out of touch, much like anyone who believes his shoes will resonate among Blacks in the inner city? This isn’t just an indictment on Trump. The remaining candidates running for president are also flawed when it comes to referencing the Black American experience.

In January, Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley claimed the “U.S. has never been a racist country.” The history books say otherwise. Does slavery ring any bells? Biden has stumbled at times, as well. In an interview with Charlamagne tha God on “The Breakfast Club” in 2020, Biden said, “Well, I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t Black.”

Gold Trump sneakers sit on the podium after Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump spoke at Sneaker Con Philadelphia, an event popular among sneaker collectors, and announces a gold Trump sneaker, in Philadelphia, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024.
Gold Trump sneakers sit on the podium after Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump spoke at Sneaker Con Philadelphia, an event popular among sneaker collectors, and announces a gold Trump sneaker, in Philadelphia, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024.

Trump and most conservatives don’t understand Black values

When Trump appeared at the sneaker convention, he was met with a mixture of boos and cheers. Not surprisingly, you can find sneakers on a website where you can also buy a $99 bottle of Trump cologne called “Victory47,” signifying the fact that if he’s re-elected, he will be the 47th president.

Trump is a salesman. He’s placed his name on vodka, steaks, energy drinks, suits, ties, cufflinks, and even gold bullion chocolate bars. The sneakers are the latest in a series of things he hopes to profit from.

Any controversy over sneakers, comments or indictments hasn't slowed Trump’s momentum. On Saturday, he easily defeated Haley in South Carolina’s Republican primary. I have no problem with the “Never Surrender” sneakers. I wouldn’t wear them, but I wouldn’t wear a “Make America Great Again” hat, either.

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My problem with the Trump sneaker and the love Trump believes Blacks are giving him because of the indictments proves that he and other conservatives don’t understand African Americans' values at all.

No, a shiny shoe is not more important than your policies and how they impact people of color. And no, 91 indictments don’t make most Blacks love you. Your mugshot doesn’t make you one of us, either.

Most of us are upset at the hypocrisy. If Trump was Black, he would be in prison and not running for president again.

Email James Causey at; follow him at X@jecausey.

This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Conservative pundits say Trump's sneakers winning over Black voters