Trump has 'pulled the scab off' the wound that is US race relations


An American civil rights activist says Donald Trump has ripped the scab off a wound when it comes to racial division in the United States.

American race relations have been thrust back into the spotlight with the killing of several black men by white police. Tensions increased with retaliation for the killings - fatal shootings of police officers across the country.

Reverend Jesse Jackson is a proud democrat who twice ran for president himself in 1984 and 1988. He says the recent events have highlighted a long standing problem.

"We've seen these killings of young black men unarmed, by police on camera, inciting anger and fear. The police who did the killings for the most part walked away, so Black Lives Matter, that comes out of the context of that."

He says that giving people the right to arms is not the answer.

"Then we've seen lately these police assassinated by these high power military weapons well the weapons are legal, police cannot compete with these high power rifles, so we must ban assault weapons and end killing, there's no winner in a killing contest. We must use healing over killing."

Rev Jackson says in some sense the situation is worse now than it ever has been and the Republican presidential nominee is not helping in the slightest.

"He's pulled the scab off of it. The division has been there for a long time, and we got the right to vote in '65, blacks got the right to vote… I'm convinced America's interest is in co-existing not co-annihilating."

"Trump speaks of deporting 15-million people - that's a violent thought. The idea of picking a fight with our Mexican neighbours with whom we share 2000-miles of border - that must stop."

He says the division across the United States does not only stem from a racial rift but also a religious.

"The idea of attacking Muslims, there are more Muslims than there are Americans. They're our partners, our trading partners, they're our friends, and so we must end the kind of violent rhetoric that hurts so many people."

But the Reverend does believe the wound can be healed.

"It is broken but it must be fixed. We must co-exist and not co-annihilate. It can't be guns and jobs and drugs out - that's a lethal combination and we must go another way, and we can."