Race and racism in the 2016 campaign

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A supporter confronts a protestor outside of a rally for Donald Trump at in Akron, Ohio on August 22, 2016.

By Nia-Malika Henderson, Senior Political Reporter

Washington (CNN) — Donald Trump called Hillary Clinton a bigot.

Clinton argued that Trump was normalizing white nationalism.

Trump, speaking to a nearly all-white audience, painted African-Americans with a stereotypically broad brush as “living in poverty.”

Then there was a cartoon version of Clinton in blackface and David Duke embraced Trump, who later disavowed him.

And that’s just this month.

Clinton: Trump campaign built of prejudice, paranoia

Race and racism have always coursed through American politics. But racial issues aren’t just sparking the occasional flashpoint this campaign cycle — they are a constant and troubling feature of the contest. The developments over the past month underscore the steady stream of divisive language, racially charged imagery and flat-out racist statements permeating this election season.

All this comes as Trump tries to enhance his image among minority voters, particularly African-Americans and Latinos. The Republican nominee will head to Mexico Wednesday to meet with the president of that country ahead of a major immigration speech in Arizona. He will be in Detroit this weekend to speak at a black church.

“Tonight I am asking for the vote of every African-American and Hispanic citizen in this country who wants to see a better future, who wants to see real, positive change,” Trump said late Tuesday during a speech in Everett, Washington.

But he faces an uphill climb — to say the least. Trump’s rhetoric around race, ethnicity and nationality have depressed his numbers among every demographic — he is underperforming past Republican presidential candidates in nearly every voting bloc.

Read further and watch a video in CNN

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