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Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson defended President Trump against accusations of racism at the Republican National Convention on Thursday.

Why it matters: Carson, the only Black member of Trump's Cabinet, has become a loyal ally and defender of the president since running against him in the 2016 Republican primary.

The big picture: Joe Biden accused Trump in July of being the first racist to be elected to the White House — the first time the Democratic nominee had directly made the attack, per the Washington Post.

  • Biden made the accusation amid a cultural and political reckoning against systematic racism, driven by Black Lives Matter protests against the killing of George Floyd and against police brutality.
  • Several figures in the Trump administration have said that they do not believe systemic racism exists in the U.S., despite historic discrimination against Black Americans in the job market, the housing market and the disproportionate impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on racial minorities.

What he's saying: "President Trump does not dabble in identity politics. He wants everyone to succeed and believes in the adage, 'a rising tide lifts all boats.' Many on the other side love to incite division by claiming that President Trump is a racist. They could not be more wrong."

  • "One of the first things he did as president was bring the Office of Historically Black Colleges and Universities into the White House so that it could get proper attention and financial support. Before the pandemic, African American unemployment was at an all-time low."
  • "President Trump accomplished prison reform. He created incentives to encourage investors to become involved with economically-deprived areas of America."
  • "What is racist is the fact that African Americans have the highest abortion rate. President Trump is the most pro-life President in our country's history. He will continue to fight for those who cannot yet speak."

Of note: Carson began his speech by acknowledging the emotional toll currently faced by the family of Jacob Blake, who was shot several times in the back by police officers while walking to his car, per the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

Go deeper

Kellyanne Conway: It "looks like" Biden, Harris will prevail

Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty

Kellyanne Conway, a former counselor to President Trump, said “it looks like Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will prevail” in an interview with The 19th that aired on Friday.

Why it matters: Trump and his inner circle have so far refused to publicly acknowledge President-elect Biden won the election. Instead, they've attempted to paint the election process as fraudulent, despite states' certification of Biden's win and a lack of evidence supporting their claims.

Civil rights leaders plan a day of voting rights marches

Martin Luther King III and Rev. Al Sharpton. Photo: Cheriss May/Getty Images

Civil rights leaders from Washington to Phoenix are planning marches on Aug. 28 to push Congress to pass new protections around voting rights.

Why it matters: A landmark voting rights proposal remains stalled in the U.S. Senate, as Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and other moderates block efforts at filibuster reforms to advance a bill held up by Republicans.

Latinos twice as likely as white people to die from gunfire

Expand chart
Data: Violence Policy Center; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Nearly 3,000 Latinos each year have died from gunfire in the United States over the last two decades, making them twice as likely to be shot to death than white non-Hispanics, according to a study from the Violence Policy Center.

By the numbers: Almost 70,000 Latinos were killed with firearms between 1999 and 2019, 66% of them in homicides, according to the center’s data analysis.

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