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Trump Hypes The Lie Of African American Republican Support

Phil Garber
10 min readFeb 26, 2024

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While the nation is celebrating Black History Month, trump was claiming that his popularity among African Americans is on the rise, a specious claim at best given trump’s longtime, jaw-dropping racism that is only surpassed by his spleen-rupturing audacity.

The claim is quite absurd, in light of trump’s racist history, from refusing to rent his buildings to African Americans, to his call for the execution of five young African Americans for a rape they did not commit to his relentless lies about President Barack Obama’s heritage. And the list goes on and on.

Trump is facing a total of 91 criminal charges across four indictments, and more than a half-dozen civil lawsuits. Stay tuned for how he thinks his crimes will help reelect him.

In 2020, trump won 12 percent of Black voters’ ballots, an increase from 8 percent in 2016. If trump is to win in November, he must win over more Black voters. But if the number of African American speakers at the recent, annual wacko Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is a sign, then trump’s support is hovering around microscopic. Out of 101 speakers, led by trump, there were a grand total of five African Americans who were invited to take the podium.

Other speakers, all white, included such far right, sworn trumpers like Lara Trump, Kari Lake, Steve Bannon, Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., Mike “My Pillow Guy” Lindell and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.

Trump’s latest harangues are warn out racist dog whistles. He has claimed that his multiple indictments on criminal and civil charges have won him support among African Americans who he claims feel as trump does that justice system is corrupt.

Trump uses the same distorted logic to infer why African Americans wear his T-shirts emblazoned with a copy of the trump mug shot after he was indicted. Marketing gaudy, high top, MAGA sneakers being sold at rip off prices is another dog whistle about the sneaker-wearing African American community.

In addition to the CPAC trumpfest, trump spoke at a conservative Black campaign event on the eve of the South Carolina presidential primary. He told the gathering that he had been “indicted for nothing, for something that is nothing. 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 actually viewed me as I’m being discriminated against. It’s been pretty amazing but possibly, maybe, there’s something there.”

Trump also referenced his mug shot taken in August 2023 when he surrendered to authorities after being indicted on state racketeering charges.

“When I did the mug shot in Atlanta, that mug shot is №1,” trump said. “You know who embraced it more than anyone else? The Black population.”

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C. and Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., have been mentioned as potential running mates for trump. Both spoke at the CPAC gathering.

Donalds is serving in his first term in Congress. He is a member of the far right Freedom Caucus and has repeatedly claimed that Joe Biden is not the legitimate president.

After trump lost the 2020 presidential election, Republicans around the nation and in Florida voted for sweeping changes to voting laws, using trump’s false claims of voter fraud as the justification. Several voting rights groups have sued Florida, claiming that the new measures disenfranchise voters in the name of appeasing the former president.

Donalds, who was newly elected at the time, said that Florida’s new voting law would inspire renewed confidence in the election process. He also said that trump has not undermined confidence in the democratic electoral process.

“I think if you look at what the president has talked about, the president has talked about wanting to make sure that the elections are secure. That’s what he’s talked about more than anything else,” Donalds said.

During his congressional campaign, Donalds described himself as a “Trump supporting, gun owning, liberty loving, pro-life, politically incorrect Black man.”

Scott, who endorsed trump for reelection, is the only Black Republican U.S. Senator. Last week he announced he was suspending his campaign for the Republican nomination for president. Among his more shameful moments, Scott has insisted that “America is not a racist country.” Scott was the only Black Senator to vote to acquit trump during his second impeachment, a process that Scott called, “the closest thing to a political death row trial.”

Scott said the nation needs “a president like Donald Trump. We need a president who understands the American people are sick and tired of being sick and tired. We need a president our foreign adversaries are afraid of and our allies respect.”

Another African American CPAC speaker was North Carolina Lieutenant Gov. Mark Robinson, who has trump’s backing in his race for North Carolina governor. Robinson has promoted conspiracy theories, including Holocaust denial and has often made inflammatory anti-LGBT, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic statements. He has denied that humans effect climate change and wants to remove science and social studies from first- through fifth-grade curriculum, abolish the State Board of Education, and expand charter schools and school voucher programs, potentially supplanting the public-school system.

Robinson has said transgender people should be arrested for using a bathroom not identified with their birth sex and that transgender people should “find a corner outside somewhere” if they need to use a public restroom.

Caleb Hanna, a West Virginia House Delegate, was another of the select African Americans speaking at the CPAC get together. Hanna, one of the party’s youngest black legislators in the country, grew up in a white family as he was adopted as a child. Hanna had joined a Virginia group that sought to divert money from the state’s surplus to help trump build a wall along the nation’s southern border. Hanna has resigned from state office as he campaigns for election as state auditor, with trump’s backing.

In addition to his CPAC speech, trump was the keynote speaker at the Black Conservative Federation gala held in Columbia, S.C., on the day before the state’s GOP primary between trump and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

Trump told the crowd that his legal woes have earned him the support of Black voters around the country.

The former president added that Black Americans also “embraced” his mug shot and that he knows Black people because they built his buildings.

Publicity around the event noted, “This year’s Gala, themed ‘Restoring the American Dream,’ promises to be an event to remember. With a lineup of incredible speakers and honorees, including The Honorable President Donald J. Trump, this is an opportunity you won’t want to miss. Get your tickets now!”

Diante Johnson, the founder and president of the Conservative Federation, said the Republican Party provides the Black community with “access to the American dream.”

Johnson formerly served on the unsuccessful, 2016 presidential campaign of Dr. Ben Carson. Carson dropped out of the race and trump later named him secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as one of the few African Americans in the trump administration. According to an analysis from The New York Times, Trump’s Cabinet contained more white men than that of the last six presidents.

During his tenure as HUD secretary, Carson was criticized for spending up to $31,000 on a dining set in his office in late 2017. Carson also spoke at the CPAC session.

A native of Chicago, Ill., Johnson worked on a number of state and local campaigns, most recently serving as North Carolina’s Regional Field Director with the Donald J. Trump for President campaign. In October 2019 , Diante joined the 2020 Trump Campaign as a Black Voices for Trump Advisory Board member.

Johnson has been interviewed on right wing outlets, including Fox News, OANN, Newsmax, and op-eds in the Washington Examiner and the Daily Caller. He has been recognized as Newsmax and Red Alert Politics’ Most Influential “30 Under 30.”

In a recent Fox interview, Johnson said trump did a better job for the Black community than Biden, citing his efforts to fund historically Black colleges and his work to deliver criminal justice reform. Johnson said he opposes “what he believes are overall empty promises from Democrats.”

“Democrats aren’t doing themselves too much justice because they spent an entire campaign making promises to the Black community. They did the pandering and they [the Democratic Party] selected the vice president, one of the main reasons being that she was a Black woman,” Johnson said.

Another board member of the Conservative Federation is Corrin Rankin. She is also director of African Americans for Trump and was an advisory board member for the Black Voices for Trump Coalition, the official African American outreach effort of the Trump 2020 Campaign.

In August 2023, Harrison Floyd, the executive director of Black Voices for Trump, was charged with three felonies as part of the prosecution of trump over alleged voter fraud in Georgia. Floyd turned himself in and was detained because Judge Emily Richardson deemed him a flight risk because of a pending misdemeanor charge in Maryland alleging that he assaulted an FBI agent.

Another board member is Ja’Ron Smith who was deputy director of the Office of American Innovation led by trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. While in college, Smith worked for Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C. and then-U.S. Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ill.

Here are some of the more vocal African Americans who have backed trump.

Singer songwriter Teddy Riley has said that one reason he supports trump is that before he left office, then-president trump pardoned Riley’s brother, Lou Hobbs, who had been serving a life sentence on various drug offenses. Hobbs is a longtime friend of boxer Mike Tyson, who also is a longtime trump associate.

Among the more controversial trump dupes is Maurice Symonette, known as “Michael the Black Man.” Symonette gained notoriety for appearing at trump rallies, often sitting behind the president with a sign that read, “Blacks for Trump.”

In the 1980s, Symonette was a devoted follower of Yahweh ben Yahweh, a charismatic preacher who claimed to be the Messiah. Yahweh ben Yahweh was later accused of ordering his followers to murder at least 14 people, some of whom were white vagrants. Symonette was charged in federal court alongside Yahweh ben Yahweh and other cult members in 1990. Yahweh was convicted and served nearly two decades in prison, while Symonette and six others were acquitted. After leaving the cult, Symonette reinvented himself as “Michael the Black Man” and became an outspoken supporter of trump.

Jack Brewer, a former NFL professional football player, has called trump “the first Black president,” in a swipe at President Barack Obama.

“I know what racism looks like, I’ve seen it firsthand,” Brewer said during the 2020 Republican National Convention. “America, it has no resemblance to President Trump. I’m fed up with the way he’s portrayed in the media, who refuse to acknowledge what he’s actually done for the Black community. It’s confusing the minds of our innocent children.”

Then-president trump appointed Brewer to the U.S. Commission for the Social Status of Black Men & Boys. He also is the chair of the pro-trump, America First Policy Institute’s Center for Opportunity Now. The America First Policy Institute (AFPI) is a nonprofit think tank that was founded in 2021 to promote trump’s public policy agenda.

Trump also has won support from Daniel Cameron, Kentucky’s first Black attorney general. Trump had endorsed Cameron in his losing bid in the Kentucky Republican primary for governor.

Cameron spoke in favor of trump after the ex-president had applauded Cameron’s decision not to charge police involved in the March 13, 2020, shooting death of Breonna Taylor. Taylor, a 26-year-old black woman, was shot dead in her Louisville, Kent., apartment when at least seven police officers forced entry into the apartment as part of an investigation into drug dealing operations.

In 2023, just hours after trump was found liable for sexually assaulting a writer in the 1990s, Cameron said he was “honored” to have trump’s endorsement. Cameron then criticized the Manhattan District Attorney prosecuting trump in an unrelated case, accusing the judge of weaponizing the judicial system against trump.

Larry Elder, a right wing talk show host, lost a bid for governor of California and ran briefly for the Republican nomination for president. Elder has maintained unwavering support for trump and in 2018, referred to trump as “almost God-sent.”

Elder once said that slave masters would be owed reparations before anyone else because they had their “property” taken from them when slavery was abolished.

After quitting the presidential race, Elder said he was “proud to announce my endorsement of Donald Trump for President of the United States. His leadership has been instrumental in advancing conservative, America-first principles and policies that have benefited our great nation. We must unite behind Donald Trump to beat Joe Biden and fight back against Biden’s unprecedented election interference and the left’s destruction of America.”

Vernon Jones is a former Democratic state representative from Georgia who also lost a bid for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

In endorsing trump, Jones said, “The Democratic party does not want Black people to leave their mental plantation. We’ve been forced to be there for decades and generations, but I have news for Joe Biden. We are free people with free minds and I’m part of a large and growing segment of the black community who are independent thinkers…we believe that Donald Trump is the president that America needs to lead us forward.”

Rep. Burgess Owens, R-Utah, another former NFL player, was endorsed by trump and returned the favor by helping to challenge the electoral votes that Biden legitimately won in the 2020 election.

“There’s no question in my mind that I think he (trump) won,” Burgess said.

Burgess said he is “one of those Republicans who has been so frustrated for decades by the promises that have been made by a party that never came through.”

According to Burgess, trump “did more than all the other presidents have done for our country because he was not going to be bullied, he was determined to put America first and this was happening even though they were coming after him in so many different fashions. Donald Trump delivered record-breaking growth to all communities. As a child born in the segregated South, I witnessed Donald Trump help the Black community more than any president in my lifetime.”

One of the most painful shills, Katrina Pierson, a trump communications adviser, once called slavery “good history” after arguing that Confederate monuments should not be taken down. Pierson has said the proof that trump is not racist is the fact that President Abraham Lincoln didn’t have any Black people in his White House, either.

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Phil Garber

Journalist for 40 years and now a creative writer