Donald Trump's African-American Not Actually Donald Trump's African-American
Gregory Cheadle, it turns out, is not actually Donald Trump's African American. But he doesn't mind being a loaner. National Public Radio's Brakkton Booker spoke to Cheadle after he inadvertently became the off-camera focus of Trump's excited attention at a rally in Redding, California, on Friday. Then, Trump interrupted his own anecdote about all The Blacks who support Donald Trump by pointing at Cheadle and exclaiming, "Look at my African-American over here."
Mr. Cheadle is a Republican who's running for Congress. His website fairly screams "very long shot candidate" -- he bills himself as "THE ONLY CANDIDATE GUTSY ENOUGH TO BE AN 1856 REPUBLICAN," so he should have the all-caps vote sewn up, as well as substantial support from Kansas Free-Soilers. His encounter with Trump certainly made for some inspiring video:
The Republican nominee was in the middle of a stream-of-Trumpishness rant about violent protesters following the previous day's riotous Trump rally in San Jose. Trump noticed a black guy in the audience while telling the story of a different African-American Trump supporter at an Arizona rally in March, so naturally, he had to point him out:
In an attempt to show he, as Trump put it, enjoys "tremendous African-American support," the candidate said the black man from the Arizona rally was a "great fan" of his. The businessman added that his supporter "cold-cocked" the protester who Trump said was wearing a Ku Klux Klan outfit. The black supporter, who was also escorted from the venue by police, was, according to Trump, initially portrayed by some as being anti-Trump -- presumably just because he was African-American.
In between the telling of that anecdote, Trump pointed in Cheadle's direction to add, "Look at him. Aren't you the greatest?"
Donald Trump had a shit weekend, with people standing up to him and all kinds of other nonsense. UNFAIR TO TRUMP!
In any case, Mr. Cheadle explained to Booker that he wasn't at all offended by the remarks, even though he isn't necessarily a Trump supporter, either:
"I was not offended by it because he had been speaking positively about black people prior to that statement," Cheadle told NPR when reached at his home for comment over the weekend. "People around me were laughing [at the fact] that he noticed me, and everybody was happy. It was a jovial thing."
Things you learn from NPR and no one else: though you couldn't see him on camera, Cheadle was holding a sign that said "Veterans for Trump," but not because he's a veteran (a Republican would surely have mentioned military service on his campaign website), and not because he's for Trump: he was using it to shade himself from the sun, a fact which, as a fellow bald guy, Yr Doktor Zoom can certainly appreciate.
Mr. Cheadle wasn't especially bothered by Trump's comments, which he can see might bother some people, but also adds could've been worse:
"Had he said, 'Here's my African-American friend,' or 'my African-American supporter' or something like that, then there would be less ambiguity," Cheadle said.
"Had he said, 'Here's my African-American' and then after that said, 'What's up, dawg,' or 'boy' or even the N-word as they use it today, I really would have been offended."
He's also grateful for whatever boost the publicity may have given his candidacy in California's First District, where he's one of six challengers to incumbent Doug "Who?" LaMalfa, but he's not a Trump supporter just yet. He said "I went to go hear Donald Trump because I have an open mind." He added that he'd gone to a Bernie Sanders rally last week, but didn't go inside. As of Monday, Cheadle was still trying to decide whether he'd vote for Trump, Sanders, or Libertarian Gary Johnson.
"I am a free man. I am not chained to any particular party, and I refuse to be chained to any particular party."
In Trump World, everyone who criticizes Donald Trump's racist remarks is a racist, because that's "identity politics." In other news, massive seismic tremors have been reported at George Orwell's grave.
In honor of his independence, this song goes out to Gregory Cheadle:
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.