President Donald Trump’s relations with those with African ancestry in the U.S., as well as, those on the continent has been a tricky affair.
While on one hand, he appears to be at ease with black pastors getting invites to church activities, his disdain for the larger black race is also palpable and in his deeds and works, his poor view of the race shines through.
Trump’s description of Haiti, El Salvador and some parts of Africa as “shithole countries” in 2018 rightly provoked global anger. The U.S. president made the remarks regarding a bipartisan immigration deal which touched on immigrants with protected status enjoying privileges in the U.S.
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In a tweet, he remarked: “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”
Last year, the commander-in-chief of the U.S. army also called Baltimore, largely populated by Blacks, a “rat and rodent-infested mess” and the “worst in the USA”, taking the Democratic congressman Elijah Cummings and his black-majority Maryland district to the cleaners.
He also tweeted that several black and brown members of Congress are “from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe” and that they should “go back” to those countries.
The tweets aimed at Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), who oppose some of his policies and are non-Caucasians.
So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly……— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2019
And now real estate broker and one-time Republican candidate for Congress, Gregory Cheadle, has taken leave of the Republican Party.
Cheadle, a black man, came to national attention when in June 2016, Trump, then a presidential candidate, pointed to him at a rally in Redding, Calif. and said, “Look at my African American over here. Look at him. Are you the greatest?”
Cheadle says at the time he took the president’s comments in his stride but reckons now he used him in the sea of white faces to gain political capital. At the time, Donald Trump referred to Cheadle as “my African American” during the rally.
….and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how….— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2019
But Cheadle has become disillusioned with Trump’s policies and rhetoric. “I’m just sick and tired of the way blacks and other people of colour have been treated by this administration and by the GOP,” Cheadle told CNN‘s Erin Burnett on Thursday on “Erin Burnett OutFront.”
Cheadle also told PBS NewsHour he has decided to leave the Republican Party and run for a seat in the U.S. House of Representative as an independent in 2020.
The 62-year-old Cheadle, who supported the Republican approach to the economy, said he sees the party as pursuing a “pro-white” agenda and using black people like him as “political pawns.”
“President Trump is a rich guy who is mired in white privilege to the extreme. Republicans are too sheepish to call him out on anything and they are afraid of losing their positions and losing any power themselves,” Cheadle said.
But Trump was unfazed, telling NewsHour:
“We have tremendous African American support. I would say I’m at my all-time high. I don’t think I’ve ever had the support that I’ve had now. I think I’m going to do very well with African Americans. African American support has been the best we’ve had.”
On the specific issues Cheadle cited as being reasons for his withdrawal of support for the president and forfeiture of the Republican Party, a vintage Trump stated he didn’t know who Cheadle was.
Cheadle further said:
“When you look at his appointments for the bench: White, white, white, white white, white, white. That to me is really damning to everybody else because no one else gets a chance because he’s thinking that the whites are superior, period.”
It remains to be seen if Cheadle’s bid to run for congress in 2020 would be successful and whether he would help project issues dear to the black communities if given the mandate.