Courtesy of
Courtesy of

For those who believe GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s appearance at Detroit’s predominantly black Great Faith Ministries International church was anything other than a fancy dog-and-pony-show aimed at softening his image with white conservatives uncomfortable with a candidate endorsed by the former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, I have some beachfront property in Arizona I would like you to purchase.

Even a narcissistic psychopath like The Donald has to recognize that black and Latino voters are absolutely not voting for him. It’s a secret ballot. Even those who may make lip service to being a Trump supporter may not vote for him in the secrecy of the voting booth. Trump is just that repugnant to many Black folks, me included.

It’s like in 1964 when Republican Barry Goldwater was the GOP nominee, running against veteran Texas politician Lyndon Baines Johnson. In order to soften Goldwater’s image as an “arch-conservative” his supporters would tell skeptical Blacks that Goldwater was a “lifetime member” of the NAACP. What they didn’t say was that everyone who donated $500 received a lifetime membership — and for Goldwater, bragging rights … like Trump at the Faith Ministries in Detroit.

Church leader Bishop Wayne T. Jackson and the Trump campaign put together a pretty sweet package deal. During his appearance, the Republican presidential nominee participated in prayer, gave a short speech focused on unity and held a private interview with Da Bishop. It almost goes without saying that The Donald received the interview questions ahead of time; and of course it will be broadcast on the Impact Network, Jackson’s TV station. Sweet deal, huh?

Not far away were Trump’s comical black surrogates: Dr. Ben Carson, the brilliant but delusional pediatric neurosurgeon who hails from Detroit, and whose own presidential campaign stumbled over falsified tales of glory in his biography.

And of course there was black Trump campaign surrogate Pastor Mark Burns. If he’s is an example of the benefits of riding the Trump Train, then I can’t imagine a lot of blacks who would like to be like him.

For one thing, he apologized for retweeting a photograph of Hillary Clinton in blackface. He walked out of a CNN interview being conducted in his own church, when he was confronted by the host with embarrassing questions about his false claims of membership in the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, to having graduated from North Greenville University and to having served in the Army Reserve. All of those claims had once been listed on Burns’ website.

The unusual Trump Detroit church event, which required a ticket for admission, was just a prop, because what happened that Saturday was immaterial. There was in fact a high-pitched protest outside the church, with maybe as many protesters as there were worshipers. No matter. Trump was talking “through” the black church venue to whites.

After all, there is the rumor that this entire presidential campaign is simply a ploy to “enhance the brand” of an impending Trump TV Network. Trump’s already got former Fox News “groper-in-chief” Roger Ailes as a top campaign adviser, despite the accusations and lawsuits that Ailes groped and/or sexually propositioned a dozen or more women while he was making Fox news a conservative powerhouse. And he’s got Stephen Bannon, the hard, right-wing filmmaker from Breitbart News, as campaign CEO. Can an initial public offering of Trump TV stock be far off?

Trump’s real message to black voters was delivered weeks before the Detroit church appearance when he said at a speech in Dimondale, Michigan: “Look how much African-American communities are suffering under Democratic control. To those I say the following: What do you have to lose by trying something new, like Trump? You’re living in poverty. Your schools are no good. You have no jobs. Fifty-eight percent of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?”

America can’t do any worse by them than what they are currently receiving, so The Blacks ought to just as well cast their lots with The Donald. I’ve got choice, beachfront property in Arizona …

Askia Muhammad

WPFW News Director Askia Muhammad is also a poet, and a photojournalist. He is Senior Editor for The Final Call newspaper and he writes a weekly column in The Washington Informer.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *