“My African American” sounds like a Civil War-era book about a slave told from the perspective of a slaveowner. Unfortunately, it’s the bigoted phrase that a candidate for President of the United States used on the campaign trail in June 2016 to point out a black man at his rally as proof that he enjoys widespread African American support. Of course, this candidate was Donald Trump, and of course, he has never enjoyed the type of support he claims.
Three years later, “Trump’s African American” has returned to the news cycle with the dignity of his own name — Gregory Cheadle — and his own thoughts. Cheadle, a real estate broker in California, announced in an interview with PBS NewsHour on Thursday that Trump’s presidency has inspired him to leave the Republican party and run for Congress as an Independent in 2020.
Cheadle told NewsHour that the GOP is pursuing a “pro-white” agenda and using black people as “political pawns.” He also complained to CNN’s Erin Burnett on Thursday that he is “just sick and tired of the way blacks and other people of color have been treated by this administration and by the GOP,” accusing Trump of having a “white superiority complex.”
When Trump held a rally in Cheadle’s hometown of Redding, Calif., in June 2016, Trump behaved as if he was exhibiting a trophy, yelling: “Look at my African American over here. Look at him. Are you the greatest?” Cheadle told NewsHour that he took Trump’s words lightly at the time but now believes Trump said it for “political gain or for attention.” He noted that “[w]hen you look at his appointments for the bench: White, white, white, white, white, white, white,” this means that “no one else gets a chance because he’s thinking that the whites are superior, period.”
Cheadle will be running for Congress as an Independent after four unsuccessful runs as a Republican. He made his decision to leave the GOP after seeing so many Republicans defend Trump for his racist call for four nonwhite Democratic Congresswomen to “go back” to their countries of origin (despite the fact they are all U.S. citizens and all but one was born in this country) and for his attacks on Rep. Elijah Cummings and his “infested” hometown of Baltimore. Cheadle now firmly believes that “President Trump is a rich guy who is mired in white privilege to the extreme” and that “Republicans are too sheepish to call him out on anything and they are afraid of losing their positions and losing any power themselves.”
Cheadle is just one person, but he is not alone in being repulsed by Trump and where he has led the Republican Party over the past few years. Trump deserves to lose the election next year, if he even makes it that far. In the meantime, the Racist-in-Chief just resoundingly lost “his African American.”