Gregory Cheadle says that he wasn’t offended when Donald Trump called out, at a Friday rally in Redding, California “Look at my African-American” and that Trump later told him he was talking about jobs, jobs, jobs.
Cheadle is the black American man whom Trump singled out at the Redding rally according to the Redding Record Searchlight. He told the outlet that he was proud to be recognized by Trump in what he described as a predominantly white audience. The local outlet estimated the total number in attendance around 4,000.
The mainstream media and social media posters hastily seized on the sound bite, running headlines highlighting the brief phrase. The comment appeared to spur “African-American” trending on Twitter in the United States.
As Happy Valley Republican Cheadle sees it, politicians have historically dismissed African Americans and that is why they clung so quickly to Barack Obama as the first black President. Searchlight reported that Cheadle is running for Congress in California’s 1st district.
During Trump’s Redding rally he commented on the violence of anti-Trump protesters outside the prior night’s rally in San Jose, California. He went on to recall an incident at an Arizona Trump rally in which a black Trump supporter punched an anti-Trump protester with a graffitied Trump image whose fellow protester was wearing a KKK-like hood.
“We had a case where we had an African American guy who was a fan of mine, great fan, great guy, in fact, we’re gonna find out what’s going on with him,” said Trump.
Noticing a man in the crowd, Trump interjected, “Oh look at my African-American over here. Look at him. Are you the greatest? Do you know what I’m talkin’ about? Ok.”
Cheadle told Searchlight that after the speech, as Trump was preparing to leave, Cheadle called out “Uncle Donald, Uncle Donald” and Trump recognized him as the audience member he had pointed to in the audience during his speech.
Cheadle paraphrased what Trump said as he approached Cheadle after the rally, “You know what I was talking about? Jobs, jobs, jobs.” Cheadle told Searchlight that he confirmed to Trump that “yeah, jobs” was what Trump was talking about during the speech, but described the experience as a fog.
Trump spoke at length during the rally of the Department of Labor’s May jobs report, which fell far short of expectations. He further told supporters that he will bring jobs back and that this is the reason “We have tremendous African American support.”
Trump returned to the story of the Arizona confrontation, “So we have an African-American guy at one of the rallies a month ago and he’s sitting there behaving. And we had protesters inside the arena and they were dressed in a Ku Klux Klan outfit, ok? And they’re running around dressed as Ku Klux Klan and the place is booing and booing. This African American gets up and man, he slugged these guys, he slugged ‘em.”
The incident was a rare occurrence of physical confrontation seen inside a Trump rally. Violence has repeatedly broken out on a large scale among anti-Trump protesters outside of Trump’s rallies. San Diego, Costa Mesa, and San Jose are just a few examples of anti-Trump crowds demonstrating violence and destruction outside of Trump rallies.
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