Trump once called him 'my African American.' Now he says the president has a 'white superiority complex'

Trump once called him 'my African American.' Now he says the president has a 'white superiority complex'
CBSN screenshot

In one of the countless stunning moments on the 2016 campaign trail, Donald Trump made headlines at a June rally when he pointed to a member of the audience and called him out as "my African American."


Trump has long struggled to maintain any sizable amount of support from black voters after falsely smearing President Barack Obama for years. Given his character, lack of knowledge, and instinctual racism, it wasn't surprising that Trump would single out a black audience member and try to capitalize on their presence.

But now, PBS NewsHour has tracked down that supporter Trump picked out and found that he has since turned against the president.

Gregory Cheadle spoke to PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor and told her that he is no longer a Republican. In fact, he has decided to run for the U.S. House of Representatives as an independent. He has run for Congress unsuccessfully four times previously, Alcindor reported.

“President Trump is a rich guy who is mired in white privilege to the extreme,” said Cheadle. “Republicans are too sheepish to call him out on anything and they are afraid of losing their positions and losing any power themselves.”

Alcindor said that Cheadle reached his "breaking point" after Trump's recent attacks on lawmakers of color, including Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Elijah Cummings (D-MD). Looking at the reactions of his fellow Republicans defending Trump's remarks, he saw a "classic case of whites not seeing racism because they want to put blinders on and make it about something else.”

Oddly, despite the fact that he called Trump's attacks racism, he declined to say Trump himself is a racist. But even more bizarrely, he said the president has a “white superiority complex.” It's an interesting and provocative claim that seems even more damning than the label "racist," and it is hard to deny that it applies to the president.

Cheadle sees the evidence for it most blatantly in Trump's judicial nominees, an area in which many Republicans see the president's greatest triumph.

“When you look at his appointments for the bench: White, white, white, white white, white, white,” Cheadle explained to Alcindor. “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.”

His change of heart on the president also seems to have altered Cheadle's perspective on the "my African American" comment. In 2016, he thought it was a joke —  but he says he's "more critical of it today."

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.