While Al Sharpton has admitted that he does not like some of Donald Trump’s comments on platform issues, he says that he can’t dislike the businessman because he was once an outsider like himself and is very charismatic. Amid Al Sharpton’s negative comments made about Trump and his claims that if Trump is elected president he will leave the country, a deeper understanding between Trump and Sharpton was revealed in the interview in which Sharpton seemed to indicate that the pair share a mutual respect for one another. In fact, Sharpton has taken an unlikely stance on whether or not Trump is a “bigot” and says that no matter how hard he tries, he can’t “dislike” Trump.
In an interview with Politico, Al Sharpton admitted that at one point in his life, he and Donald Trump were “friendly” and says that he can’t “dislike” the business mogul despite their obvious differences in politics. While Sharpton may be considered by some the most likely to bash Trump for “bigoted” statements, the black activist refused to call Trump a bigot. When asked about comments concerning Trump being “bigoted” for comments he has made about Muslims and Mexicans, Sharpton claims that he doesn’t know if Donald Trump is really a bigot or not.
“I think what he has said has been biased and bigoted, but I don’t know if Donald Trump is really a bigoted guy.”
Essentially the African American equality activist is going against the Democratic grain by stating he doesn’t really know if Trump is a bigot, but Sharpton did note that things he has said have biased undertones. Though Sharpton will not come out and call Trump a bigot, he wasn’t shy about comparing the business mogul to another figure from his past life, Don King. Sharpton says that the best way he can describe Trump is to tell people that “if Don King had been born white he’d be Donald Trump.”
“The best way I can describe Donald Trump to friends is to say if Don King had been born white he’d be Donald Trump. Both of them are great self-promoters and great at just continuing to talk even if you’re not talking back at ’em.”
Though the Don King comparison has negative connotations, Al Sharpton notes that Trump is a likable guy who was once an outsider like himself. Sharpton notes that, despite having some money growing up, Trump had a difficult time breaking into the aristocratic society of Manhattan because he was a “Queens guy.” Sharpton says that he has a mutual understanding of Trump because they both realize what it is like to be an outsider.
“His father was a successful real estate guy, but they were Queens guys. They were outer borough [and] had to break into the big Manhattan aristocracy. He was an outsider — rich, but an outsider. He was not part of the Manhattan elite. So, he always had this outsider feeling — us against them. So, in many ways, when I read people talk about, ‘Well, do you have a billionaire as a populist?’ He does feel like he’s one of the guys who was shut out. On the other side of the coin … I was shut out because of race. He was shut out because of geography and a number of other things. [It’s an] unforgiving environment, and a city that could easily swallow you up. Easily.”
Therefore, it seems that Sharpton somewhat respects Trump for overcoming the obstacles and contributes Trump’s “us against them” attitude to this outsider environment that he grew up in and overcame. Sharpton also noted that Trump is the kind of person that is really hard to “dislike.”
“I mean, I don’t like what he’s doing. But I don’t dislike him. He’s the kind of personality that is hard to dislike. He’s entertaining, let’s put it that way. You’d have to be a New Yorker to understand him.”
You can listen to Al Sharpton’s full interview discussing Trump and the upcoming presidential election.
Does Al Sharpton’s almost protective tone of Donald Trump surprise you? Though Sharpton says he does not support Trump politically and does not want to live in a country ran by Trump, he seems to actually like and respect Trump to a degree. What do you think about the interview and Sharpton noting that he and Trump have both struggled with being an outsider in New York?