The man that Donald Trump singled out at a Redding, California, campaign rally as “my African-American” says he took no offense from the GOP presumptive nominee’s gaffe and may or may not vote for him.
[see updates below]
As the Inquisitr previously explained, in the latest controversy du jour, Trump was attempting to make a point about how he did, indeed, have supporters who were in different minority groups, but critics have said it seemed as though he was trying to be possessive with his “my African-American” comment.
The politically incorrect New York real estate mogul is already receiving a lot of heat across the spectrum for his race-based criticism of the judge overseeing the Trump University lawsuit.
Gregory Cheadle, the man who the presidential hopeful pointed to as “my African-American over here” at the event attended by about 4,000 Trump supporters said that he took it as a compliment.
A Republican candidate for California’s 1st Congressional District in the northern part of the state, Cheadle revealed that he is not a Trump supporter, still has an open mind about who to vote for, and previously attempted to attend a Bernie Sanders rally.
He also disclosed that he was holding a “Veterans for Trump” sign near the front row at the rally as a way to shield his head from the sun when he came to the attention of the candidate.
“I am a free man. I am not chained to any particular party, and I refuse to be chained to any particular party,” Cheadle told NPR.
The two men chatted briefly after the event concluded, and Cheadle said he wound up with two autographs.
The district where Cheadle is running is currently represented by Doug LaMalfa, one of the relatively few Republicans in the California Congressional delegation.
In an interview with CBS News the following day, Cheadle shared his feelings about the incident and the social media uproar that followed, emphasizing that he took Trump’s remark “as a compliment to me.”
“I never, ever sensed any racism on his part. Looking at it now, I can see on a script — in a transcript, or even somebody watching the clip — I can see how they would jump to the conclusion that it was racist. But I never felt anything at all.”
He added, “We are a super-sensitive people now when it comes to race. And we’re so ready to pull that racist trigger and sometimes unnecessarily so…I’m running in a district that’s at least 90 percent white. If I wanted to find racism, I could.”
In a follow-up interview with NPR, Cheadle further described the atmosphere at the Trump rally.
“I was not offended by it because he had been speaking positively about black people prior to that statement. People around me were laughing [at the fact] that he noticed me, and everybody was happy. It was a jovial thing…Had he said, ‘Here’s my African-American friend,’ or ‘my African-American supporter’ or something like that, then there would be less ambiguity.”
The context of the billionaire’s riff (and Trump engages in teleprompter-free impromptu speeches at all his rallies) that led to the controversial shout-out concerned an African-American Trump supporter at a past Arizona rally who allegedly punched someone dressed up as a Ku Klux Klan member.
“The black supporter, who was also escorted from the venue by police, was, according to Trump, initially portrayed by some as being anti-Trump — presumably just because he was African-American,” NPR explained about Trump’s pushback against what might amount to racial profiling.
Despite ongoing accusations of racism, Donald Trump has repeatedly vowed that he will win big with all ethnic groups in the November 2016 general election because he plans to bring jobs back to America from overseas and, in so doing, make sure that free trade insofar as imports and exports is also fair trade.
[Photo by Rich Pedroncelli/AP Images]
Added: Pastor Darrell Scott, a Trump supporter, defends him during an intense CNN debate.
Gregory Cheadle, who is a #NeverHillary voter, gives his first national interview, on CNN, and resists Erin Burnett’s attempt to brand Donald Trump a racist and discusses the social media backlash