In an attempt to raise his approval rating among African-Americans voters, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has appointed Celebrity Apprentice alumnus Omarosa Manigault to be his campaign’s African-American Outreach Director. Essence reports that Trump is hoping that Manigault can do for his presidential campaign what she did for his ratings during the pilot season of The Apprentice in 2004. The news that the self-proclaimed “Reality TV’s greatest villain” has been enlisted as a recruiter for the African-American vote came during NBC’s coverage of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.
His choice is both surprising and not so surprising; Omarosa Manigault has long been a huge Donald Trump supporter, and judging from her many appearances on three incarnations of The Apprentice, and position as vice chair of the Trump’s National Diversity Coalition, he is a big supporter of hers as well. What is surprising is the notion that the former TV star is liked or respected enough to entice Africans-American to vote for Trump.
Me when Omarosa tries her outreach efforts on me to vote for Trump. pic.twitter.com/9kwVUp1i3v
— Marielle (@IAmMarielleT) July 18, 2016
“if you’re going to send a black person to talk to black people make sure it’s someone we don’t want to throw a rock at” DL on #Omarosa
— The DL Hughley Show (@DLHughleyRadio) July 19, 2016
Spike Lee was quick to jump on the news that Omarosa Manigault was hired as the director of African-American Outreach for Donald Trump’s presidential bid, and he shared his thoughts on his Instagram page, posting a sideways photograph of Manigault wearing a clown nose and a caption that ultimately paints her as a sell-out.
“Ms. Omarosa Manigault ‘Pic Is Like This Cuz I’m Looking At Her SIDEWAYS. Trump Has Named Her As His “Director Of African-American Outreach. You Might Know Her From Trump’s RealityTV Show The Apprentice.#Who’s Next? Step N’ Fetchit? Aunt Jemina? Uncle Ben? Sleep N’ Eat? Rastus?”
The rest of the caption was NSFW but continues on to question whether Omarosa will dole out free Popeye’s chicken with sides in order to get blacks to vote for Trump, then concluded the caption with the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag. Many of the comments on Lee’s post suggests many would take the free Popeye’s, but not Manigault or Trump.
Omarosa Manigault eventually responded to Spike Lee’s remarks in a now-deleted tweet.
“@officialSpikeLee attacks me&my mom Theresa, Why? For my work with @realDonaldTrump using the N word? #RaceBaiting.”
Manigault told MSNBC correspondent Craig Melvin that her appointment as the African-American Outreach director is just an extension of her work as the vice chair of Trump National Diversity Coalition. She is skeptical about the national NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll that states zero percent of African-American Pennsylvanians and Ohioans are voting for Donald Trump; Manigault, who is from Youngstown, Ohio, said she is surrounded by African-Americans who are sound Trump supporters.
“I wonder who they called? I just spent an amazing weekend with African Americans for Trump about 300 of them. I look at the data but my reality is that I’m surrounded by people who want to see Donald Trump as the next president of the United States who are African-American.”
The 42-year-old reality star has been seen on The Apprentice, Celebrity Apprentice, Celebrity Apprentice Allstars, and various defunct reality television shows, but during her appearance on Where are They Now? in 2013, she said she had left reality TV behind. She is currently teaching in the executive education and executive MBA programs at Howard University and is a regular political commentator on CNN.
Ereka Vetrini, an entertainment reporter for In Touch Weekly, host of TLC’s Sunday Brunch, and frequent Wendy Williams gossip contributor, was also on The Apprentice with Omarosa and it was she that Manigault accused of calling her the “N-word” which she denied. Unlike her former combatant, she has no intention of backing Donald Trump.
Omarosa justifies her support of Trump with the narrative that Donald will improve the lives of African-Americans.
“Economically we’re suffering. We’re hurting. I went to my family reunion this weekend, and I know family members who are still unemployed, who are still looking for jobs. Looking for ways to fill their gas tank and fill prescriptions for their family. Donald Trump is focused on improving the conditions of African-Americans in this country.”
She may be one of the few African-Americans that believe that Trump isn’t divisive, misogynistic, or racist, and it is still a mystery how she plans on increasing the respect and trust of those who don’t respect or trust her.
[Photo by Andy Kropa & Evan Agostini/AP Images]