Don King, who introduced Donald Trump at an African-American outreach event, is being criticized for his unusual choice of words. According to reports, the 85-year-old boxing promoter used the N-word at least once during his bizarre introduction of the presidential hopeful.
Although several audience members audibly gasped, witnesses said Trump “did not flinch or break or break his gaze” during the bizarre introductory speech.
The event, which was held at a Cleveland Heights, Ohio, church, was part of Donald Trump’s attempt to engage black voters.
Throughout his campaign, the Republican nominee has received stark criticism for statements that were interpreted to be insensitive to minorities. As a result, Trump has had little support from black voters.
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) September 21, 2016
A collection of polls, which were published by the Washington Post in July, suggest the presidential hopeful had between 1 and 10 percent of the black vote.
Although more recent polls, including one published by the New York Post, suggest he has gained the support of more black voters, the number is still hovering below 20 percent.
— Clint Coady (@clintcoady) September 11, 2016
In recent weeks, Donald Trump launched an African-American outreach campaign to broaden his appeal among black voters. The campaign included a meeting with community leaders in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and church leaders in Detroit, Michigan, and Cleveland, Ohio.
However, it is unclear whether the Republican candidate’s outreach will change anyone’s mind.
In an interview with NBC News, political consultant Alando Reeves suggested the damage has already been done and Donald Trump’s African-American outreach is unlikely to make a difference.
“I’m not even sure that I would say he reached out to black folks. I think that, when you address somebody, you have to talk from their cultural perspective. I think Mr. Trump has insulted not only blacks, but everybody else… I don’t see it as a way of engaging black folks to have an in between if you havin’ a conversation in a black community.”
The controversy surrounding Trump’s outreach campaign is far from over. On Tuesday, Don King used the N-word while introducing the GOP candidate at an event at a Cleveland church.
According to the New York Daily News, Don King was obviously “trying to explain the nature of discrimination in the” United States. However, he used an unusual choice of words when recounting a conversation he had with the late Michael Jackson.
“If you’re poor, you’re a poor negro. I would use the N-word. But if you’re rich, you’re a rich negro. If you’re intelligent and intellectual, you’re an intellectual negro. If you’re a dancing and sliding and gliding n—-r, I mean negro, you’re a glancing and sliding and gliding negro.”
Although the remainder of King’s introduction was equally disjointed, his use of the N-word gained the most attention and will likely remain a point of heated controversy.
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Don King dropped out of high school to run several underground gambling houses. By the age of 35, he was implicated in two homicides.
Although a judge determined the first homicide was justifiable because he was being robbed, King was convicted of first-degree manslaughter in the 1966 beating death of a former business associate. Biography reports he subsequently served four years in prison.
Upon his release, Don King began working as a boxing promoter. Throughout his career, the Ohio native represented numerous celebrity boxers, including Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson.
Despite his incredible success, King’s legal troubles did not end with his release from prison. Although he was not jailed again, the boxing promoter was accused of tax evasion, fraud, and stealing from his clients.
At the age of 85, Don King is once again in the national spotlight. Although Donald Trump has not commented about the unusual speech or the boxing promoter’s use of the N-word, video footage of the speech has already gone viral.
[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]