Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s troubles with the African American community have looked like they couldn’t possibly get any worse, but that was before Trump’s latest incident. This one involved Trump kicking a suspected “thug” protester out of a Trump rally. The only problem: the “thug” was actually a Trump supporter, and what he was trying to tell Trump makes the story ironic beyond compare.
Trump’s latest racial gaffe came in Kinston, North Carolina, where the controversial Republican nominee was holding a political rally with thousands of supporters cheering and clamoring for Trump to “Make America Great Again.” One of those thousands, according toThe News & Observer, was Nash County resident C.J. Cary, an ex-Marine who also did civilian work in Afghanistan for the Army.
Cary had a message for Trump: the ex-Marine wanted Trump to be less offensive and more inclusive toward black people, women, people with disabilities, and college students. It’s how Cary went about trying to deliver this message to Trump that got him into trouble.
Cary made his way through the crowd of Trump supporters while Trump was speaking, winding up about 20 or 30 feet away from the stage, where he started shouting “Donald!” while waving a note and trying to get Trump’s attention. On the note:
“I have to get ready to come to Kinston. Donald I am not including everything. But you must defeat lying Hillary and lying Obama. These characters are really bad.”
Trump, however, apparently just saw an unknown, unruly black man out in the crowd making a scene, and perhaps thinking him to be with Black Lives Matter or a pro-Clinton group, heartily encouraged security to escort Cary from the premises.
“We have a protester,” Trump said, noticing Cary. “By the way, were you paid $1,500 to be a thug?”
Trump was likely referring to reports that Clinton operatives have been paying and providing for protesters to come to Trump rallies in order to disrupt them.
“Did you see,” Trump continued as Cary was being escorted out, “where through WikiLeaks we found out that Clinton was paying people $1,500 plus an iPhone to come and be disruptive at our rallies?”
But that last word, “thug,” might stick out to some people, as it’s got a certain sting in it for some African Americans. Some argue that people like Trump throw out the word thug instead of some… less socially acceptable words they could use to describe black people.
The kicker: even having gotten kicked out of a Trump rally and being called a thug by Donald Trump himself, Cary still supports the Republican. The News & Observer noted that Cary views the Trump-Clinton race as a choice between two apples: “one rotten apple and one that is sour and bitter.” Trump, according to Cary, is the sour one.
As to being called a thug and the possibility that Trump singled him out because he is black, Cary says he understands that, too. Given Trump’s relationship with the African American community, Cary understands Trump’s caution at seeing what may have looked like just another black Trump protester.
Cary pleaded his case with security, saying that he only wanted to present a note to Trump, and security apparently told him he should have tried different avenues instead of disrupting the rally. They did say they would pass along Cary’s note to Trump, though.
What do you think? Should Cary have found a better way to get Donald Trump’s attention? Was Trump still in the wrong for kicking him out of the rally and calling him a thug?
[Featured Image by Tom Pennington/Getty Images]