Donald Trump, Don King (Getty/Mandel Ngan)

Trump's idea of outreach to black voters is Don King dropping the N-word in a Cleveland church

The day before, Trump told a crowd of mostly white supporters that blacks are in the worst shape "ever, ever, ever"

Sophia Tesfaye
September 21, 2016 8:05PM (UTC)

After telling a mostly white North Carolina audience, "African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape that they’ve ever been in before. Ever, ever, ever,” Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump boarded his private airplane with controversial boxing promoter Don King to continue his so-called outreach to black voters.

King flew to Cleveland with Trump on Wednesday as the GOP nominee continued his pitch to African-American voters at the New Spirit Revival Center in Cleveland. Wearing the same bejeweled denim jacket that he wore to a 2014 Hillary Clinton fundraiser, King told the mostly black congregation, "Every white woman should cast a vote for Donald Trump" before dropping the N-word.


King used the term as he talked about black people trying to achieve success by emulating white people but still remaining "Negros."

“I told Michael Jackson, I said if you’re poor, you’re a poor Negro. I won’t use the N-word,” he recounted. "But if you're rich, you are a rich Negro. If you are intelligent, intellectual, you're an intellectual Negro. If you're a dancing and sliding and gliding n___er — I mean Negro, you are dancing and sliding a gliding Negro. . . . You know, you're gonna be a Negro till you die."

"The system is the problem, and he's the only gladiator that would take on the system, like a David and a Goliath," King said of Trump. "The system is corrupt, the system is rigged, the system is sexist, the system is racist," King said, arguing that Trump is "able to throw this system out and create a new system where it encompasses all women, people of color, blacks and all freedom-loving people coming together to support themselves." 

"This is what we want and this is what America needs. America needs Donald Trump. We need Donald Trump —especially black people," King said.

Trump, who said he personally invited King to introduce him, was sitting in a chair onstage just a few feet away from King when he uttered the N-word. Taking the stage moments later, Trump called King a "phenomenal persona" and added, "Ah, there's only one Don King."
King wanted to speak at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July, but GOP officials kept him off the stage, in part to avoid a focus on his manslaughter conviction in the 1960s. In 1966, King beat a man to death in Cleveland over a $600 debt.

Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's Deputy Politics Editor and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

MORE FROM Sophia TesfayeFOLLOW @SophiaTesfaye

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Black Voters Black Church Don King Donald Trump Election 2016 Elections 2016 The N Word

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