EXCLUSIVE — WATCH: Original “Apprentice” star Kwame Jackson says Donald Trump is "at his core racist”

Salon sat down with Season 1 "Apprentice" runner-up Kwame Jackson: "I was one of the first to say 'racist'"

By D. Watkins

Editor at Large

Published October 12, 2016 2:26PM (EDT)

Last week the Salon crew traveled up to Harlem for a conversation with entrepreneur and motivational speaker Kwame Jackson, the runner up on Season 1 of NBC’s “The Apprentice.” The 42-year-old businessman, who’s had a decade-plus relationship with Donald Trump, gave us some valuable insight into the Republican nominee, and why Jackson doesn’t want you to vote for him on Election Day.

Trump knew he could never count on Kwame Jackson to be a token black surrogate. “I have no interest in supporting someone who I think is, at his core, racist,” says Jackson.“I was one of the first people to say 'racist.' Before, people were flirting with the idea, [saying] ‘Oh he has racist tendencies’ or ‘Maybe he is echoing racism,' and I was like: No, actually he is a racist!”

Jackson discusses his personal experiences with Trump on set, along with the Birther movement, the lack of diversity in Trump’s business operations and Trump’s lack of respect or understanding of black professionals.

Watch the full interview above.

By D. Watkins

D. Watkins is an Editor at Large for Salon. He is also a writer on the HBO limited series "We Own This City" and a professor at the University of Baltimore. Watkins is the author of the award-winning, New York Times best-selling memoirs “The Beast Side: Living  (and Dying) While Black in America”, "The Cook Up: A Crack Rock Memoir," "Where Tomorrows Aren't Promised: A Memoir of Survival and Hope" as well as "We Speak For Ourselves: How Woke Culture Prohibits Progress." His new books, "Black Boy Smile: A Memoir in Moments," and "The Wire: A Complete Visual History" are out now.

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Donald Trump Elections 2016 Kwame Kwame Jackson Original Video Original Videos Race Racism The Apprentice Trump