Man who Trump called 'my African American' quits GOP
A man who President Trump once singled out in a rally as "my African American" says he is leaving the Republican Party due to lack of diversity, "whites not seeing racism" and Trump's name-calling, and will run for Congress as an independent in 2020.
“President Trump is a rich guy who is mired in white privilege to the extreme,” Gregory Cheadle, a 62-year-old real estate broker, told PBS NewsHour . “Republicans are too sheepish to call him out on anything and they are afraid of losing their positions and losing any power themselves.” He added that he sees the Republicans pushing a "pro-white" agenda and use black people as "political pawns."
During a 2016 campaign stop in in Redding, California, Trump pointed to Cheadle in the crowd while telling a story about one of his black supporters at a previous rally. "Look at my African American over there. Look at him. Are you the greatest? You know what I'm talking about?" Trump said.
At the time, Cheadle said that he was not offended by Trump's remark. “I’ve had people come to me — and these were whites — tell me that they were offended,” he said. “And I appreciate them saying that, but I wasn’t offended by it.”
Now, Cheadle says that Trump has a "white superiority complex" and takes issue with a large majority of his judicial appointees being white. “That to me is really damning to everybody else because no one else gets a chance because he’s thinking that the whites are superior, period," he said.
Republican defense of Trump's July tweets about minority Democratic lawmakers pushed Cheadle to leave the party. Trump suggested that Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came." He also called Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings' district, which includes parts of Baltimore, a "disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”
“They were sidestepping the people of color issue and saying that, ‘No, it’s not racist,’” Cheadle said of comments he saw from Republicans. “They were saying these people were socialists and communists. That’s what they were saying. And I thought this is a classic case of whites not seeing racism because they want to put blinders on and make it about something else.”
Cheadle has launched four unsuccessful bids for office. In 2016, he sought the Republican nomination for a California congressional seat against incumbent Republican Rep. Doug LaMalfa. He lost that contest, taking about 2% of the vote, and again lost to LaMalfa in a 2018 primary.
“President Trump is a rich guy who is mired in white privilege to the extreme,” said Cheadle. “Republicans are too sheepish to call him out on anything and they are afraid of losing their positions and losing any power themselves.”