Omarosa, others support, pitch Trump locally

Reality star Omarosa Manigault signs a Trump sign for Sam Solomon, who is running for the Soil and Water board, in front of the Forsyth County Republican Party Headquarters on Friday, August 5.

Omarosa, others support, pitch Trump locally
August 11
06:45 2016

Photo by Todd Luck



Prominent Donald Trump supporters visited the Forsyth County Republican Party Headquarters hoping to get minorities and women to get on the “Trump Train” on Friday, August 5.

Speakers included former Apprentice contestant Omarosa Manigault, who is now African-American outreach director for the Trump Campaign.

“I just want to say one thing to Hillary Clinton and the Democrats: ‘You’re fired!’” she said to cheers from the standing-room-only crowd.

While there were many women in the audience, it was overwhelmingly white. It still didn’t stop speakers from making their spiels to black voters.

Trump Spokesperson Katrina Pierson said she was honored to be a black woman supporting Trump. She said she expects black communities to support Trump because they’ve been failed by “liberal policies.”

“We have black children trapped in inner city schools with a failed public education system,” she said. “These children are required to speak Spanish before they can graduate from high school, but cannot be taught to read and speak proper English.”

Pierson has garnered a lot of attention lately after she blamed Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton “changing the rules of engagement” in Iraq for the death of Army Capt. Humayun Khan. Khan died in 2004 when George Bush was president, a mistake she later admitted. Trump has been in a war of words with Khan’s parents after their appearance at the Democratic National Convention. Pierson didn’t address the controversy, but said she was honored to take “daggers” for Trump as part of her job.

YouTube stars and Trump super fans from Fayetteville, Lynette “Diamond” Hardaway and Rochelle “Silk” Richardson, also expressed their pride in being black women for Trump, repeating that African-Americans need to come off the “Democratic plantation.” Hardaway said that immigrants need to come in the country legally and speak English.

“When you come to this country, you come correct and you assimilate to our ways,” she said. “You can’t assimilate, and you stay out. That’s coming from a black woman that said that, so the white people won’t get upset.”

Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump and Eric Trump Foundation vice-president Lynne Patton also spoke, saying that Trump was a good man and emphasizing his business history, including properties he’s turned around and workers he’s hired.

Earl Phillip, former Trump campaign N.C. director, also toured the state with the speakers last week.  He is now deputy chair for the National Diversity Coalition for Trump, which is trying to get diverse voters to support Trump. Phillip and the others visited Republican Party offices around the state. They also held events in Charlotte at the Trump National Golf Club and an African-American church that endorsed Trump.

Appealing to minorities and women is an uphill battle for the Trump campaign. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll last week found that Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton has 91 percent support among registered African-American voters while Trump only had one percent. Among women, Clinton had 46 percent support while Trump had 34 percent.

Though speakers repeatedly said Trump is not bigoted or intolerant, the perception among many minorities is different. Trump has become well known for his controversial campaign statements about Illegal immigrants from Mexico being rapists and drug dealers, and restricting Muslims from coming into the country. Before he ever ran, in 2011, he demanded that Obama show his birth certificate to prove he  wasn’t secretly born in Kenya. Many view the debunked “birther” conspiracy theory that Obama was born in Africa instead of his home state of Hawaii as a racist attack on the first black president. Phillip said he wants black voters to look at Trump’s policies instead of his past controversies.

Reggie Reid was among the attendees and thought the event was “excellent.” He’s African-American but prefers to be called a “human being” instead. Reid, who volunteers with the local GOP, said he supported Senator Ted Cruz in the primary, but was supporting Trump now. He believes Trump has vision and leadership abilities that Obama lacks and will champion Republican values.

“We need more freedom and more opportunity and less government,” said Reid.

Local GOP Chair Mark Baker said he’s glad to see the Trump campaign doing outreach. He said locally Republicans are united behind their nominee. He said the party is getting many calls from people eager for Trump signs which the local GOP will be giving out.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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