Presidential candidate, business tycoon and TV personality, Donald Trump and his entourage descended upon North Charleston, South Carolina, on September 23, to make a speech billed as an address to the South Carolina African American Chamber of Commerce. Donald’s team had informed the media that they had received 1500 RSVPs. As it turns out, less that 500 people attended and of that number, only a handful were Black. The majority of the back rows were completely empty. Presumably – ego-bruised, Donald repeatedly commented on the size of the audience and said he had added the event to his schedule with little notice. Equally of note, the media in attendance was sparse and the coverage of the speech minimal. MSNBC carried it for less than four minutes, CNN around six minutes and Fox did not carry the speech at all.
Nevertheless, Donald continued to be Donald. He was asked to share his experience as a successful businessman. Some from the attendees said they were disappointed with his speech in that he failed to address key issues relevant to South Carolina and the African-American community. He touted his lead in the polls; attacked the media as being morons and maligned his competitors. What he didn’t speak about was Black businesses. Mr. Wilbert J. Lewis, a business consultant from Summerville, S.C., who seemed appalled by Donald said, “Not good, not good, not good, honestly not good.” He added of Mr. Trump’s performance, “All over the map and not on the map at all.”
Despite the room being filled with White supporters – to a rational man, it would appear that his support from African-Americans in small. Yet, he still displayed arrogance and ignorance in his audacity to suggest that he will receive 25% of the Black vote in the general election. In citing a poll from the firm SurveyUSA, he said, “Here’s a poll,” Trump said. “Trump receives 25% of the black vote in general election. If you win 25% of the black vote, it’s over, you win!” He continued, “I have a lot of friends, African-Americans in New York, they say, ‘You’re going to get most of the vote.’ I was actually disappointed with the 25 percent.” Most other polls, social media evidence and common sense, do not show Trump with very much support from Black voters. In a Quinnipiac University poll released in August, Trump got only 3 percent of black support in a match-up against Clinton.
Mr. Trump’s strong appeal to his base was evident. His supporters cheered and laughed at racially inspired one-liners. People brought “TRUMP” signs and stood to their feet to applaud. However, many of the African-Americans in the crowd neither clapped nor stood. “He’s very entertaining,” African-American, conference attendee Donna Newton told MSNBC after the event as she laughed with two friends. “The stuff that comes out of his mouth is unbelievable.”