I was an outspoken supporter of Donald Trump when he ran for President in 2016, and I remain one today. This has provoked some vicious reactions from people who refuse to believe that my support for him is genuine.
People would ask if I was getting paid for my support of Trump, or if he had promised me some job when he took office, implying that the only reason a self-respecting black man would stand behind him was because of some sort of bribe as opposed to real conviction and support.
These derogatory attacks on my character were disheartening at first, but over time I started to revel in it. I realized that the harder it was for critics to wrap their heads around the idea that a black person didn’t march in lockstep with their side, the easier it was to prove just how ridiculous and downright racist that assumption was.
I go through some of these experiences in my new book, Nothing to Lose. Whenever I made media appearances during the 2016 election, I would get inundated with questions about how much money the Trump Campaign was paying me, or what my official position in his administration would be if he won. I repeatedly had to tell them that I wasn’t getting paid at all, and that despite the widely-held liberal assumption that black people would always vote Democrat, my support for Trump was pure.
One reporter was so confused by my responses that she just asked “Well, what do you want?” I patiently explained that my personal beliefs motivated me just as much as her own ideas motivated her, even if we disagree. Somehow, partisan Democrats can’t seem to wrap their heads around the notion that black people are not defined solely by our race.
As widespread as this kind of prejudice was in 2016, it’s even worse now. These days, anyone who doesn’t make a show of wanting to defund our police departments or supporting Joe Biden’s candidacy runs the risk of being demonized as complicit in a supposedly systemically racist country. If that person happens to be a black American, the demonization is swift and brutal.
Ironically, if anyone is guilty of perpetuating a racist system, it’s Joe Biden, whose nearly half-century career in Washington devastated black communities all over the country. It was his 1994 crime bill, for instance, that subjected non-violent offenders to lengthy prison terms and destroyed generations of black families. He has even bragged that his role as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee put him at the forefront of every one of the “tough-on-crime” policies of the 1980s and ‘90s, describing his philosophy as “lock the S.O.B.’s up.”
President Trump, on the other hand, has gone out of his way to support the black communities that Democrats have long taken for granted. He corrected many of Joe Biden’s worst policy failures by signing the FIRST STEP Act, which has already led to the release of thousands of non-violent offenders.
The Trump administration also created the Opportunity Zones program, which is driving unprecedented levels of investment in thousands of America’s most underdeveloped communities, providing jobs, housing, and infrastructure to areas that have been ignored by the Democrat politicians who promised to save them. Instead of giving Trump credit for achieving historic victories on behalf of black Americans, most Democrats have just echoed the line that I heard over and over again four years ago: that any black person who supports the President must be doing so out of some ulterior or personal motive.
As Joe Biden put it, any black person who doesn’t automatically support him “ain’t black.”
Well, I am black. And I support President Trump because of what he stands for and what he has done. The clock is ticking for Joe Biden and other Democrats who continue to take the votes of black Americans for granted while refusing to acknowledge their own failed policies. Black people across the country are realizing, just as I did, that just because someone has a D next to their name doesn’t mean we should trust them.
Pastor Darrell Scott is CEO of the National Diversity Coalition for Trump and a member of the Donald J. Trump for President Inc. advisory board.