Man who Trump once called 'my African American' leaves GOP over racism

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Gregory Cheadle said Trump is 'mired in white privilege to the extreme' and the rest of the Republican Party is pursuing a 'pro-white' agenda.

The man Donald Trump singled out at a June 2016 campaign rally as "my African American" has left the Republican Party. His reasoning: Trump's racist rhetoric and the party's "pro-white" agenda.

As then-candidate Trump addressed supporters at the airport in Redding, California, he boasted to the crowd that he had an African American fan there with him.

"We had a case where we had an African American guy who was a fan of mine. Great fan, great guy. In fact, I want to find out what's going on with him," Trump recounted, remembering a different supporter at an earlier rally who had said had clashed with protesters dressed Ku Klux Klan outfits.

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He then pointed to Gregory Cheadle, a real estate broker, and said, "Ah, look at my African American over here! Look at him! Are you the greatest? You know what I'm talking about?"

Cheadle told "PBS NewsHour" on Thursday that he laughed Trump's comments off at the time, but no longer does. "I'm more critical of it today than I was back then because today I wonder to what extent he said that for political gain or for attention."

He said he recently changed his party affiliation from Republican — his party since 2001 — to independent due to the GOP's racial intolerance.

"President Trump is a rich guy who is mired in white privilege to the extreme," he observed. "Republicans are too sheepish to call him out on anything and they are afraid of losing their positions and losing any power themselves."

Cheadle noted Trump's mostly white judicial nominations, his attacks on four congresswomen of color, and his insulting remarks about Baltimore, saying that the president seems to have a "white superiority complex."

And Cheadle is not alone. Though Trump claimed on Tuesday that his administration is "deeply devoted" to the black community, a CNN poll released that day showed that just 3% of black women approve of the job he is doing as president.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.