Rev. Sharpton thumps Trump
HERB BOYD Special to the AmNews | 12/8/2011, 2:38 p.m.
If infuriating GOP presidential hopeful Rep. Ron Paul of Texas weren't enough, Donald Trump insulted the Black community on the "Today" show, stating that there are no positive African-American role models other than President Obama, and even he has fallen short.
Trump's comment followed a video of Newt Gingrich and his statement about poverty in the inner city. "It may not be politically correct what he said, but it happens to be true," Trump said of Gingrich's negative assessment of poor communities and the lack of role models.
"Let President Obama be their role model, though he hasn't turned out to be much of a role model," Trump continued. He said he knew what he was saying was not a popular statement, "but it happens to be true."
Taking sharp exception to Trump's comments were the Rev. Al Sharpton, president of the National Action Network and MSNBC host, and the Rev. Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, chairman of National Action Network and senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church.
Both are offering to take Trump and Gingrich on a tour of Harlem, or any other major city, to show them a multiplicity of role models, including people who work every day, some with multiple jobs. "I have known Donald Trump for many years and will not let the negligent statement he made on the 'Today' show go unchallenged," said Sharpton. "He needs to retract his comments immediately or we will organize direct action against him."
"I am appalled that a man in his position would make such an irresponsible and ignorant comment on a national forum," said Richardson, "and ignore the contrary fact that there is a plethora of Black role models in this country. His insensitivity is what fosters negative imagery and the perpetuation of racism in this country."
All Trump needs to do is to recall the few African-Americans who appeared on his now defunct "The Apprentice" to know there are Black role models. Has he forgotten Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth? She was a two-time participant on his reality television show.
Perhaps in preparation for moderating the Republican debate on Dec. 27, Trump is stirring up some controversy. If so, he may have bitten off much more than he can chew messing with the reverends.
And his conclusion that Paul and Jon Huntsman are "joke candidates" has already backfired since neither has promised to participate in the debate.