August 25, 2017

Black Trump supporter: The president missed it in Charlottesville

Darryl Howard and George Martin defy easy stereotypes. Howard, a 28-year-old real estate agent, “reluctantly” voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 after voting for Mitt Romney in 2012 and Barack Obama in 2008. Martin, a 28-year-old former sailor, voted for Obama twice, then voted for Donald Trump. Both men are black.

After President Trump’s initial response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, that saw neo-Nazis and white nationalists clash with counterprotesters, they were united.

“President Trump: Whose side are you on?” Howard asked. The president “missed the point in Charlottesville” when he seemed to draw a moral equivalence between the protesters and counterprotesters. “It was absolutely the wrong way to respond to anything like that where someone lost their life.”

Trump initially responded by condemning the violence “on many sides,” a word choice that drew criticism from commentators and politicians across the political spectrum. Subsequent attempts by Trump to clarify his statement failed to quell the backlash.

Martin, the Trump voter, said the president was “trying to show that there were two sides” engaging in violence, but “that was not the right moment to try to shift blame. This was not what this moment was about. This moment was about having respect for a woman who died at the hands of a citizen. … It almost seemed like it was a justification.”

Trump’s response revealed his true character, Howard said. “This was him coming out and saying what he believed. And I can’t respect or support that.”

This video was originally featured as a part of the Washington Examiner’s series The Race To 2020: The people and places that will define a presidency. You can watch more videos here.

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