Earlier this week, the Trump campaign caused quite a stir after announcing that the outspoken presidential candidate would be speaking before a crowd of Black congregants at an African-American church in Detroit this weekend.
It turns out that isn’t exactly the case.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Trump will simply attend a service at the Great Faith Ministries church, after which he’ll do a one-on-one interview with the congregation’s leader, Bishop Wayne T. Jackson. That’s it.
“He’ll be here Saturday,” Jackson told the paper. “He’s going to sit in service and have the experience in a Black church, and then he and I will be in this office and do an interview for the Impact Network that will be aired later on.”
“Just like any other visitor, there will be fellowship at the service, and he can talk to people one-on-one,” he added.
Trump surrogate Pastor Mark Burns had previously announced that the Republican candidate would deliver a speech to the churchgoers. In a press release, Burns stated that Trump would be answering questions about Black unemployment and “making our streets safe and creating better opportunities for all.” His so-called speech would also outline effective policies and solutions that “will impact minorities and the disenfranchised in our country.”
Trump recently kicked his Black voter outreach efforts into high gear after receiving harsh criticisms for entreating African-American voters to back him amid crowds of predominately white voters. He has also repeatedly compromised his own outreach efforts by making offensive, stereotypical statements about Black Americans. Thus, several of his latest efforts to get the African-American vote have fallen flat, particularly the one where he told Black voters they had “nothing to lose” if they would just support him.
“You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58% of your youth is unemployed — what the hell do you have to lose?,” Trump asked a largely white audience during a pitch to Black voters in Dimondale, Michigan.
The real estate tycoon also found himself in hot water Saturday after tweeting about the death of Dwyane Wade’s cousin, who was fatally shot in Chicago, and asserting that Black people would vote for him as a result.
“Dwyane Wade’s cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago,” Trump tweeted. “Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!”
According to the Huffington Post, critics of the GOP presidential nominee argue that he’s only reaching out to Black voters to reinforce his base of white, anti-Black supporters. Great Faith Ministries’ Bishop Jackson said he feels the same but thinks a visit from “The Donald” might be beneficial in some way.
“My congregation trusts my judgement,” he told the Detroit Free Press. “They know that I’m not going to put anything or anyone in front of them that I feel is going to [be] harmful, and I feel we should have an educated conversation about what you’re going to do.”