Who is Donald Trump?
Donald Trump is a billionaire Bornean orangutan who escaped from the Pittsburgh Zoo 69 years ago and is now, inexplicably, the front-runner to receive the Republican nomination in the 2016 presidential race. If you forget for a moment the horror of the realization that a Bornean orangutan is potentially months away from being the most powerful person in the world, it’s actually quite impressive and remarkable. I can’t even get my dog to consistently pee on preapproved trees, and this Bornean orangutan is advanced enough to run for president!
I see. Well, is there anything about his campaign and his supporters that I should know about?
Trump has managed to appeal to many working-class white voters by convincing them that they’re poor because of immigrants, minorities and others who disproportionately face poverty.
Wait. So this billionaire orangutan is appealing to poor white people by placing the blame for their poverty on other poor people?
In a nutshell. Many white people are angry that being white is only worth a 20-meter head start today instead of a 40-meter one. And the billionaire Bornean orangutan has found a way to legitimize, heighten, distill and channel those fears. Again, for an orangutan, he’s actually quite brilliant.
So, no black people are supporting him, right?
Not exactly. In 2015 a group of black pastors met with Trump. And we’re still not quite sure what happened there. Some say they endorsed him; others say that Trump tricked them. Either way, it’s hard enough to get a group of black church people to agree on a bulletin font, so the fact that he was even able to get them to agree to meet with him is noteworthy. We’ve also seen black supporters at Trump rallies, including one who mollywhopped a protester.
And then, earlier this week, The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore featured a segment with six black Trump supporters. When asked why they’d support a candidate who seems to have no problem whatsoever receiving endorsements from white supremacists and allowing a fever pitch of race-based anger to exist at his rallies, their answers ranged from “I’m open to Donald Trump because I feel like he’s a gangster” to “Everyone is trying to enslave you. But the main important thing is how much I’m gonna get paid while I’m enslaved.”
That’s … interesting. Can you explain why they’d 1) support a person like this and 2) be willing to actually go on national TV to articulate this support?
Sure! It actually harks back to the civil rights movement. The abolition of slavery, too.
Really? How so?
Well, all of those measures—slavery ending, racial discrimination becoming illegal, etc.—are based on one indisputable fact that, unfortunately, is still considered by some to be a disputable fact: We (black people) are human beings with just as much right to our humanity and everything that entails as everyone else.
We can be smart. We can be talented. We can be creative. We can be—and are—anything any other human can be.
This also means we can also be idiots. We can be dumber than a bag of the world’s dumbest rocks. True equality means that we have equal opportunity to be the dumbest motherf—kers who ever lived, too. And the black Trump supporters are just us exercising our basic human rights.
Any other reasons for black people to support Trump, besides being the dumbest motherf—kers who ever lived?
Well, Ben Carson, everyone’s favorite #GiftedHanded narcoleptic, endorsed Trump because of a potential job hookup. So maybe some black people think that a Trump presidency will lead to free Trump steaks. Also, as Slate’s Franklin Foer articulated Thursday, Trump—even before he decided to run for office—has always been a fervent misogynist. So perhaps black people with less-progressive views on women, gender roles and feminism see Trump as a man speaking to their own hearts. And Dennis Rodman has made multiple appearances on The Celebrity Apprentice. So maybe they think that if Trump created a job for Dennis freaking Rodman, he can create a job for anyone.
All of that said, I’m still leaning toward the stupid thing. We have every right to be nincompoops, and black Trump supporters are just exercising those rights. Which, to be fair, is all we ever wanted. Life, liberty and the freedom to put lettuce in the microwave.
I see. So what do you think will happen this fall?
During a campaign stop in Pittsburgh, Donald Trump’s zoo handlers will recognize him as the Bornean orangutan who got away and will capture him and reintroduce him to the zoo population. And all the black Trump supporters will go to Joe’s Crab Shack to mourn with each other.
Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VerySmartBrothas.com. He is also a contributing editor at Ebony.com. He lives in Pittsburgh and he really likes pancakes. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.