Omarosa Manigault-Newman is one brave woman. She has to be to step into the makeshift house of justice and represent Team Trump.
But that’s exactly what she did Thursday at the annual Women’s Power Luncheon at the National Action Network Convention in New York City, which featured a plethora of powerful ladies, like super stylist June Ambrose and MC Lyte, speaking before at least 500 members and guests.
Manigault-Newman started her remarks after luncheon host and Good Morning America TV journalist Mara Schiavocampo opened up the luncheon and asked those present to give Manigault-Newman “a respectful and warm welcome.”
The audience pretty much complied, though after giving thanks to God and noting that she was an active member of the Los Angeles NAN chapter, Manigault-Newman said, “I come from NAN, so I know what I’m getting into … and I ain’t never scared.”
The assistant to the president and director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison kept her remarks brief, but the first mention of President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office elicited audible groans from the audience. Manigault-Newman touched on HBCUs, the Small Business Administration, black farmers and stopping violence in the streets of “Chicago and St. Louis.”
“I am looking forward to partnering with you, continuing to work on behalf of the National Action Network in Los Angeles but, more importantly, the president of the United States,” she said.
At the end of her remarks, Manigault-Newman remarked, “I know who cashes my check,” to audible gasps.
The Rev. Al Sharpton, founder and president of NAN, spoke right after Manigault-Newman, and punctuated his words with his characteristic bluntness.
He spoke directly to Omarosa, saying that she was in a “very precarious position” because she represented an administration that “many of us are against.”
“We would not be like Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity—and disrespect a sister here,” said Sharpton. “You are welcome to come home, but in any family, the father of the house gets to get some family business straight.
“I want you to bring a message back to the president,” he continued. “Let him know that you were respected here at NAN. But I wish the president respected us.”
Sharpton also said he “doesn’t do photo ops” but would be willing to meet with Trump, whom he has known for over 30 years.
After hip-hop pioneer and activist MC Lyte accepted an award and spoke about the work she and her Hip Hop Sisters organization does with young black men, Angela Rye, CEO of Impact Strategies, took the mic—and minced no words.
“Moments ago, we were joined by your president’s apprentice,” she began. “And I have a burden to tell the truth.
“The truth is Pell grants were cut under this administration,” she continued. “The truth is, you don’t put forth a tax-reform plan that cuts corporate tax rates but ignores the poor … ensuring that burden is going to be on the backs of ordinary black and brown people. You don’t fight for people by trivializing the first black president by questioning his legitimacy.”
Rye mentioned how Trump had called for the death penalty for the Central Park Five, as well as the fact that his father discriminated against black applicants to his buildings during the 1970s.
And then, the kicker, “How you don’t fight for us is by pissing on me and telling me it’s raining!”
She added: “I take this award for Assata Shakur, I take this award for Angela Davis, for Dorothy Height and for Maxine Waters. Resist, y’all!!!”
And she brought the house down.
Omarosa, meanwhile, had left the dais after Sharpton’s remarks, never to return.