Fuck What You Heard: Interview With a Black Trump Supporter
Written by Geoffrey Aikens (@OhArd215)
With the polarization of the news, it has become difficult to hear perspectives from everyday people involved in recent events. We find the talking heads of major media outlets speaking for large groups of people, sometimes even omitting an entire side of a conversation. It is a disingenuous way to go about having any conversation, especially difficult ones. I want to fight against that as much as possible and give these ideas some light. If they are indeed foolish and need to be abandoned, we can show why, and give an actual explanation instead of just shutting it down.
Today, I am sharing with you a short conversation I had with Kyree Davis on November 8, 2018. Davis is a graduate of Wilberforce University, the third historically black college, which was founded in 1856 by escaped slaves. He currently works in startups and recently became more politically active, participating in Turning Point USA’s 2018 Young Black Leadership Summit at the White House, where President Donald Trump made an appearance talking to a crowd of his black supporters. I wanted to get a view of Trump from Kyree’s perspective, why he supports him, and what he feels about the criticisms of Trump. (Note: This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity. My questions are in bold.)
There we go, looks like we got it working.
Alright let me get situated. I don’t wanna disturb my household with my loud ranting.
It’s fine, not a problem. Okay, sweet. Alright, so what’s up Kyree? How are you doing, man?
I am great. Good. Good.
Awesome. Sweet. I am turning this up so I can hear you. Alright. Thanks for doing this man, I appreciate it.
Surely, truly, no problem. No problem at all. How you been?
Doing well, doing well. Alright. Okay, so we might as well just get into it, right?
I guess so.
Alright. So I guess the first question, really, is what’s really… What brought you to the Republican Party [and] supporting Trump?
I’m not Republican. I’ve always been a registered Independent, so I’m still Independent. But I’ve always leaned towards Democrats. And it’s really just been just looking at track records and looking at policies that they pushed through. Usually looking at mostly Democrat-run cities — Baltimore, Philly, New York — and seeing just over time, especially with New York, when just, even like local state policies that may have been riskier I know a huge difference in drops in crime. And just with Trump himself, I think, I just kind of have gotten used to his Trump-ishness I guess you could say. I think it’s more so his demeanor and his lack of diplomacy and just the way he goes about things. It’s just this… Just him as a person, that people don’t like. But as far as policies, they’re pretty sound. The economy is doing pretty well, except with the most recent hiccup with stock markets because of all this tariff business.
But if he pulls off the plans that I think that he wants to pull off with the NAFTA deals, the thing with China, ’cause I think they’re supposed to be meeting soon, they might possibly meet in Paris. (Editor’s note: The World War I 100th anniversary meeting from November 2018.) I guess I just see a guy who’s actually trying to make deals for [the] United States, and he pushes for more power for the States themselves. So I can’t fault that. Unemployment’s low, can’t fault that. Yes, the numbers did start to fall under Obama. But he kept a strong economy to keep it going and he is actually bringing even more jobs back. There’s actually more jobs than people can fill. There’s actually empty jobs out there in the west. So people would have to emigrate kind of within US, there are actually jobs out there.
Okay. What do you feel about some of the more legitimate criticisms about him that some of the people in the media have raised up? Do you think these are things that you think about often, or do you feel like they’re just something that falls to the wayside, and it’s something that you think doesn’t need to be included in a bigger view?
I mean, I don’t mind the legitimate criticisms of him, but I think the key word there is “legitimate.” Yeah, okay, his Twitter is a little off the handle for a president. He’s not our stereotypical… He’s not going to exhibit stereotypical “presidential” behavior. He is not a politician. But the thing is, we have known of Trump. Trump was a Democrat. So we’ve known of him and what he’s about, and he does have a chequered past. He has the legitimate racist overtones from his family. But I think, when you just really think about it, you know, yeah, his dad is… His grandfather, his family is from Germany. They were immigrants. And he was just very German and they’re a very proud people — just like black people are a very proud people.
So if you look at it constructively, if you put them side by side, yeah, his grandfather and his father told him, “Yeah, you got the gene.” We don’t know, but we kinda guess, but that kinda, like, superiority complex instead. And they were pretty hard working and they became powerful.
So you can give that criticism for any rich, powerful men on the real. But I think you just have to give him a pass [on] that. And I don’t think we need 24… It’s not really 24/7 criticisms. I would say 75% of them are just not legitimate, they’re just nitpicking at this, like, he sneezes “Oh my God! Racism!”
Okay, I get you on that point. So you said you’re not a Republican, you are more just [an] independent Trump supporter. And you said you lean a little more toward the left, though. Have you gotten a chance to talk to any of your friends, really, about your beliefs, that don’t necessarily agree with Trump, or specifically any of your other black friends, even if they’re left-leaning or if they’re right-leaning, about how you feel?
So, yeah, unfortunately to my friends’ chagrin… [laughter] I knew you from back in the day, even we all used to hang out. I would’ve never thought I would really be supporting someone like this. But my one friend I’ve made up here, he lives in… Alright, so he’s black and Puerto Rican. He lives up here in the Bronx, and he has a giant Afro so people have recognized us whenever we’re out together in the city. So I’d just be talking, and he’d be like, “Man, what’s up? What has Trump done for you? He’s just another white man.”
This guy is educated, he has this whole… He says he’s liberal or he’s kind of, I guess, “fiscally conservative, but socially liberal” is what they all say. But he asked me just to tell him, I’m just like, “Bro, no matter how much resentment you have for him, he is actually for this country.” So I tried to tell them because of that we are in this country, so he is for us. He’s actually forced to be for us ’cause if he was actually outright racist or… Besides little clips he says here and there, or if he wrote it into policy like, “Black people are not allowed,” of course, that would be the end of it. So you have to learn how to use this momentum, and use the situation to your advantage, no matter how you feel. Because you stand to gain. You stand to gain.
When he said, “What the hell [did we] have to lose?” Well, it shouldn’t mean that I had to lose. Once you get past it, you’re like, “Actually, you’re right,” and he’s a businessman. I guess because since I have gotten older and gotten more into business. And once you get older [laughter] reality hits you. You’re not, like, 25 anymore, you’re not 27, so you start thinking about your assets, and your investments, and the world economy really does affect that. Immigration actually does affect that, because it affects the economy, it affects the demographics, it affects how people vote and what they’re going to vote and who they’re going to vote [into] power. And I like his nationalism, you know, and that’s what I try to get across to people, and they just kind of look at me, my black friends.
Do you think that people could be a little worried about the fact that white nationalism seems to be emboldened through Trump, and perhaps it’s these people that are trying to use people in your position as a way to further their own ideals subversively? Or do you feel like maybe that these are the people that don’t have your best interests at heart, and aren’t necessarily Trump in particular, but are using his position and his lack of… I don’t want to say “hard stance” against white nationalism into that sentence, but I guess, in a way, a lack of his chastising it and people wanting him to be more chastising toward them?
[The] criticism about Trump because they look at him and I’ve heard something like this. I’ve seen articles where they see him as like, “Well, isn’t he, like, the father of, kind of, like, us?” and I’m like, “No, he’s not.” [laughter] He’s no one’s daddy. And they really framed the… You really have to look at the language that the mainstream media uses and prints. That’s just if you really look at the language, because it’s very sneaky. And you don’t recognize it, because you’re so used to it, and that’s why they feel such a moral righteousness about it when they criticize Trump. But it’s on the most trivial, idiotic things. Like even the latest thing that just happened with Jim Acosta. And I’m so sick of fucking Jim Acosta. He just wants all this … He’s just such a little crybaby. I’m so sick of Jim Acosta.
That’s a strong opinion.
Fricking sitting up there, hogging the mic, asks like two or three questions in a row, gonna clearly put his hand, “Look, look, excuse me miss.” What do you mean, “Excuse me miss?” Give that mic to [chuckle] that young lady. She’s just doing her job. And then, he’s just such a… And him and then you have Don Lemon…
So, do you feel that people aren’t giving Trump his fair swing? And that people aren’t giving him his fair shot simply because they’re being told not to, and that there’s so much being forced in their face to show them that he is not what they want and you want people to take him for what he is and actually do their diligence on their own?
Yes, kind of. But the thing with that is, it’s funny, with all this, with Don Lemon, and Angela fucking Rye or whatever and that whole little panel on main, on CNN prime time, whole panel of black folk just… [laughter] “Kanye is in ‘The Sunken Place.’ “ “Token Negro.” Token Negro? Do you know Kanye’s history? This motherfucker was writing poetry in fucking China by like age seven. Literally, if you really look at Kanye’s life, he’s actually kind of a genius. He may be a little off, literally off, because he just might be a little autistic or whatever. But it’s so funny how black people are so easy to just…[snaps] Like that. No matter what your background is and no matter how much they put in your face, prime time, mainstream, CNN, there is a growing contingent of “in the closet” won black Trump supporters. But even more, I think people are realizing that black people as a whole, we’re naturally conservative. Church. Family. Working.
I’ve heard that a lot. The church conservatism with the black community is something that has been seen. But, one thing that [is] actually interesting about that, like you said earlier with the black Trump supporters “in the closet,” is how have you… Have you met more of, like, an in-person community of black Trump supporters? Have you gotten around? You guys are out here doing real stuff, making real moves.
So it’s actually funny you should ask. [chuckle] Yeah. So recently, you might have heard, I’m not sure how plugged in to the online convo that you or your viewers might know about. But Candace Owens and Charlie Kirk, aka White Chocolate, held a Turning Point USA event at [the White House in] DC, where they managed to get Trump to speak to us. Don Jr. spoke to us. I met Larry Elder and more black people you can get behind like Larry Elder, I tell you. And Thomas Sowell, I’ll get to Thomas Sowell in a minute. But yeah, it was a great event. Candace Owens launched Blexit, black exit from the Democratic Party. It was kind of like what, I guess, what she’s been working on in the background came to a head. So yeah, it was nice. The mainstream media spun it all kinds of different ways. He just so happened to announce that they had caught Cesar Sayoc, the bomber, right when he addressed us. That wasn’t really planned. Actually, his speech just was delayed. We waited like an extra 45 minutes at the White House for him.
I think it was the de-briefs.
So that event actually really brought a lot of us together. I had never seen so many black people wear a MAGA hat.https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1055622965587599360&lang=en&origin=file%3A%2F%2F%2FC%3A%2FUsers%2Fgeoff%2FAppData%2FLocal%2FTemp%2FTemp1_medium-export.zip%2Fposts%2F2019-01-09_Fuck-What-You-Heard–Interview-With-a-Black-Trump-Supporter-9069c347faad.html&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px
I’m sure it was quite the scene.
You’ve never seen any… And some of them did get… If they went out to eat in DC, I think someone yelled at them in a restaurant. Some girl, when I was coming off the elevator, and mind you this was also Howard’s homecoming. She was all Howard-out, you know, Howard jumpsuit. And soon as we get off, she’s like, “What is all this? Oh no, we from Howard, we don’t do all that. I don’t know what that is, but we over here, we don’t know nothing about that.” I was like, “Wow.” I was like, “But you need to,” and she was like, “What?” But the doors were closing.
And there’s a lot thrown in there. I don’t know, I think because black people have always run on this thing that the world’s racist or we’re always oppressed. Something bad happens to you: Racism. And if you can’t make it: Racism. It’s always something else, it’s never what you do for yourself.
And there is a big number one problem, so… Around all these black Trump supporters, especially for the black community. We discuss a lot of things. We didn’t agree on everything. That’s another beautiful thing about it. We’re all of one accord, we all still criticize Trump within our own conversation. I did see a string of trends that did pop up. We all agreed that the welfare state is horrible. And something needs to be done, more so about that, but that’s, I guess, more socially. But in the response to that, I think a big problem we all recognize is the lack of fathers in the black community, the breakdown of the black family. That’s pretty much number one, so it was during Larry Elder’s speech. He said, “The number one way, “ his plan to make sure to make your chances greater of living a middle class life, is to graduate high school; don’t get pregnant before you get married; and get some skills in between graduating high school and getting married — whether that would be a college degree, certificates, whatever. Then get married. And then… Actually get married and, hopefully, have a kid.
So, one of the biggest things is, do you feel that you’re more visible? I would say, as a black Trump supporter, do you feel like you have a voice that has been given to you that you wouldn’t necessarily receive from the Democratic side? Do you feel more visible? Do you feel as though the plight of black people has been seen by Democrats for a long time, but not heard? Do you feel as though you’re more heard with Trump?
I feel… With Trump, I guess you could say that, yeah. But it’s not so much that I feel more heard, it’s the fact that he recognizes the problem. He recognizes [those] who are the problem. You can’t just keep giving people things… In a system where it’s a job in and of itself to stay on the system, and having to fill out that paperwork every other month or every couple months. Trust me, I’ve been on welfare. That shit’s not fun, that shit’s not fun at all. It’s horrible. I was out in Philly, I was on welfare for a minute. And it is there for a reason, of course people are down on their luck, but… Yeah, it’s something that gets very much abused, and the system itself needs to be changed. So I feel like that he more so sees that, and that’s something that Democrats kind of refuse to… I feel like they refuse to address it, they really do.
Okay. Alright. So, do you feel as though your interest in Trump and your embracing of him is something that’s pulling you closer to the Republican Party, and do you feel like this is something you could see yourself dealing with in the future and continuing to be a part of it even after Trump is out of office? Or do you feel as though Trump is what you’re really following and that you’re not really tied to the Republican Party more so than you are to his particular ideals?
Probably more of the fact that it’s Trump.
It’s not that I don’t like the Republican Party. Well, I haven’t in the past. I have my gripes with them. I have my gripes with both parties. I would love to actually see, out of this… I’m sure Trump’s gonna win in 2020, but I would like to see out of this, maybe a rising, strong third party.
It was even George Washington that said, “Beware the two-party system.” And I think that’s a good part of the reason why we’re in this mess, black folks, is this two-party system. It’s really gotta go. Something needs to happen. A strong third party needs to come forth, it really does. Like so many other countries, and even first-world countries, you always see, like, a strong third or fourth… Maybe not strong third or fourth, but you see a variety. It’s getting old, like you look at…
Yeah, it is.
You look at other elections and they have a wider range of ideals. And I think as we progress as a people, in general, as mankind, ideals are gonna progress. So, of course, new things are gonna arise and I think that something’s definitely happening, something new is happening. It’s a big culture clash, culture war, and I don’t think people realize how important it is. Even this last election seemed like…[chuckle] Life or death. It still worries them, that outcome. It’s pretty much what I think everyone kinda expected but… It’s like one hair. And I feel like we’re just kind of a gridlocked government. Now we have socialists in the government. That’s another headache, socialists in the government.
So you feel like… So do you feel as though more black people should be embracing Trump or do you feel like more black people should just embrace breaking off of the Democratic Party in general?
We should move away from the Democratic Party and not give them so much of our power. People are not realizing… People don’t realize that voting is probably one of the most powerful things you can do as a regular Joe Schmo. That’s a great, awesome privilege, and a right that we have out here in America. Two, yes, kind of embrace Trump. I think we just have to really see what he’s trying do for the nation and really see ourselves.
I don’t think black people really see themselves as Americans. I think we kind of, sometimes, rather. But I think we see ourselves as other, like we’re African-Americans or…
I’ve kind of stopped seeing my… And that’s another thing. I’ve kind of not seeing myself so much as an African-American rather just American. I guess I’m black American. I am for my people, but I’m still an American, an American first. And you just really have to see the opportunity. Everything he says we should be for. So yeah, embrace that. Ride that train and… When powerful black people or people who are of note, I guess you could say, get shot down. Who was it, Meek Mill who was supposed to go meet with him? Wasn’t it Meek?
I think, yeah.
And then JAY-Z, like someone’s daddy, said, “No.” [chuckle]
Something to that sort, I believe. [laughter]
“No.” Bitch, what?[laughter] I’m sorry. Like I am not the first… To me, I think Trump appeals to more like individualistic… And even with my artsy background, my very liberal friend, our group of people we ran around with, we were all individuals, and I think that he actually speaks to that.
And we aren’t afraid to kind of question like, “Hmm.” But, I think once again, all the way back to the very beginning, it’s his demeanor. It’s that. Get past that and embrace that and just kind of see where this can take us. Because it’s not so much what Trump can do for us specifically, because people, I get asked that question all the time. “What has he done for you? What has he done for you?” It’s not what he’s done for me. No one’s supposed to be doing anything for me. I am supposed to be doing something for me. He’s supposed to be just making the lay work for me to actually go out there and do it. And you can’t… Once again, it’s that daddy thing. “What’s he done for…” What the fuck do you mean what he’s done for you? Go do it. Literally go do it. It’s just all it is is a mindset. It really, that’s all it is. It’s a mindset thing and the Democrats keep us there. It’s just…
Okay. Well, what do you feel about… I guess, I mean since you said you’re not really a part of the Republican Party, you’re more so attached to Trump, and it’s always important to recognize the separation of the two. So I guess where it comes around to is like what I would ask you is what do you think is the biggest misconception that people have when they see someone like you and they hear that you’re for Trump and they think about all of the associated words that they have and all the ideas that come along with it, what do you think is… What do you want them to know that that’s not true, that’s not what I am?
It’s such a range of things. [chuckle]
Well, what’s the big one?
I mean we’re talking about black people. No, I’m not in “The Sunken Place.” No, I’m not a “coon.” You can think of me as an Uncle Tom if you so choose, because at the end of the book, if you actually read the goddamn book, Uncle Tom was the one that freed the damn slaves — so you should be thanking me. [laughter] If I’m a random feminist white girl, no, I’m not misogynistic. And no, I’m not gonna “believe all women” and no all this other stuff. I’m not gonna genuflect for anyone. I want people, just when they see a black Trump supporter, they should realize, one, that person’s probably more looking to actually gain some wealth.
When you look at black Trump supporters, and I’ll speak to black people specifically on this, but everyone take this, use this as a takeaway: That person is on their grind. They are trying to gain some wealth. They are probably trying to buy a house. They care about their property taxes. They care about the quality of education that our children are receiving because this public school crap is not working. I’m not even sure the Department of Education is working, to be honest with you. And we really should be considering school choice. Just, I won’t get into it, but school choice…
There’s lot of stuff there.
A lot of stuff. And they care about our future. We are looking at long-term. And I think a lot of people in general, black people, they really focus on the past. Even with, I think, the more white liberal “resistance” type or the multi-intersectional “resistance” type, they focus on his past, and we all know that he didn’t let people of color into… He denied them tenancy in his buildings. We know that. Yes, he said some “locker room talk” about grabbing people by the pussy, we know that, years ago. And they focus on that. Whereas we Trump supporters are like, “Okay, well, he’s talking about Americans today, and this seems to be working for us and black people have more [unintelligible] than ever.” Stock markets are up, the economy is doing great, so let’s take this risk.
And maybe more black people should get together and build enterprise and business and net worth, and build that base so we can build more wealth together, buy property, and re-invest it. Now’s a great time, well probably not right now, but up until recently it was a great time to invest into the stock market. But even then, there’s all these little… There’s so many ways to even just start saving. There’s all these little apps, like Stash App and Acorn[s] and that stuff. If you get financially aware, there’s so many tools that we have within the palm of our hand and I think that’s the person that you should be seeing when you see a Trump supporter, someone who’s a black Trump supporter, someone who’s really, who’s actually more for their people than anything. In all seriousness, I really have to say it’s not the “coonery” that people take them for. Like, I don’t even know where that comes from. I mean, I kind of know where that comes from. I get it, but I guess, because I’m just so past that mindset, I see someone who cares about the country, as we all care about the country…
Sounds like you care. That’s important. Well… That’s awesome. Really, that’s passionate… I can tell. You’re definitely passionate about it. This is all wonderful stuff. I appreciate you talking to me about this. So here’s the last thing man: You get a shot here. You got someone, they’re here, they’re like, “I don’t know if I should leave the Democratic Party. Why should I leave the Democratic Party? I’m listening to you,” give them a sentence, give him something. What is it that they need from Trump, and what has he got for him and how can you convince them? Just throw it at [them]. What are they looking for?
When you have someone who’s in charge of an entire nation with their best interests in mind, and the first thing he says is “America first”, with their track record of making money and making organizations powerful and rich, maybe not rich, but making organizations more powerful and expanding them, I will probably take that person over a group of people who have bred hate groups, literally have blocked the passage of black people of being full-on citizens and voting of our very freedom and who want to actually expand the very rights, our very rights, of citizenship here and expand it to illegals. For something that was meant just for you (Editor’s note: the 14th Amendment), they want to interpret that as, “Any old motherfucker who just pops out a baby on our soil.” It was never meant for that and we should probably reconsider. And someone who want[s] to use something that was meant for you, and only you, and then give it to any other motherfucker, ain’t got your interests. They are replacing you. They are actually replacing you.
Fascinating. I can feel. Alright, well, this has been great, I really appreciate it Kyree. Thank you. It’s been eye-opening, and I definitely hope that people can get a chance to see that there’s more than just a base-level, base person here. You got a lot to say, and you’re passionate and you care, it’s clear.
I appreciate you giving me this opportunity. Not a lot of people [would] give people this opportunity [with this] whole weekend and Blexit. A lot more people are using platforms such as this, people launching YouTube channels, a lot of networks I know of, they’re talking about podcasts. You’re probably gonna hear a lot more of us in the very near future, especially, I think, over the next two years. Given the results, it was a very interesting and yeah, I really think you’ll see somewhat a little bit of a shift in the black community. I see it’s happening. [chuckle]
Alright, well, thank you Kyree, I appreciate it man. Definitely have to talk to you again soon.
Definitely man, thank you.
Have a good one, boss.