Trump’s avoidance of Black Press reveals tense relations

News Analysis By Paul Delaney

omarosa-cherissmayphoto2.jpg

 Omarosa Manigault, assistant to President Trump and communications director for the White House Office of Public Liaison. PHOTO: Cheriss May
Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from the Center for American Progress
At the very beginning of the new administration, and probably in a moment of hubris, Omarosa Manigault, an aide to President Donald Trump, promised that the first newspaper interview with the new president would go to a member of the black press. Nobody took her seriously. In fact, such a meeting has yet to occur, prompting me to think that, given the disastrous encounters with other black groups—such as black college presidents—perhaps it is best that such a meeting never happens.
As someone who began his career working for a black-owned newspaper, I’m well aware that those of us who have toiled in the black media are used to being ignored or mistreated by public officials. I never expected President Trump to meet with the black press. Like the community that spawned them, black journalists have always felt the sting of second-class citizenship.
The recent to-do between White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and April Ryan—the White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks, a consortium of black-oriented radio stations—is an example. Spicer chided her as he evaded her question about a white man killing a black man in New York. “Stop shaking your head again,” Spicer hectored Ryan. There is nothing new about such patronizing, bordering on racist, behavior.
From the beginning—slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, Jim Crow segregation, lynchings, and discrimination of all types—reporters and editors from the black press took on the racism and the racists of the world, shining a bright spotlight on such evils as most of their counterparts in the white media took pains to ignore. In some cases, especially in the South, white reporters and editors encouraged the racist views of the day. At a conference of journalists a few years ago, keynote speaker Hodding Carter III observed that in the South during the 1960s, “the average Southern newspaper was … bigoted.” He should know. His family owned the Delta Democrat-Times, a rare liberal newspaper in Greenville, Mississippi.
Although black media was the stepchild of American journalism, it focused attention on many newsworthy acts that downtown dailies ignored. Black reporters working for black publishers and broadcasters tackled some of the worst cases of violence—and at times led the charge. I remember the pride of fellow staffers at the Atlanta Daily World after a campaign by the paper saved a black man from Georgia’s electric chair. And who can forget the chilling coffin photos of the mutilated body of Chicago teenager Emmett Till—who was lynched in Mississippi—published in Jet magazine.
During the current newsroom downturn that has seen dwindling numbers of readers, listeners, and revenue, the black press has taken a heavier hit than its white counterparts. How bad is it? One black publisher agonized over whether to accept advertising from the Trump campaign. She ended up rejecting overtures—and ad money—from the campaign.
“I could not in good conscience take the money,” she explained during a private dinner that I attended last year with a group of black journalists.
President Trump and most African Americans are off to a terrible start, not surprising given the heavy black vote against him and the atrocious gaffes he and his appointees continue to make regarding nonwhite folks. Given his actions and appointees thus far, black people have reason for deep distrust.
The few occasions of personal contact between President Trump and African Americans have been awkward and/or disastrous, enough to assume he will keep such intercourse to a minimum. During a White House meeting last month, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) said he informed Trump that “his language describing African-American communities has been ‘hurtful’ and ‘insulting.’” Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) was one of first leaders to publicly call for Trump’s impeachment. What’s more, Waters was among a handful of members of Congress who refused to attend his inauguration and refused to join fellow black congressional leaders in attending the White House meeting.
Black media have kept up a constant drumbeat against the Trump administration; we can expect that to continue, and possibly intensify. One issue sure to bubble up repeatedly—meetings with President Trump. As a former colleague at The New York Times, E.R. Shipp, News
So with nuts, neophytes and revisionists running the Trump asylum, one might wonder why 70 or so presidents, chancellors and advocates for historically black colleges and universities—HBCUs—accepted a “getting-to-know-you” White House invitation.
I suspect the same sentiment will apply to members of the black media, if they’re ever invited to meet with the president.
Paul Delaney, a veteran print journalist, spent 23 years with The New York Times as an editor, reporter, and foreign correspondent. He began his career at two black-owned newspapers, the Baltimore Afro-American and the Atlanta Daily World, before moving on to a succession of other newspapers, including the Dayton Daily News in Ohio and the now-closed Washington Star. He was a founding member of the National Association of Black Journalists and served as the chairman of the journalism department at the University of Alabama from 1992 to 1996. He is currently completing a memoir on his career.

Peaceful exchange of power takes place as Trump prepares to take oath of office by shaking Obama’s hand.

inaughandtohand.jpgPresident Obama shakes hands with President Trump on stage at inauguration. Roy Lewis/Trice Edney News Wire

 

 

               (TriceEdneyWire.com) – President Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States Jan. 20, during a peaceful exchange of powers with America’s first Black President Barack Obama. Trump assured a unified America despite never apologizing for leading one of the most hate-filled campaigns in recent history.

“We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and to restore its promise for all of our people. Together, we will determine the course of America and the world for years to come,” Trump told the crowd. The Bible tells us, ‘How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.’ We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity. When America is united, America is totally unstoppable.”

The speech was met with applause and chants of “Trump! Trump! Trump!” by the vastly White audience – a reversal from the two inaugurations of eight and four years ago, when throngs of Black people packed in to witness the historic inaugurations of President Obama. The Trump inauguration, though well attended with crowds stretching from the steps of the U. S. Capitol back to the Washington Monument, did not draw as many people as the Obama inauguration, based on close observations of the crowd by this reporter and Black press photographers who attended all three ceremonies.

More than 60 Democratic members of Congress decided to skip the inauguration; including Black Caucus members U. S. Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.). Lewis contends he does not see Trump as a legitimate president given the involvement of Russian email hacking in order to help him get elected, according to confirmation by intelligence agencies. Lee and others refused to attend because of protest for Trump’s vitriolic conduct during the election.

Still President Obama had promised a “peaceful exchange of powers”, a tenet of American democracy. Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, were also in attendance with their wives. Former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who battled Trump vigorously to win the presidency, smiled a lot and appeared stately during the procession and ceremony.

“Every four years, we gather on these steps to carry out the orderly and peaceful transfer of power, and we are grateful to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for their gracious aid throughout this transition. They have been magnificent,” Trump said. He repeated promised to “make America first” in his proposed national and international policies, legislations and executive orders. He also promised to uplift “inner cities”, a well-known euphemism for the Black community.

“Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighborhoods for their families, and good jobs for themselves. These are the just and reasonable demands of a righteous public,” Trump said. “But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system, flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge; and the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential. This American carnage stops right here and stops right now. We are one nation – and their pain is our pain.  Their dreams are our dreams; and their success will be our success.  We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny.”

Trump’s words are lofty, but his actions have not matched what he has said. So far, he has nominated an all-White cabinet; except Dr. Ben Carson who will head the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He has also appointed former White supremacist advocate Steve Bannon as a top advisor and nominated former Klan sympathizer Sen. Jeff Sessions as attorney general. He has appointed Omarosa Manigault to assist him with public liaison, but it remains to be seen what will come from a meeting she and other aids had with Black organizational representatives.

Meanwhile on Saturday, the day after the inauguration, more than a million women packed the streets of Washington and other major cities around the U. S. making demands on a string of key issues important to women, Blacks and other minorities. Civil rights leaders have taken a wait and see posture while putting pressure on the Trump administration through protest.

Led by Rev. Al Sharpton, they started that pressure during a march one week before the inauguration. On Inauguration Day, National Urban League President/CEO Marc Morial emailed a statement essentially promising to continue marching to correct social ills that were prevalent 50 years ago.
“My own predecessor as head of the National Urban League, the legendary Whitney M. Young, was one of the organizers of that march and delivered his own stirring speech that day. He spoke of the need for Black Americans to do “some more marching:” …from dangerous ghettos to safe, unrestricted neighborhoods…from poverty wages to skilled, family-sustaining jobs…from the cemeteries of early graves to health centers from overcrowded, inadequate classrooms to fully-equipped, professionally staffed and integrated schools,” wrote Morial. “And there we were, marching for those same things a half-century later, marching under the motto, “We shall not be moved.”

Jim Brown and Ray Lewis, former NFL players meet with President-elect Trump

 

By Des Bieler , Washington Post

Jim Brown and Ray Lewis.jpgJim Brown and Ray Lewis speak with reporters at Trump Tower. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

Trump Tower was the scene of NFL royalty Tuesday, as Ray Lewis and Jim Brown met with the president-elect at his New York transition offices. After the meeting, Lewis spoke of addressing urgent economic conditions, saying, “Black or white is irrelevant.”
Trump, who has been criticized for racially insensitive comments and policy positions, also met Tuesday with pop star Kanye West and former “Apprentice” contestant Omarosa Manigault. “I feel it is important to have a direct line of communication with our future president if we truly want change,” West subsequently tweeted.
“Urban development and job creation are everything,” Lewis, a former star linebacker for the Ravens, told reporters after his meeting. “What we believe with the Trump administration is if we can combine these two powers of coming together — forget black or white. Black or white is irrelevant. The bottom line is job creation and economic development in these urban areas to change the whole scheme of what our kids see.”
“I fell in love with him because he really talks about helping African American, black people and that’s why I’m here,” Brown said on CNN after his meeting. At Trump Tower, he told reporters that he hadn’t voted for Trump, but that “we couldn’t have had a better meeting.”
“The graciousness, the intelligence, the reception we got was fantastic,” Brown said. Brown, a Hall of Famer widely regarded as the greatest running back in NFL history, said he talked to Trump about, among other things, his Amer-I-Can Program, which helps teach life skills to people struggling with poverty.
Lewis said that, because of the program, “we have 30,000 to 40,000 former gang members who’ve changed their lives.” He also said (via the Baltimore Sun) that he thought Ben Carson was a good pick to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Omarosa Manigault named Trump’s Director of African-American Outreach

Written By Charise Frazier

Omirosa Manigualt and Donald Trump

Omarosa Manigualt with Donald Trump at the convention

Former Apprentice star Omarosa Manigault breathed new life into her career by announcing her title as Donald Trump’s campaign director of African-American outreach on live television.

Manigault, a longtime supporter of the presumptive GOP nominee, and former Vice Chair of the National Diversity Coalition For Trump, solidified her position during a Monday interview with MSNBC‘s Craig Melvin.
Melvin pressed Manigault on the recent polling in Ohio and her home state of Pennsylvania, where Trump’s support from African-Americans stands at an astounding zero percent. “I just spent an amazing weekend with African-Americans for Trump, about 300 of them,” she said.
“I’m just wondering who they called because those numbers would be flawed according to the people who have come out to support, had an amazing faith-based service yet with African-Americans who support Donald Trump, had an amazing reception yesterday evening with African-Americans who support Trump,” she continued. “So I look at the data, but my reality is that I’m surrounded by people who to want see Donald Trump as the next president of the United States, who are African-American.”
Well, the numbers don’t lie and if Manigault has any chance of sustaining success in her position, she now knows where she can start.
Manigault pivoted to touting Trump’s economic prowess as a principle for his readiness to lead the country. Though the controversy with Trump University’s multiple lawsuits stands as a stain on Trump’s economic record, and considering the questionable tactics he’s taken with his personal finances (filing for bankruptcy, refusing to make his tax returns public when prompted), Manigault still believes her candidate has “an incredible vision for this country.”