Pastor Mark Burns, a Black Trump surrogate, apologized for tweeting out two controversial photos of Hillary Clinton on Monday. One depicted her in Blackface, while the other showed her with blonde braids.
The tweets accused Clinton of pandering to Black voters and set off a firestorm of reaction, only one month after Burns gave a bizarre benediction at the RNC, calling Clinton “the enemy.”
The photo caption for the first tweet reads, “Black Americans, THANK YOU FOR YOUR VOTES and letting me use you again..See you again in 4 years.” Clinton is holding a sign that says “#@!** the police,” and is wearing a shirt that says “no hot sauce, no peace,” a reference to comments earlier this year during which the candidate confessed her love for the condiment. Many lashed out at Clinton after, saying she played into the tired stereotype that references Black people and their love for hot sauce. The tweet also played into Burns’ criticism that Clinton’s views don’t side with those who support police.
Another tweet shows Clinton with blonde braids, with the caption, “When you need the Black vote.”
Burns initially doubled down on his statements in a fiery interview on MSNBC with Kristen Welker, but then later in the day released an 11-minute Periscope post acknowledging his actions.
“The last thing I want to do is to offend people. The tweet was not designed to anger or stir up the pot like it did. It was designed to bring how I feel a very real reality as to why the Democratic party and how I view it have been pandering and using black people just for their votes…,” he said on Periscope.
The tweets come on the heels of Trump’s visit to Detroit on Saturday, where he plans to address the Great Faith Ministries Church and tape an interview with Bishop Wayne T. Jackson, according to a statement Jackson released Monday via The Detroit Free Press.
Trump’s visit is part of his campaign’s new focus to reach out to Black voters. A recent NBC News poll shows Trump only has 8 percent of the Black vote. In the first few weeks of August, Trump has repeatedly made tone-deaf statements to Black voters at rallies with mostly White audiences, asking them, “What the hell do you have to lose?”
Jackson also offered an invitation to Clinton in his statement. “The goal for this interview is to get real answers and Trump’s views and plans on policies that affect our community,” he said.
Burns also weighed in on Trump’s visit, saying the candidate will “answer questions that are relevant to the African-American community, such as education, unemployment, making our streets safe and creating better opportunities for all. He will then give an address to outline policies that will impact minorities and the disenfranchised in our country.”
Do you think these tactics are helping Trump win self-loathing Blacks and White moderate voters?