One brave African American high school student decided to volunteer for one of Donald Trump’s campaign offices in West Des Moines on Caucus Day as a way to find out if the media is portraying him in his true light. James Patterson then interviewed with The Young Turks to talk about his experience.
“I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t critiquing out of ignorance,” Patterson explained. “I saw what he said on TV, but I also know how the media works, so I wanted to see it for myself.”
For most of his volunteer work, Patterson was making phone calls on behalf of Trump’s campaign in an office setting with about 20 people. The first thing he noticed? He was definitely the only African American in the room.
While he said no one was blatantly disrespectful, there was definitely a disconcerting atmosphere he was very aware of.
“Nobody used any racial slurs. Nobody called me 'the n-word.' Nobody called me ‘coon’ or anything, but it’s, for lack of a better word, it's micro-aggressions. You know, the way they look at you. The way they talk about foreign policy and how they talk about oppressed groups when they don’t think you’re listening.”
Patterson explained that overall, Trump's supporters were “normal people who have these resentments towards minorities, not able to voice them because thankfully we have policed language to the effect that that’s not acceptable. But they still hold these.”
He went on to say that he believes that supporting Trump is "their way to show that."
He said that the other volunteers that he worked with were “very friendly,” which unnerved him since they were in clear support of some of the hateful rhetoric Trump was spewing.
“Sure, everybody has the right to say whatever they want,” Patterson explained. “However, there is something called respect. And Trump is not respectful. And there is something wrong with our society when we can glorify somebody openly that condemns [minorities]... When he speaks to that, there’s no way he can be pro-black or pro-Hispanic or pro-minority, and have that campaign.”
He concluded that Trump’s campaign is geared toward “fundamentalist Christian, white, middle-class Americans that feel like their power is being taken… because minorities are making strides.”
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