Of the many — many — things wrong with Donald Trump's Phoenix rally, there was the man standing in the crowd just over the president's right shoulder wearing a T-shirt that said: "Trump & Republicans are not racist."
Those who have closely followed Trump's rallies since his campaigning days know him as the "'Blacks for Trump' guy."
Now known as "Michael the Black Man," he was once called Michael Symonette and Maurice Symonette. The man is often spotted as the sole representative of the Trump-supporting African-American community.
At a Florida Trump rally in October, he wore a shirt reading, Gods2.com, an address that redirects to HonestFact.com, a right-wing website that's essentially a forum for conspiracy theories such as “Real K K K Slave Master Revealed & is the Cherokee!”
In 2008, he called then-presidential candidate Barack Obama "The Beast," according to Miami New Times. "Because the candidate is an apocalyptic figure warned of in the Bible: a proponent of infanticide and extreme partial-birth abortion where you stick a needle in a baby's head — partly out of the womb — and suck its brains out and collapse the head!"
Michael the Black Man was also charged for allegedly conspiring in two murders. During court proceedings, his brother testified that he "stuck a sharpened stick into one man’s eyeball." Symonette was not convicted.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Kevin Lamarque