After tons of media hype and the candidate reversing course and actually speaking at the service, Donald Trump’s visit to a black church in Detroit fizzled. While protesters showed up outside the Great Faith Ministries to express their disapproval with the GOP nominee, the service itself was only sparsely attended, despite the days of national press coverage the event received.
According to Politico’s Shane Goldmacher, it appeared that the church was mostly empty when Trump arrived for the Saturday service.
Nowhere near a full crowd as Trump enters (far left) pic.twitter.com/kL1AlVukG4
— Shane Goldmacher (@ShaneGoldmacher) September 3, 2016
Goldmacher noted that the campaign did not allow some local reporters to attend, apparently giving the reasoning that they needed the space for those who obtained tickets to attend.
Trump’s first visit to a black church, which required tickets for entry and was heavily hyped, but did not draw a full crowd, There were rows and rows of empty seats in the back half of the church, even as the Trump campaign did not provide an opportunity for some local reporters to attend.
Heading into the weekend, it was reported that Trump was only planning on attending the service but would not speak to the congregation. He was also going to do a private, pre-taped one-on-one interview with Bishop Wayne T. Jackson in which the questions and answers would be scripted. Well, this went over like a fart in church considering he was supposed to be doing ‘outreach’ to the African-American community, and it was decided that Trump would speak briefly to those gathered.
Jackson, in introducing Trump, proclaimed that “this is the first African-American church he’s been in y’all.” The alt-right idol proceeded to deliver a 12-minute address where he struck a quiet tone and oddly enough didn’t tell those in attendance to vote for him because “what the hell do you have to lose.” He also said he wants to provide a “civil rights agenda” which will include school choice, among other things. (Yeah, segregated charter schools will help promote equality.)
Detroit social activist Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony had the following to say about Trump’s visit:
“Donald Trump’s visit to Detroit is tantamount to a wolf visiting a sheep farm to lead a discussion on Let Me Be Your Leader To Greener Pastures. It is the old southern strategy of Nixon, Bush and Reagan, wrapped up in a new an un-improved version of divide and conquer the Black and moderate white votes. Let’s talk about law and order for you, bad economic times for you but no specific plan of action from me. He is talking over, around and through Black people but not to Black people. He should apologize, repent, re-align and retreat from his divisive non-Presidential behavior. We are all better than that.”
The best thing about the whole affair — Trump left before the service was over. You keep doing you, Donnie.