Knowing the president needs to both energize and grow his base of support if he hopes to win re-election, the Trump campaign is putting outsized energy into building various coalitions. But while each of these coalitions purport to be focused on one demographic or shared political cause, I’ve noticed that there is another glue that is binding these groups together.
The first I showed you was “Evangelicals For Trump,” which purports to be about Christianity but is really rife with homophobia and transphobia. Next I showed you “Pro-Life Voices For Trump,” which claims to be about rolling back reproductive freedom but, again, is teeming with anti-LGBTQ activists and advocacy.
Today we will look at “Black Voices For Trump,” which is designed to raise the president’s approval rating among Black voters (in a recent poll, 83% of Black voters said the president is racist). It turns out that this Trump coalition–and please try to manage your shock when I tell you this–is yet again overflowing with activists who have lashed out against LGBTQ people, with its advisory board filled with figures who have built their profiles by going after LGBTQ rights. Here are just some of the key members of this coalition:
Herman Cain —Insisted that being gay is a sin and a choice: “I believe homosexuality is a sin because I’m a Bible-believing Christian, I believe it’s a sin. But I know that some people make that choice. That’s their choice.”…”I believe it is a choice.;” also referred to transgender children as “psychologically troubled.”
Diamond & Silk — Have crudely condemned transgender bathroom access: “If yo’ stitch don’t have a slit, then it’s not equipped to use a women’s bathroom…As long as you got them balls, you need to put your hands on the wall and use that stall.”
Pastor Darrell Scott — Has stated that his church believes the Bible to “anti-homosexuality.”
Robin Armstrong —Outspoken opponent of marriage equality : “All we’re saying is that we affirm marriage is between one man and one woman. We’re not going to compromise that value.”
Deneen Borelli — Said President Obama “threw blacks under the bus” and “seemed to side with the gay lobby over black moral values” when he came out for marriage equality.
Stacey Dash — Insisted transgender people must pee in bushes so as to not endanger her child: “OK, then go in the bushes. I don’t know what to tell you, but I’m not gonna put my child’s life at risk because you want to change a law. So that you can be comfortable with your beliefs — which means I have to change my beliefs and my rights? No.”
Paris Dennard — Defended Trump’s transgender military ban as “one he has to respect.”
Elbert Guillory — Equated his childhood dream of being a cowboy with “a boy who dreams he is a girl and based solely on his dream can intrude himself into the girls’ shower room.”
Clarence E. Henderson — Does not believe in LGBTQ civil rights: “There’s no comparison” between the struggles of African-Americans and LGBTQ persons, said Henderson. “There is a difference between what a human being is and what a human being does. … I lived this – walking down the street being called all kinds of names because of the color of my skin … How many gays or lesbians were lynched?”
Keith W. Hodge/Kevin W. Hodge (Hodge Twins) — Crudely mock and misgender transgender people: “Just run bitch—you’re a dude!” (*There are several instances of transphobia from them, so much so that a venue recently canceled one of their appearances).
Niger Innis — Penned article insisting marriage equality harms kids and democracy.
Dr. Alveda King — Has linked marriage equality to “genocide.”
Ken McClenton — “Liked” a Facebook comment referring to gay men as mentally defect, then responded by writing, “[Homosexuality] definitely was deemed a mental illness until the mid-1970’s by The American Psychological Association (APA). Hence, we wish to upload a protected group of mentally deficient persons into the military. Not good!”
Pastor Dean Nelson — Rallied in favor of North Carolina’s transgender bathroom ban, insisting “LGBT rights are not civil rights”
Corrin Rankin — Quoted as saying that “Democrats are pushing the black community away by endorsing radical social positions on issues like gun control, religious freedom, and transgender identity.”
K Carl Smith — Routinely cites his realization that he had been “voting for a candidate or political party which wants to change God’s divide definition of marriage of one man, one woman” as a reason why he now supports Republicans over Democrats
Marie Stroughter — Wrote: “Gays and lesbians can create something else, but cannot take what He has created and strip it of the parts not liked! Marriage is God’s ‘intellectual property.’ Marriage does not exist apart from God.”
Dr. Carol Swain — Suggested homosexuality is a cause of natural disasters: “We are being confronted with numerous national disasters and freak weather patterns. Could some of these occurrences be related to our decision to reject biblical injunctions against abortion, greed, homosexuality, fornication, and adultery? Accept the fact that no matter what Christians and other believers do, it may be too late to save the United States of America….As it stands, we do not know if judgment has been determined for our nation.”
Dr. Linda Lee Tarver — Wrote on Facebook: “God designed the family. He designed the husband to be a MAN and a wife to be a WOMAN. Mt. Zion will not accommodate a violation of His Will. Not bashing gay people, we’re bashing sin. If it were God’s intention to have all male or all females, He would have done so. God has a purpose for the difference between man and woman.”
Stacy Washington — Claimed homosexuality is “deviant sexual behavior”: “There are some issues that we simply cannot compromise on. Codifying deviant sexual behavior into the Constitution is one highly incendiary example.”
Clarence Mason Weaver — Longtime anti-LGBTQ activist who once wrote: “‘…they [the promoters of these new rights] are after your children.” Homosexual rights today, pedophile rights tomorrow.”
Rep. James White — Fought to keep Texas’ unconstitutional sodomy law on the books, even making reference to bestiality in his defense.
Terrence K. Williams — Misgendered and mocked a transgender woman on Twitter
David Harris Jr. — Claimed that in California, “school kids are forced to accept indoctrination of the gay lifestyle.” Also routinely attacks transgender women athletes, snarling that “Russia and China were 40 years ahead of their time because they always seemed to find these large women who looked like men in wigs.”
That’s twenty-six people with clear views opposing LGBTQ rights. There are only thirty members of this advisory council. This is not a coalition of Black voices, as a whole–it’s a coalition of anti-LGBTQ voices who happen to be Black.
One has to wonder if the Trump campaign is intentionally microtargeting anti-LGBTQ communities to build each of these affinity groups, or if the Trump base is just so wildly anti-LGBTQ that the anti-LGBTQ records are built in from the start. Either way, it’s certainly clear that this administration is not the slightest bit concerned about building up the profiles of people who want to rollback our freedoms. And that, my friends, should concern us all.
*PREVIOUS: Evangelicals For Trump