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The man singled out by Donald Trump at a California rally said he was not offended by a comment others have called racist.
Gregory Cheadle said he was happy to have gotten Trump’s attention and was not offended when the presumptive Republican nominee pointed him out at the rally in Redding on Friday, the Record Searchlight reported.
“Oh, look at my African-American over here. Look at him. Are you the greatest?” said Trump, who had been recounting a story of a black supporter who had assaulted a protester at an Arizona rally in March.
Cheadle, a Republican California congressional candidate, was close to the front rows in the crowd of more than 4,000 people when Trump pointed at him, according to the Searchlight. “That was me seriously. I got two autographs out of that,” he said.
Trump came under fire for the remark by some who saw it as racist, but Cheadle did not agree.
Cheadle told the newspaper that the attention from Trump was gratifying to him, since he feels African-Americans have historically been dismissed by politicians. “To give the black folk the time of the day, I was happy,” Cheadle said.
He was proud that someone like Trump would acknowledge him in a crowd that was 99.99 percent white, the Searchlight reported. “It means a lot to me when a person of his stature can come to Redding,” he said.
Cheadle was able to meet the GOP candidate after the rally, the Searchlight reported.
“I was at the point he was about to leave and I called out, ‘Uncle Donald, Uncle Donald,’” Cheadle said. “He recognized me as the guy he had called out.”
Paraphrasing his words, Cheadle shared how Trump explained the comments he had made.
“You know what I was talking about? Jobs, jobs, jobs,” Cheadle said. “I said, ‘Yeah, jobs.’ It’s all a fog. I’m glad I’m not on the witness stand.”
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