Donald Trump surrogate Don King, the renowned boxing promoter who was once convicted of manslaughter, gave a controversial speech early Wednesday morning at a Cleveland Heights church meeting, where he invoked the n-word in front of an audience of pastors.
“ America needs Donald Trump. We need Donald Trump, especially black people,” said King, as Trump sat in a chair behind him. “Because you have to understand, brothers and sisters -- they tried to tell me you have to emulate and imitate the white man and then you can be successful. So we tried that.”
King continued praising Trump in his introduction at the New Spirit Revival church in Cleveland Heights, where several African American faith leaders gathered Wednesday morning to meet with the Republican nominee.
“I told Michael Jackson -- I said, if you poor, you are a poor negro,” said King, dressed in a flamboyantly decorated denim jacket. “I would use the n-word. But if you rich, you are a rich negro. If you are intelligent, intellectual, you are an intellectual negro.”
And then King seemed to slip. “If you are dancing and sliding and gliding n-----,” he said, and then chuckled, before adding, “I mean, I mean, negro. You are dancing and sliding and gliding negro. So dare not alienate because you cannot assimilate. So you know, you going to be a negro ‘til you die.”
“So when you deal with the reality of what life really means,” King said, “I learned a lesson from that because I been on both sides of the area.”
King, who was pardoned by the governor of Ohio in 1983 for his manslaughter conviction, gave the remarks Wednesday at an event hosted by Pastor Darrell Scott, the CEO of Trump’s diversity coalition.