Over the weekend, presidential hopeful and GOP frontrunner Donald Trump garnered an endorsement from another unlikely source — the brother of murdered civil rights leader Medgar Evers.
Despite disparaging comments Trump has made about Mexicans, Muslims, and Black people, Charles Evers told the Clarion-Ledger he was supporting the candidate because he’s a “businessman first,” dismissing claims that Trump is a racist because of his tough stance on immigration.
“I believe in him first of all because he’s a businessman. I think jobs are badly needed in Mississippi,” he said.
Asked about Trump’s controversial remarks regarding immigration and an incident Tuesday in which 30 black students were reported to have been removed from the candidate’s rally in Valdosta, Georgia, Evers responded, “I haven’t seen any proof of him being a racist.”
However he added, “all of us have some racism in us. Even me.”
Evers’ past made it difficult for many to believe he was supporting the outspoken Trump; his brother, Medgar, was assassinated in Jackson, Miss. in a 1963 racially motivated attack. After his death, Evers served as the Mississippi field secretary for the NAACP and he became the first Black mayor of a Mississippi town (Fayette).
In the 1980s, however, Evers switched to the Republican party and endorsed Ronald Reagan, a move that amassed national attention.
Now, the 93-year-old is making headlines again by defending Trump. When asked by NPR what he thought about Trump’s failure to explicitly disavow support from former KKK grand wizard David Duke, Evers had this to say:
“It didn’t bother me at all because he’s running for president of the United States – the president of everybody, including the David Dukes. And I have no problem with it, frankly, because David’s just one man. He’s out there by himself. And most people now have gotten away from that. Look how far we’ve come since Medgar’s death 50-something years ago. So you know, we have to stop living in the past and live in the present and the future.”
Later in the interview, he gave yet another reason he was supporting the presidential candidate:
1. JANUARY: President Obama delivers the State of the Union address with the support of vice president Joe Biden. Obama gained mass support after his joke about winning both terms.
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2. JANUARY: President Barack Obama has an adorable moment with Akira Cooper at the Community Children's Center, one of the nation's oldest Head Start providers, in Lawrence, Kan.
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3. JANUARY: President Obama greets Prime Minister Narendra Modi upon arrival at Air Force Station Palam in New Delhi, India.
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4. JANUARY: President Barack Obama greets neighbors after visiting a model home at the Nueva Villas at Beverly, a single-family housing development owned by local nonprofit organization Chicanos Por La Causa Inc. in Phoenix, Ariz.
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5. FEBRUARY: President Barack Obama fakes a jump shot during an Affordable Care Act video taping for BuzzFeed in the White House Library. The video went viral thanks to jokes about his presidency and ultra-cool swag.
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6. FEBRUARY: Obama pals around with one of his biggest supporters, vice president Joe Biden. While he chose not to run in the 2016 presidential election, Obama said he would be in his corner.
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7. FEBRUARY: President Barack Obama talks with 13-year-old student Vidal Chastanet as "Humans of New York" founder Brandon Stanton photographs during a blog interview in the Oval Office. Obama was greatly inspired by Chastanet's comments on the popular "Humans of New York" Instagram page, where he shared his troubles finding courage in school and and life despite living in a dangerous area of Brooklyn, NY.
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8. MARCH: President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama join hands with Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga. as they lead the walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday and the Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches, in Selma, Ala., March 7, 2015. Malia and Sasha Obama join hands with their grandmother, Marian Robinson.
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9. MARCH: Obama is a classic man as he puts on a green tie in observance of St. Patrick's Day.
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10. MARCH: President Barack Obama delivers remarks during the event to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday and the Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala.
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11. APRIL: During the Correspondents' Dinner, his anger translator - played by Key & Peele comedian Keegan-Michael Key - helped Obama get out his biggest frustrations.
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12. APRIL: President Obama arrives in Jamaica to meet with the 15-member Caribbean Community. His trip marked a first for the sitting president and second since the country's independence.
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13. APRIL: Obama speaks with newly appointed Attorney General Loretta Lynch in the Oval Office.
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14. JUNE: President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are seen talking during the president's trip to the G7Summit in Bavaria, Germany.
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15. JUNE: President Obama sings "Amazing Grace" during the eulogy for South Carolina state senator and Rev. Clementa Pinckney during Pinckney's funeral service. Clementa was one of the nine victims who died after suspected shooter Dylann Roof entered the AME church and opened fire.
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16. SEPTEMBER: President Obama is featured on the popular show "Running Wild With Bear Grylls." Obama took the trip to highlight the importance of climate control.
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17. SEPTEMBER: The First Couple serve as "love goals" at the White House's state dinner for Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Madame Peng Liyuan. Obama and Xi announced an agreement on controlling climate change and a mutual outlook on cyber security.
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18. OCTOBER: President Obama meets with Ahmed Mohamed, the student who was detained by Texas police for his homemade clock. The president stood by the teen, who many believe was the victim of Islamophobia.
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19. NOVEMBER: President Obama issues a warning to his critics who "pop off" at his policies towards Syrian refugees. Speaking at the OP 21 United Nations conference on climate change, Obama welcomed his Republican critics to the White House to lay down their own policies. No one has responded.
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20. DECEMBER: President Obama addresses the public from the Oval Office regarding the San Bernardino shooting.
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21. DECEMBER: All grown up! The First Family, including Obama's mother-in-law Marian Robinson, is seen at the White House's national Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 2.
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Continue reading 21 Of President Barack Obama’s Best Photos Of 2015
21 Of President Barack Obama's Best Photos Of 2015