The Slatest

Oops! Trump Mistook a Black Supporter at His Rally for a Protester and Called Him a “Thug”

Trump at his rally Wednesday in Kinston, North Carolina, where he got to interface with one of his black supporters.

Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

C.J. Cary really loves Donald Trump. He has loved him for years, and he really wants him to be president. On Wednesday night, the 63-year-old came to a Trump rally in Kinston, North Carolina, determined to pass his candidate a note of advice: stop being so offensive on the campaign trail to women, minorities, and people with disabilities, or else “lying Hillary” will defeat him.

According to the Charlotte Observer, Trump spotted Cary, wearing sunglasses and a bright red shirt, after he had made his way to about 30 feet from the stage and began waving his note in the air while shouting “Donald!”

Oh, did we mention Cary is black? He is.

Anyway, Trump mistook Cary for a protester. Trump addressed him directly from the podium: “We have a protester!” he said, as you can see in this video at the 11:53 mark. Trump then said this to Cary: “By the way, were you paid $1,500 to be a thug?”

Thug! Thug. $1,500. Thug.

As the crowd erupted into chants of “Trump! Trump! Trump!” the candidate instructed his security team, as he usually does when there’s a disturbance at one of his events: “You can get him out. Get him out.”

According to the Observer, the member of Trump’s team who escorted Cary from the Kinston Jet Center noticed at some point that Cary was wearing a GOP badge. “I said, ‘I was trying to get to this doc to Mr. Donald … will you get this to Donald?’ ” Cary told the paper. “He said, ‘Well dude, we’d be happy to give it to him.’ ”

It seems this Trump fan can’t catch a break. Back in July, the Rocky Mount Telegram reported that $900 worth of Trump signs—some 36 in all—had been torn down from Cary’s front yard by vandals. From the Telegram:

Cary, a former Marine, has been a Trump supporter for decades. He has been corresponding with the billionaire developer since 1992 when Trump replied to a letter Cary sent during Trump’s first divorce.

“I support Trump because he’s honest,” Cary said. “You can work with an honest person and convince them their vision isn’t in the best interest of everyone. You can’t work with dishonest people. That’s why I don’t like Obama—the worst president in American history.”

The July incident with the signs was the third time something like that had happened, according to Cary. When he replaced the signs this summer, the Telegram reported, he wrapped some of them in wire and added signs “indicating the coils are electrified.” (A neighbor told the paper he wasn’t sure why Cary “needs so many… It’s more like an eyesore than anything.”)

In any event, this guy really, really loves Trump, who has now called him a thug. A recent CBS News poll found that Trump enjoys the support of 4 percent of black likely voters.

Read more Slate coverage of the 2016 campaign.