UPDATE (6/5/16): Gregory Cheadle, the black Republican congressional candidate who Donald Trump called out as "my African American" during a speech in California last week, tells CBS News that he understands why people might think Trump's shout-out was racist, but he didn't have any issues with it. In fact, he was flattered.
"I never, ever sensed any racism on his part," Cheadle told CBS News in a phone interview Saturday. "Looking at it now, I can see on a script -- in a transcript, or even somebody watching the clip -- I can see how they would jump to the conclusion that it was racist. But I never felt anything at all. ... It's a compliment to me."
See original story from 6/3/16 below.
At a rally in Redding, Calif. On Friday Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump singled out a black supporter and referred to him as: "My African American." Earlier in his speech Trump took a moment to condemn the violence that broke out at his rally last night in San Jose, Calif., which joins other recent campaign rallies that have ended in violence and arrests including in San Diego, Calif. and Albuquerque, N.M.
According to The Huffington Post, Trump said he tells his supporters to "be very gentle" with supporters. However, Trump has done otherwise before saying "maybe he should have been roughed up" when a Black Lives Matter activist was attacked at a rally in Alabama. His supporters have been far from gentle and peaceful, for example, the time one Trump supporter called for a black man to be "burned alive," or the time Trump supporters—whom Trump called "passionate"—attacked a Latino homeless man and urinated on him. In March a Trump supporter sucker punched a black protester at a rally.
Trump began to tell a story about an Arizona rally where a black Trump supporter punched a protester wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood when he pointed out the black supporter at the Redding rally saying, "Look at my African-American over here. Look at him. Are you the greatest? You know what I’m talking about? OK."
After talking about that supporter from Arizona whom he called a "great fan" and a "great guy" Trump said, "We have tremendous African-American support," The Huffington Post reports. "The reason is I'm going to bring jobs back to our country. But when these sleazy people, these dishonest people who never show the crowds...When they showed that event, it made it look like the white guy was on my side," he said referring to the man who was wearing the KKK hood.
Trump's campaign spokesperson Hope Hicks told CNN that Trump was "just referring to a supporter in the crowd. There's no ill will intended, obviously." Hicks said Trump was "grateful for this person's support." She said Trump's use of the possessive "my" when referring to the supporter wasn't racist and that any accusation of the sort was "ridiculous."
Hill didn't immediately respond to Complex's request for comment.
The black supporter has since come forward. The Record Searchlight reports Gregory Cheadle was the supporter Trump singled out. Cheadle, who the Record Searchlight reports is a Republican running for the 1st Congressional District, was not offended by Trump's remark.
"To give the black folk the time of the day, I was happy," Cheadle said. The two were actually able to talk after the rally. Cheadle said: "I was at the point he was about to leave and I called out, 'Uncle Donald, Uncle Donald.' He recognized me as the guy he had called out."
During an interview with CNBC last fall Trump was asked whether his campaign was inciting racism to which he responded: "I don't think so. My audiences are very—I have many, many blacks. I had a poll come out the other day where I was at 25 percent approval rating from the blacks as a Republican."