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Donald Trump Visits Black Church on Detroit’s Westside

Donald Trump Visits Black Church on Detroit’s Westside
President Trump seen here surrounded by supporters after the his speech on Detroit's westside. Photo: Susan Kokinda / Promethean Action

Just as he did a few weeks ago in the South Bronx, Donald Trump came to the ‘hood in Detroit on June 15. Rather than a rally before thousands in New York, this time he engaged with community leaders and activists before a crowd in the 180 Church on the west side of Detroit. This author and her husband were privileged to be among the several hundreds invited to attend.

The neighborhood captures the poignancy of Detroit. In the first decades of the 20th Century, my father grew up about 10 blocks from the church, the son of a Polish coal miner who went to work for Henry Ford. Republican candidate for Detroit, Martel Bivings, who opened the event, also spoke about growing up in the neighborhood. For both families—one white, one black, spanning both ends of the 20th Century—this area was a stable working class neighborhood, which, as Bivings said, meant that “you made it.” Now, like so much of Detroit outside of the gentrified downtown, it is an urban desert. 

The author with Republican Congressional candidate Martel Bivings, an organizer of the event. Photo: Promethean Action

For Donald Trump to come here was a political earthquake. The pastor of the church, Lorenzo Sewall, said, “President Obama never visited the ‘hood, President Biden came to the big NAACP dinner, but he never came to the ‘hood.”

Trump did more than come to the ‘hood. He engaged in a genuine dialogue with a panel of local citizens, who represented various elements of the community, among them Valerie Parker, a community activist; Itasha Dotson, a small business owner; Chef Omar Mitchell, Carlos Chambers, a veteran, and Mario Williams, who was incarcerated under Joe Biden’s 1994 crime bill. Flanking the panel, on the stage were black faith leaders, candidates, activists, and a well-known Detroit rapper. 

In his opening remarks, Trump stressed his administration’s actions which impacted the lives of Black Americans—jobs, home ownership, crime prevention, low inflation, support for Historical Black Colleges and Universities, and the important “First Step” program to help released and rehabilitated people leaving the prison system (such as panelist Mario Williams). And, of course, he focused on the need to protect the auto industry from insane green mandates and free trade. There probably wasn’t a native Detroiter in the crowd who didn’t have some history with the auto industry, which of course, is the life blood of the city. 

But the President’s strongest response came when he attacked the assault on children, through gender modification and other woke obscenities. He said, “I always get that response.” Mario Williams, who turned his life around thanks to Trump’s First Step program, continued the theme asking the President what he would do to protect our children. And Chef Mitchell said, ”I want our kids today to be dreamers, bigger, so they can achieve more than I did and even more.” The President returned to the need to protect them from crime and ensure that they had decent jobs.

Trump’s remarks touched something in the room which was made even more manifest by the remarks of Dr. Ben Carson, a Detroit native and Trump’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Carson spoke of his upbringing in the city, his education in the Detroit Public School system, his exposure to great art at the Detroit Institute of Arts, his classical music training, and the teachers who guided him to a distinguished medical profession. Carson’s upbringing in the 1950s and 1960s spanned the decades when Detroit was at its peak, with a per capita standard of living which was the highest in the country, because of the auto industry. What Carson, Trump, Bivings, and current Congressman John James all channeled was the reawakening of a productive, creative human identity. And you could feel it in the room. More than anything else, that has been under attack by the satanic anti-human elite. And more than anything, the reawakening of that will undergird a political movement which will be unstoppable,  and which will transform this nation and endure beyond a successful Trump 47 Presidency.

The event felt a little like a giant family reunion, with the audience singing Happy Birthday to the President, and with its share of jokes. Veteran Carlos Chambers, after expressing his agony over what had happened to our servicemen in the withdrawal from Afghanistan, addressed President Trump with this request, “Please, sir, don’t let our soldiers walk around in red high-heeled shoes.” 

Community activist Parker, who will be hosting a Juneteenth event in Detroit with Republicans, went on to describe the “Democrat” life that had been laid out for her—minimal education, Section 8 housing, “pop out those babies so the checks keep coming.” Now, a proud Trump supporter, she mentors young people. She described going to a Democrat to solicit funds so that kids could get a $5 haircut, and was rebuffed with a snide, “Why don’t you go talk to Trump.” Turning to the President, she said, “Now, I can go back to him and say, I did!”