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Trump mistakes a black supporter as a 'thug'

An African-American Trump supporter wanted to give the candidate a note. He was escorted away, however, when Trump perceived him as a "thug."
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Panama City, Fla. on Oct. 11, 2016. (Photo by Mike Segar/Reuters)
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Panama City, Fla. on Oct. 11, 2016.
It's not exactly a secret that Donald Trump has struggled to earn support from African-American voters, but North Carolina's C.J. Cary, a retired Marine, doesn't care if he's one of a limited number of black Trump backers.In fact, when Trump campaigned in North Carolina last week, Cary wasn't just excited to see the man he hopes to help elect, he also wanted to pass a note along to the candidate with suggestions on how to broaden his appeal. As the News & Observer reported, it didn't go well.

He walked his way toward the front rows, stood about 20-30 feet from the stage and shouted "Donald" while waving his document to try to get Trump's attention."He entirely mistook that and thought that I was a protester," Cary said.Trump's response: "Were you paid $1,500 to be a thug?" Cary was escorted out.

Before Trump's supporter was escorted away, the candidate said, "You can get him out. Get him out."As a rule, mistaking a supporter as a critic is embarrassing enough, and Trump's theories that protesters are being paid $1,500 by Democrats aren't true.But it's the racial component of this that's especially unsettling. Trump saw an African-American supporter and quickly assumed Cary was a "thug." Over the summer, the Republican nominee famously pointed to a black audience member during a rally, saying, "There's my African American over there," That wasn't well received, and by some measures, Trump's use of the word "thug" is worse.As for Cary, the North Carolinian told the Washington Post he plans to support Trump anyway, despite last week's incident, and a campaign aide at the event assured Cary his note would reach the candidate."I was a little sad [that I was escorted out] but was more happy than sad because my purpose for being there was to give that document to Donald," Cary said.