DONALD Trump has seized – and maintained – the political spotlight, in part by making coarse remarks about minority groups and capitalizing on nativist fears among his core supporters. He’s called Mexican immigrants rapists and murderers, repeated stereotypes about Jews and money, and, this week, in the wake of the San Bernardino massacre, Trump ignited a national firestorm by calling for Muslims to be banned from entering the country. The more he’s alienated American ethnic groups and scandalized the political establishment, the more, it seems, the brash billionaire has pumped up his base.
But in a strange twist, Trump, the unabashedly politically incorrect Republican frontrunner, recently made an effort to be more sensitive about one of the country’s key minority constituencies.
This shift came after Trump met with a group that included prominent African-American pastors at his eponymous skyscraper headquarters in Manhattan on November 30. Three people who attended the meeting told Yahoo that Trump was told to change the way he speaks about African-Americans, a group he has regularly referred to as “the blacks.” Members of the group left Trump Tower with the impression he would choose his words more carefully going forward.
“To be honest, we informed him that he comes across as insensitive sometimes,” recounted Darrell Scott, an Ohio pastor who helped organize Trump’s meeting with the clergy. “He said, ‘ok.’ … He nodded his head. … We also told him that there are politically correct and politically incorrect terms that are being in use.”
Scott said Trump took the pastors’ words to heart. After the meeting, Trump flew down to Macon, Ga., for a rally where his speech reflected the new tone: “You know, we had a meeting today that was amazing,” Trump told his faithful. “We had the African-American pastors – so many came up to Trump Tower – it was like one of the most inspiring meetings.”