Sharpton’s New York Insight into Donald Trump, the ‘white’ Don King

Al Sharpton recently and colorfully described GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump to Politico’s Glen Thrush, perhaps best explaining what most New Yorkers understand about Trump.

Most non-New Yorkers and Americans living outside of the tristate area (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut) don’t understand cultural and sociological aspects about living in New York City. It is comprised of five boroughs or counties (Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island), each with their own stigmas and associated stereotypes.

Trump is from Queens, a borough across the East River from Manhattan. He wasn’t part of the established New York aristocracy in Manhattan. His “new wealth”is still considered primarily offensive to most wealthy (and elitist) New Yorkers for this reason.

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Sharpton says of Trump:

“He was an outsider — rich, but an outsider. He was not part of the Manhattan elite. So, he always had this outsider feeling — us against them. So, in many ways, when I read people talk about, ‘Well, do you have a billionaire as a populist?’ He does feel like he’s one of the guys who was shut out.”

Of course, however, Sharpton had to turn an interview about Trump into one about skin color, and himself. He came up with Trump’s black doppelgänger, saying:

“The best way I can describe Donald Trump to friends is to say if Don King had been born white he’d be Donald Trump,” says Sharpton with a broadening smile. “Both of them are great self-promoters and great at just continuing to talk even if you’re not talking back at ’em.”

Of their similarities, Sharpton says they were both outsiders facing a hostile place to just survive, let alone “make it” in New York. He explains, “I was shut out because of race. He was shut out because of geography and a number of other things. [It’s an] unforgiving environment, and a city that could easily swallow you up. Easily.”

In response to whether or not Sharpton likes Trump, he replies: “I mean, I don’t like what he’s doing. But I don’t dislike him. He’s the kind of personality that is hard to dislike. He’s entertaining, let’s put it that way. You’d have to be a New Yorker to understand him.”

He’s right. Any New Yorker who says New York isn’t a tough place to live and raise a family isn’t telling the truth and/or isn’t a New Yorker. It’s exceptionally difficult, which is why Frank Sinatra’s classic lyrics also hold true: “If I can make it there, I’m gone make it anywhere.”

Ironically, however, Sharpton, the self-promoting, self-reporting, non-minister, minister thinks Trump talks more than he does. Politico fails to report that Sharpton claims he preached his first sermon at 4 years old. It also fails to address the more than $4 million in back taxes Sharpton allegedly owes.

Fortunately black pastors are taking Sharpton to task. Who can forget last year when Pastor Marcus Mosiah Jarvis of the Yoshua Cornerstone Tabernacle in Hartford, Conn., called Sharpton a “pimp.”

Fox News CT reported that Jarvis chastised Sharpton for using an “anti-violence” rally to justify “coming into a community where people are struggling for jobs, struggling for money, and demanding money to speak.”

Jarvis told Sharpton, “Don’t you come up in here asking us for money. How dare you ask the people of Hartford to give you their money! You’re nothing but a pimp!”  


Bethany Blankley

Bethany Blankley is a political analyst for Fox News Radio and has appeared on television and radio programs nationwide. She writes about political, cultural, and religious issues in America from the perspective of an evangelical and former communications staffer. She was a communications strategist for four U.S. Senators, one U.S. Congressman, a former New York governor, and several non-profits. She earned her MA in Theology from The University of Edinburgh, Scotland and her BA in Political Science from the University of Maryland. Follow her @bethanyblankley &

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