At President Donald Trump's rally on Tuesday in Phoenix, AZ, the internet became fixated with a one particular guy on stage behind Trump. Yes, I'm talking about the "BLACKS FOR TRUMP" sign guy.
Viewers of Trump rallies may recognize the man, who calls himself "Michael the Black Man" (apt, easy to remember), as someone frequently seated behind Trump at rallies, holding up a sign that yells "BLACKS FOR TRUMP" and wearing a T-shirt that claims "TRUMP & Republicans Are Not Racist.” Because if you have to put it on a T-shirt, it's definitely true.
Michael's shirt also advertises his website, God2.com, which directs users to another one of his websites, HonestFact.com, the home page of which features a link to information about the "ISIS & HILLARY RACE WAR PLOT TO KILL ALL BLACK & WHITE WOMAN OF AMERICA." I mean, that's certainly a take.
Michael, who according to the Washington Post has been known as Michael Symonette, Maurice Woodside and Mikael Israel, has a textbook example of what you'd call a checkered past. He was once a member of what the Post calls "a violent back supremacist religious cult," and, as his T-shirt tells you, he runs some strange conspiracy theory websites.
The Post reports that Michael has accused Hillary Clinton of being a member of the KKK, referred to Barack Obama “The Beast," and called Oprah Winfrey the devil.
It gets weirder. In the 1990s he was acquitted of conspiracy to commit two murders. Michael's brother testified in court that, while a member of a cult, Michael had helped beat a man who ended up being taken to the Florida Everglades and "beheaded by a dull machete," according to the Miami New Times. Michael's brother also testified that in Louisiana, Michael stabbed a man in the eye with a stick.
As much as Michael loves Donald Trump, that's how much he hated Barack Obama. The Miami New Times reported that in 2008, Michael started a private radio station so he could rant about the "Demon-crats," as he called them.
Michael and a group of other protestors yelled "Barack, go home!" during an 2008 Obama campaign speech in Florida, while holding signs that claimed "Obama endorsed by the KKK." That's especially interesting since our current president really IS ENDORSED BY THE KKK. (Exasperatedly sighing a billion exasperated sighs.) Michael's own sign read, "Blacks against Obama."
But Trump's a fan of Michael. At a 2016 Florida campaign, Trump noticed and praised the "BLACKS FOR TRUMP" signs, telling the crowd, “Look at those signs behind me. Blacks for Trump. I like those signs.”
Trump added, “Blacks for Trump. “You watch. You watch. Those signs are great, thank you.”