Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed went toe-to-toe Thursday with a Cleveland pastor over Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s recent comments that “our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape they’ve ever been in before, ever, ever, ever.”
Reed, a steadfast supporter of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, was paired on CNN with the Rev. James Davis, an African-American pastor and Trump supporter. CNN host Alisyn Camerota quickly realized she was in for a rough segment, one that ended with Camerota pulling the plug as Reed and Davis shouted over each other about the state of African-Americans in America.
At the very end, Reed said he couldn’t wait to see Davis on election night, and just before Camerota cut them both off, Davis muttered something to Reed about his “violent city,” although it is difficult to make out exactly what was said.
Davis defended Trump’s comments that African-Americans are worse off than they’ve ever been, although he hedged to say, “especially for the last eight years under the Obama administration.”
Davis claimed the poverty rate among African-Americans has increased, a point both Camerota and Reed quickly pointed out was not true.
Asked for his first reaction to Trump’s comments, Reed was blunt: “I said, not surprising, Donald Trump is lying and this pastor is clearly misinformed.”
After another back-and-forth between the two men, Reed repeated: “That’s what Donald Trump does: lies.”
U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Atlanta, also responded to Trump’s comments during an interview Wednesday on MSNBC.
“I don’t know what Mr. Trump is talking about,” Lewis said. “To say that the situation for African-Americans is worse than it’s ever been is to talk about, (is it) worse than slavery? Worse than the system of segregation and racial discrimination when we couldn’t take a seat at a lunch counter and be served? Worse than being denied the right to register to vote, to participate in a democratic process? To live in certain neighborhoods and communities?
“We have seen changes. If he failed to believe that things have changed, I invite him to come and walk in my shoes.”
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.