Donald Trump…This Black Man’s Idol!?

On a cold Buffalo Christmas day in 1989 my auntie gave me a gift that helped shape the Trump identity in my mind.  That afternoon, an eager 11-year-old ripped open a “supplemental” Christmas gift.  You know, the kind that shows up after everything Santa Claus and your parents brought has been exhausted.  Often times, these supplemental gifts can be somewhat mundane…they usually are not the “best” gifts, but this particular box contained Milton Bradley’s latest release:  Trump: The Game.

Trump: The Game was patterned after Monopoly, and based on conquests outlined in Trump’s best-selling Art of the Deal. Now, I must admit. trump_game_box I did not know that this game existed.  Clearly, I was not alone in my ignorance, since the game sold poorly, selling only 800,000 of an expected 200,000,000 copies. Despite most of the kids in the room having no idea this game was on the market, everyone was pretty excited, because everyone knew who Donald Trump was.  Everyone present, including the 11-year-old version of myself had a strong image of the man in our minds.  Now this was 1989, so the views held were not nuanced.  They were vague, in a cloudy Broadway Lights sort of haze.  DT represented money, power, and success in my mind, and probably the mind of every American at that time.

Based upon this image, and my youthful desire to reach the pinnacle of success I proclaimed loudly to the room: “When I grow up, I want to be just like Donald Trump!”

The entire room erupted in laughter, and my mom or one of her friend invariably said “Keep that up and you will, baby!”.

During the 80’s and 90’s Donald Trump’s name and Image were everywhere.  Casinos in Atlantic City,  constant interest in the magnates dating prowess, and a long runing fued with rival NYC developer Leona Helmsley kept him in the news.  His face was constantly in all manner of media basically styled as a “wealthy real estate tycoon”.  Needless to say I enjoyed playing that game for at least two years with my brothers and my cousins back in North Carolina.  As I reflect on this period of my existence I realized that at this moment in time almost every person I knew had a positive image of DT.  He was not a polarizing figure, certainly not political.

Provocative? Yes.  Brash?  Yes. Aloof?  Yes.

Hateful? No…  Fascist? No.  Racist?  No.

Sexist?  Ehh…maybe.

That’s pretty much what most folks I knew thought of DT back in 1989.  He was ok in the hood…wherever that might be.  Now, that certainly has changed as we advance to 2016. In more recent times, he has said many things, about far too many people, that I will not repeat in this space, that he simply cannot take back.

Some folks are still down, and others like rappers YG and Nipsey Hussle are not feeling it, as expressed in their 2016 track FDT (you can do the math on the title)!

Put simply, some folks just dont trust him.  And some never will.  No mater what Dr. Ben Carson or Omarosa have to say about it!

As for me, while the tune is catchy…I am a bit more optimistic, and taking a wait and see approach. The only way to win the game is to play.  So, while the game in Washington may be changing, this is by no means time to sit the game out. Only time will tell. One things for sure, I do not want to be anything like Donald Trump anymore.