Pro-Trump Facebook page creator isn’t afraid of backlash from co-workers, family and friends
The 2016 presidential election will be like no other; the first female nominee ever for the Democratic party versus a real estate mogul running for the Republican party. Their vast differences have sparked a mass divide in the nation. Among that divide are African-American voters who are 1 percent in favor of Donald Trump and 91 percent in favor of Hillary Clinton, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released in June.
Eric Roger is part of the 1 percent.
As the creator of the Facebook page Blacks For Trump, Roger is part of the tiny fraction of African-American voters who support Donald Trump.
“When I think of the African-American community, I don’t see any change,” said Roger, who created the pro-Trump page nearly a year ago. “When it comes to crime, when it comes to the economy, when it comes to the job, when it comes to the fundamental change in the African-American community, I don’t see it.”
The page has more than 4,900 likes on the social media site. There is a significant number of black voters, according to Roger, who support Trump but are afraid to do so publicly because of the potential backlash among their co-workers, family and friends.
“A lot of people really want to show their support but they can not show their face,” said Roger, a Maryland native who immigrated to the United States from Cameroon 11 years ago.
Roger says that the page was created to serve as an online community for black Trump supporters to come together and know that there are more people like them. The page gained momentum too during the Democratic National Convention gaining nearly 300 likes during that week alone.
They aren’t the only page either creating a community for African-Americans who support Trump.
“It’s nice to see something like this page grow,” said Roger. “I didn’t think that it will get this big, and I wasn’t prepared for it.”
Answering emails and Facebook messages from supporters — as well as hate messages — have been an everyday affair, Roger said.
He says that when he became a U.S. citizen, he was a Democrat and an Obama supporter. But once he didn’t see the change he’d hoped for, he became an Independent voter. Roger favors Trump over Clinton now because, he said, “The Apprentice” star will build a wall to keep illegal immigrants out, is a businessman who will help give the economy a boost and is a patriot.
“I’m ready to die for this country. I love America,” Roger said. “I’ve been threatened, I’ve had death threats. But at the end of the day, I’m black, I love my color and I support Donald Trump.”
Roger also said that he wanted to erase the stereotype of black people who typically vote Democratic. He said that he wants Democrats to know that they shouldn’t deserve the black vote without deserving it.
“Democrats just assume that when you’re black you will automatically vote democrat,” said Roger. “I don’t think that the Democrats deserve the black vote anymore.”
Roger said he votes for what is right for the future of the United States, not basing his vote on either the Republican or Democratic Party.
Since President Obama stepped into the oval office in 2008, Roger says that he hasn’t seen any changes in African-Americans’ lives.
“The Obama government didn’t do anything.” Roger said.
That “anything” that Roger is looking for is something he said Donald Trump has.
“Donald Trump is a leader,” Roger said. “He’s a businessman and he will keep our country safe and fix the broken economy.”
Sadly, because president Obama has done such a poor job as president, you won't see another black president for generations!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 25, 2014
College grad Darius Thomas, 23, is a member of the 91 percent in favor of Clinton. He says that although Trump may help the economy with his financial strategies, his provocative approach will take the United States a step backward.
“I don’t see the prejudice and racial issues getting any better if [Trump is] president,” Thomas said. “I see a lot of separation between races in the future and a lot more turmoil.”
Thomas said that his vote for Clinton is not just a vote for her — it’s a vote to keep Trump out of office.
“I’m not huge on politics, which is ignorance on my part,” Thomas said. “But as a black man, I have to use my right to vote — and I can’t complain if Trump wins if I didn’t exercise my right.”