(Editor’s Note: Donald Trump recently said there are no role models in the black community. His comments sparked outrage from many voices, including from Daren Jaime, who is pastor of People’s AME Zion Church in Syracuse, radio host of “Power Perspectives” on 620 AM and television host on the Bronxnet Network in New York City).
Mr. Trump, I don’t know which mirror you were attempting to look through in your quick drive-by of the black community, but I’ll assume it had to be your side mirror. I summon you to look, once again, because objects are closer than they appear!
I call to your remembrance your very own television show, “The Apprentice.” Perhaps we can’t see black role models because you nearly dimmed the lights on one of black America’s brightest examples of a role model not found on an athletic field, a stadium or a stage, but right in your very own boardroom: Dr. Randal Pinkett.
Entering as a candidate on Season 4 of “The Apprentice,” Randal came with five academic degrees, including a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Rutgers University, where he graduated with a 3.9 GPA.
Randal also became the first African- American to receive a Rhodes Scholarship while attending the university. He also holds a master of science in computer science from Oxford University in England, where he attended as a Rhodes Scholar; a master of science in electrical engineering; a master of business administration from MIT; and a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) from the MIT Media Laboratory.
Throughout the show and by your own admission, Randal garnered both praise from the judges and fellow competitors as a project manager with three wins and no losses, placing him in a final competition against a notable, but not nearly as formidable candidate, in Rebecca Jarvis.
Within seconds after naming Randal “The Apprentice” Season 4 champion, as he rightfully deserved, we remember you nearly made the executive decision to opt for a dual hiring of Randal and Rebecca, which by the way, would have been the first dual Apprentice in the existence of your show.
But it never happened. Why? Because Randal stood tall in the face of being Trumped!
Do you remember your conversation with Randal in those final seconds after you hired him as America watched in dramatic fashion?
After crowning him champion, you asked Randal, “If you were me, would you hire Rebecca, also?” Randal told you, “Mr. Trump, I firmly believe that this is “The Apprentice,” that there is one and only one Apprentice, and if you’re going to hire someone tonight, it should be one.”
Mr. Trump, YOU had the decision-making power right in YOUR very own hands on YOUR very own show to promote an unquestionably impeccable black man as the sole “Apprentice” and “role model” to America — and you didn’t, Randal did.
To date, Randal has been the most qualified and educationally competent candidate in Apprentice history. Nor was he ever duly recognized or referred to as Dr. Randal Pinkett.
Your recent comments about blacks having no role models brings to light and questions your true motives in wanting to divide Randal’s apprenticeship through your slimly averted dual hiring.
It further raises eyebrows and confirms suspicions amongst many rank-and- file members within minority communities and beyond: Was your question to Randal and near split decision an overt example of white America refusing to acknowledge a black man’s success? Or was it mere coincidence?
Must blacks have to share their (birth certificate, oops sorry I meant) success with others to properly and radically gain acknowledgement and acceptance outside of their racial circle?
Now, we are being led to believe by your most recent assertion there are no role models in the black community.
To create an Apprentice TV program for poor kids.
If the networks were to green-light this show, it would be nothing more than a mere exploitation of the poor, with the hope of making you look heroically rich. But, Mr. Trump, none of us are falling for this!
If you really had an earnest desire to assist the poor, instead of creating a TV program, why not announce your financial and technical support for pre- existing programs with proven track records of servicing the poor?
We as a black community may struggle with seeing your insensitive and plainly repugnant comments as clear as you have stated them, but just know our blurriness can still overcome your blindness even in the cloudiest of days and the worst of conditions.