Trump to Mark Robinson: You’re MLK Times Two — MLK on Steroids

AP News: Trump endorses Mark Robinson for North Carolina governor and compares him to Martin Luther King Jr.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – March 03, 2024

— Former president Donald Trump endorsed North Carolina Lt. Gov Mark Robinson for governor on Saturday, several months after the former president pledged to do so.

At a rally at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex, the former president also compared Robinson, who is Black, to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the famed civil rights leader. He referred to Robinson as “Martin Luther King on steroids.”

Trump said Robinson wasn’t sure how to respond when Trump compared him to the legendary civil rights leader, telling him: “I think you’re better than Martin Luther King. I think you are Martin Luther King times two.”

“You should like it,” Trump said.

Trump listed Robinson among several candidates that people should vote for in Tuesday’s North Carolina Republican primaries, saying “they have my complete and total endorsement.” Trump is also on the primary ballot as he seeks to all but eliminate his last remaining rival, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, from mathematical contention for the GOP nomination.

Robinson’s primary rivals — State Treasurer Dale Folwell and trial attorney Bill Graham — have questioned his ability to win the general election in November, particularly in light of harsh comments on LGBTQ+ rights and other issues.

Trump called Robinson, who also spoke at Saturday’s rally, an “incredible gentleman” and “great, natural speaker.” Trump recalled, with some imprecision, how Robinson rose to fame following a 2018 speech to the Greensboro City Council in support of gun rights and police that went viral.

Mark Robinson at NRA Meeting, 2022

That led Robinson to a National Rifle Association board position and being elected the state’s first Black lieutenant governor in 2020 in his first bid for public office.

Robinson, a Greensboro native, said in a news release that he was “humbled” to have Trump’s endorsement and looked forward to working with Trump to “lead our united Republican ticket to victory in November, and get our state and country back on track.”

Voters also will choose a Democratic nominee for governor on Tuesday. The field includes Attorney General Josh Stein and former state Supreme Court Associate Justice Mike Morgan. Term-limited Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper endorsed Stein months ago.

State Democratic Party Chair Anderson Clayton said the endorsement wasn’t a surprise. North Carolina doesn’t need a leader in Robinson who would “prioritize job-killing culture wars that take our state backward,” she added in a news release.

Statewide elections are usually close affairs in the nation’s ninth-largest state.


Myron Pitts, columnist in  the Fayetteville NC Observer, April 25, 2023:

LGBTQ, ‘filth,’ Black people owe for slavery among NC Lt. Gov. attacks

Myron B. Pitts

Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson announced he was running for NC governor at a rally Saturday [in April 2023] at a speedway in Alamance County. . . .

“I’m running for governor, because we the people of North Carolina need someone who understands us,” Robinson said.

Who does he mean by “us”? I wonder.

We know who is not included in that group, based on Robinson’s history of cruel statements.

He has been characterized as “bombastic” and “unrestrained” and “controversial.”

But there are more specific descriptions that can be applied to many of his statements. Such as: Homophobic. Antisemitic. Hateful. Even racist — and I mean against his fellow Black Americans.

Let’s look at what he has said.

LGBTQ lives ‘filth’

“There’s no reason anybody anywhere in America should be telling any child about transgenderism, homosexuality, any of that filth,” Robinson said a Baptist church in Seagrove in June of 2021. “And yes, I called it filth. And if you don’t like that I called it filth, come see me, and I’ll explain it to you.”

I don’t need to come see him.

“Filth” is a violent slur. Objectively hateful.

Just as important is how widely Robinson spreads the hate.

North Carolina Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson speaks Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021, in Raleigh, N.C. Robinson faced calls to resign from elected officials and LGBTQ advocacy groups over comments he made in June of 2021, in which he criticized teachings in K-12 public schools and likened peoples’ sexual orientation to “filth.”

Many North Carolinians have — at least in public — narrowed their hatred of the LGBTQ community to the transgender community. A subset of others have made it narrower still, even down to the two transgender girls in high school sports in North Carolina. These teenaged athletes have spurred the N.C. General Assembly to speed toward a whole new state law to stop them.

But Robinson includes all people in the LGBTQ community, any who do not fit in the very specific lane of gender and sexuality he has laid out for them. By simple math, he is calling “filth” an estimated 319,000 Tar Heels, based on figures provide by the Williams Institute at UCLA Law, which researches law and public policy.

These include some of your family and friends. Probably some of Robinson’s, too.

One month ago Robinson, who is a devout Christian, spoke at a church in Mooresville and criticized pastors who were accepting of LGBTQ members, according to an account by WSOC-TV.

“Yes, I said it,” he said. “Makes me sick every time I see it, when I pass a church that flies that rainbow flag, which is a direct spit in the face to God Almighty.”

Jewish conspiracies

As Mooresville illustrates, Robinson helpfully hides his hate in plain view (“come see me”). As noted by Jewish insider, a politics and news website, he has written on Facebook his beliefs that a globalist conspiracy was behind trying to take down Trump. He disparaged African Americans’ appreciation of Marvel’s “Black Panther” movie, which he said was “created by an agnostic Jew and put to film by [a] satanic marxist.”

The Insider wrote: “He went on to allege, using a Yiddish slur, that the movie ‘was only created to pull the shekels out of your Schvartze pockets.’”

“Schvartze” is a Yiddish pejorative for Black people. “Shekel” is a unit of money associated with Israel and Jews, going back to antiquity.

Here we have some of the main tenets of Jewish stereotypes: Global conspiracy, godless, all about making money.

In 2020, the Raleigh News & Observer reported on a YouTube interview Robinson did with Sean Moon of the Unification Church — which has been called a cult — in which Moon referred to the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” Moon said the horsemen were the Rothschild family of “international bankers that rule every single … central bank,” the CIA, China and Islam. The video, filmed in 2019, has since been taken down.

Robinson said to Moon’s remarks, according to the newspaper: “That’s exactly right. It’s amazing to me, that we live in this age of information where you can go online and you can find all this information, and it’s not hidden from anybody.”

No, that is not exactly right what Moon said. It is, however, exactly antisemitism.

Billionaire financier George Soros is the go-to boogeyman these days for people who want to criticize Jews without saying “Jew.” But going after the Rothschilds has a much longer history.

Robinson’s past comments on Jews are particularly notable considering his potential opponent in 2024. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper is term-limited from running again; Josh Stein, the N.C. Attorney General, is the only declared Democratic candidate so far for governor. He is also of Jewish descent.

Black people owe for slavery

In 2021, Robinson tried out another target: Black folks.

He told the North Carolina Republican Party State Convention that Blacks were not owed reparations or “anything” for hundreds of years of slavery and discrimination. Then he went further.

“If you want to tell the truth about it, it is YOU who owes!” he shouted, telling the audience about what he claimed was a conversation with a liberal. “Why do you owe?”

He said because someone was whipped for us in the slave field or had to walk through Jim Crow for us.

Let’s leave aside that our ancestors and certainly not us — did not create those inhumane situations. Let’s also leave aside that people like my parents walked through Jim Crow. So what’s the justification for not paying them reparations under Robinsons’ own “logic?”

What Robinson said is insulting on so many levels but that is the point.

He knows he can lob racism at Black people — effectively putting “blackface” on the racism — because it appeals to the same people who believe hateful things about Jews and the LGBTQ community.

And yes, African Americans can say racist things about African Americans. The rapper formerly known as Kanye West once said slavery was a choice. That’s racist. No matter who says it.

While no one knows what the former Kanye West is doing, Mark Robinson has a specific audience in mind as he launches his campaign.

If that audience is you — perhaps you should wonder why.

Washington Post plays Sunday morning catchup:

Offensive comments by N.C. Republican stand out even in Trump’s party

Mark Robinson is favored to win the Republican nomination for governor in a battleground state, even as some see serious liabilities for November

By Hannah Knowles [Excerpts]

OCEAN ISLE BEACH, N.C. — Surrounded by fans at a beach town bar, Mark Robinson addressed his absent critics. “Mark Robinson is not running to be governor to be a bully over anybody,” he said.

Left unmentioned: The deluge of offensive comments that made such a declaration necessary. There was the time he called school shooting survivors “media prosti-tots” for advocating for gun-control policies. The meme mocking a Harvey Weinstein accuser, and the other meme mocking actresses for wearing “whore dresses to protest sexual harassment.” The prediction that rising acceptance of homosexuality would lead to pedophilia and “the END of civilization as we know it”; the talk of arresting transgender people for their bathroom choice; the use of antisemitic tropes; the Facebook posts calling Hillary Clinton a “heifer” and Michelle Obama a man.

Even in a Republican Party that, under former president Donald Trump’s leadership, has often rewarded crude insults, baseless claims and incendiary language, Robinson stands out among candidates this year for the volume of his bigoted attacks and vicious diatribes. . . .

. . .

To many Republicans, Robinson, 55, is a conservative Christian firebrand with Trump-like appeal — a charismatic, brazen outsider who burst onto the political scene just a few years ago with a viral video. To others, he is a glaring liability . . . .

With the general election nearing, Robinson is trying to move past his most inflammatory comments and focus on issues such as the economy. . . .
GOP foes regard his ascent as a damaging departure from other contests where party leaders boxed out risky candidates, and they note that efforts to restrict transgender rights have been an albatross for Republicans in North Carolina. . . .

Supporters shrug off the reporting on Robinson’s most outrageous comments as smear jobs and “fake news.” When asked about one of Robinson’s most-scrutinized Facebook posts — a 2018 screed against the film “Black Panther” that references Israeli currency and uses a Yiddish slur for Black people — Ed Broyhill, a Republican national committeeman from North Carolina, said, “I can’t help but think that that’s been manufactured by some opposition.”

The post is still accessible online.

Robinson says he has “never been antisemitic,” and allies point to his trip to Israel last fall and talks with Jewish leaders as evidence he has sought to address concerns. . .

In 2018, Robinson was a longtime factory worker who raged against the political left on Facebook with homemade memes and bombastic insults.

He chafed at assumptions that Black people were Democrats. He railed against Barack Obama’s unconventional presidential portrait — “a reflection of the nightmare of Marxist Socialism” — and embraced false claims Obama was not born in the United States. He joked that DACA, the acronym for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children, actually stood for “Dumb Ass Communist Americans.”

At a time when many Republicans in North Carolina believed a bitter fight over transgender people’s restroom use had cost them the governorship, Robinson was defiant. Responding to a trans protester with a poster asking where they should go to the bathroom, he uploaded a picture of himself smiling with his own cardboard sign: “OUTSIDE WITH THE DOG!”

In February of that year, a gunman killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Fla. Robinson began posting near-daily retorts to celebrities, politicians and surviving students who wanted new firearm laws.
. . .

He alluded to the family story of hardship and perseverance that now features in his gubernatorial campaign pamphlets. They introduce Robinson as the ninth of 10 children who grew up amid poverty, alcoholism and domestic abuse and, at multiple points, declared bankruptcy.

“Only in America could a story like that exist, and I just count it as a huge blessing from God,” Robinson said.

Praise from Trump, concern from others

When Trump rallied in Wilmington, N.C., before a crowd of thousands ahead of the 2022 midterms, he declared Robinson “one of the hottest politicians” in the country. At a rally on Saturday in Greensboro, N.C., Trump made his support official — offering Robinson his “full and total endorsement” in the governor’s race and declaring him “Martin Luther King on steroids.”

Trump retold a favorite story about once telling Robinson that he was better than the Black civil rights leader — and not being sure that Robinson liked the compliment. (Robinson has criticized King as a “communist.”) .

”Listening to Republicans on and off Jones Street” — the hub of state government in Raleigh — there’s a sense that “while he may be the voice of the party, he’s not the voice of North Carolina,” said Jonathan Bridges, who managed former GOP congressman Mark Walker’s now-shuttered campaign for governor.

The GOP has swept Senate and presidential races in the Tar Heel State in recent years, yet Democrats have won the governor’s mansion in seven of the past eight election cycles.

The last Republican governor, Pat McCrory, faced massive blowback for signing a 2016 bill that required transgender people to use the bathroom matching their sex at birth. The law cost the state billions in business and was ultimately repealed — and Robinson’s critics say he will regret pushing LGBTQ+ issues to the forefront again.

A ban on gender-affirming care for minors took effect in North Carolina last year with much less public pushback. And Democrats, who see Robinson as a formidable rival, are largely focusing this year on his record on abortion.

“I don’t care if you’re 24 hours pregnant. I don’t care if you’re 24 weeks pregnant. I don’t care. If you kill that young’un, it is murder,” Robinson told a church in 2021. (Robinson has said he paid for the abortion of his “unborn child” in 1989 — a decision that he says was wrong.)

Robinson asserted on a 2018 podcast that the political left is going after “the Harvey Weinsteins and the Bill Cosbys” to replicate Soviet-era intimidation.

They also highlight Robinson’s 2022 suggestion at a church that men, not women, are meant to be leaders. Acknowledging that he was “getting ready to get in trouble,” Robinson exclaimed to the congregation: “Called to be led by men!”

When “it was time to face down Goliath,” he added, God “sent David, not Davita.”

He later suggested it was “ridiculous” to conclude he did not view women as leaders and that he was only “encouraging men to stand up and take on the role of leadership as well.

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