Criticized for urging black voters to support him while speaking to mostly white audiences, Donald Trump visited a predominantly black church to call for a “civil rights agenda for our time.”
Furious protesters charged police outside a black community church in Detroit as Donald Trump spoke inside promising to “build on the legacy of Abraham Lincoln“.
Mr Trump promised a “civil rights agenda of our time” as he visited the Great Faith Ministries International, telling the congregation “I’m here to learn” and that “this is an amazing day for me”.
— Official Team Trump (@TeamTrump) September 3, 2016
The Republican presidential nominee was presented with a prayer shawl, which he wore, and joined worshippers clapping and swaying.
But outside police struggled to hold back 150 protesters. One of them, Wyoman Mitchell, shouted: “The devil’s in the pulpit.”
Others chanted “Dump Trump” as they attempted to push over metal barricades but were confronted by mounted police.
Detroit is about 80 per cent black, the highest percentage of any major American city.
Mr Trump’s support among black voters is in the low single digits.
He was invited to a service by the church’s pastor Wayne Jackson, who is a supporter.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) September 3, 2016
Addressing the congregation Mr Trump said: “Becoming the nominee of the party of Abraham Lincoln has been the greatest honour of my life. It is on his legacy that I hope to build not only the future of the party but more importantly the future of the country and the community.
“The African-American church has been the conscience of our country. It’s from the pews and pulpits and Christian teachings of black churches all across this land that the civil rights movement lifted up its soul and lifted up the soul of our nation.”
He added: “Our nation is too divided. We talk past each other not to each other, and those who seek office do not do enough to step into the community and see what is going on. I’m here today to learn so we can together remedy injustice in any form. I am here to listen to you. I want to help you build and rebuild Detroit.”