UPDATED: 9:08 p.m. EDT — A black pastor who is a friend and supporter of Donald Trump told the audience Wednesday night at the Republican National Convention that the presidential candidate is a "patriot" who will help American become great again "only if we have strong leadership." Darrell Scott told the crowd that "we are here as Americans, regardless of" race, creed and color.
"We are spiritually empty and we are more divided now" than ever, Scott said before declaring that "we are the greatest nation in history."
The 2016 Republican National Convention has seen multiple people take the stage and voice their whole-hearted support for Donald Trump's candidacy for president, but Wednesday night there will be one person in particular whose endorsement of the New York real estate mogul has been somewhat of a head-scratcher.
That's because Darrell Scott is African-American, and Trump has along the campaign trail uttered several comments that some branded as being racist in nature. But Scott, who is also a pastor, has repeatedly said that Trump is the farthest thing from a racist. Further, Scott told Cleveland.com that he will discuss that very topic, among others, during his speech Wednesday.
"I've known him for quite some time. I know he's not a racist," Scott said. "I know he's not a xenophobe. I know he's not a misogynist. And I just would love to be able to convince everyone of that."
Part of the racial scrutiny when it comes to Trump stems from the candidate dismissing the Black Lives Matter social justice movement as itself being "inherently racist." Those Trump comments came just this month as he was reacting to the recent spate of black men being killed by police and the consequent police deaths at the hands of two black vigilantes.
On the topic of Black Lives Matter, Trump — who has also offended Latinos over a proposed wall along the southern border with Mexico and Muslims by calling to ban them from entering the U.S. — questioned the group's name during an interview with the Associated Press.
"A lot of people feel that it is inherently racist. And it's a very divisive term," Trump said. "Because all lives matter. It's a very, very divisive term."
Despite Trump's comments, there is data showing black Republican delegates remain aboard the Trump train.
Scott told the Washington Post he met Trump back in 2011 and was at first skeptical of the billionaire's intentions before realizing he had been duped by "an opinion of him that had been formed through media portrayals." The pastor was the key figure in gathering a group of black pastors to last year endorse Trump's presidential candidacy.
By the time his speech Wednesday night is over, he hopes "there will be more people convinced of Donald Trump's qualifications for president."