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Brother Of Civil Rights Leader Medgar Evers On Donald Trump Endorsement


And we're joined now by Charles Evers. He is a civil rights activist and the brother of the slain civil rights icon Medgar Evers who - and Charles has endorsed Donald Trump for president. Welcome to the program.


SHAPIRO: It's looking like a good night for Mr. Trump in Mississippi. Given all of the attacks on him from within the Republican field over the last week, what do you see happening in Mississippi tonight?

EVERS: First of all, he's leading. He's at 52 percent of the vote now, meaning the closest person is 48 percent, so we're going to win this. You know, my whole thing - to those who are listening - we have to stop thinking that black folks have to be all Democrats. We have a right to choose, and I happen to have been a Republican now for a long time. I'm supporting Trump because I think he is - firstly, he's a businessman, and he can provide jobs for us. And that's what I'm looking at.

SHAPIRO: When it comes to issues of race, many people denounce Trump for stumbling in disavowing the endorsement of KKK leaders, white supremacist leaders. How did that go over with you?

EVERS: It didn't bother me because - most white people have some racism in them. And a lot of blacks - and I'm one of them - have a little racism, so that didn't bother me. He did denounce him. He said that he - he's going - first of all, he is going to be president of the United States - including the Ku Klux Klan, including the NAACP, including all the rest of us. So why should he get involved in denouncing one group? Just denounce what he stands for, not the person.

SHAPIRO: As you know, many leaders in the Republican Party have been fighting hard to keep Trump from winning the nomination. And they're talking about a contested convention where, perhaps, even if Trump enters with more delegates than anyone else, if he doesn't have an absolute majority, they may try to see somebody else become the nominee. How would that go over with the Trump supporters such as yourself who have fought to get him into this position?

EVERS: It just wouldn't be right, far as I'm concerned. And what could they offer more than Mr. Trump? Why are they trying to get rid of him? Because he won't go along with the old status quo? He has his way of doing things, and all of us have our way of doing things.

And Mr. Trump is outspoken. I like - you know, he doesn't go down with a prepared speech. He doesn't, you know, act like he doesn't know what he's going to say. He says what he means, and he says what he thinks. He doesn't take somebody else's ideas. I don't know - if they go against him, then we'll lose it. But I think he's going to win it because he - too many people are for him. And he is a man can provide jobs. And jobs - that's what we're looking at in Mississippi.

SHAPIRO: Charles Evers, thank you very much for speaking with us.

EVERS: You're welcome.

SHAPIRO: That's civil rights activist Charles Evers joining us from Mississippi.

And Ron, I'm curious what you make of that. This is a very unusual voice to hear in this context.

RON ELVING, BYLINE: It is. And of course, the African-American vote in Mississippi was not cast on the Republican side in the main. It was cast on the Democratic side. It was more than 60 percent of the vote in Mississippi on the Democratic side. And it appears to have gone almost - well, it's just such a stunning margin. It's hard to even imagine. But something like 90 percent of it went to Hillary Clinton.

SHAPIRO: It appears that we can now forecast that Donald Trump has carried Mississippi on the Republican side. We're going to have a lot more results throughout the night as polls close in Michigan and we get more results as well as Idaho and Hawaii. Stay with us for more coverage of Election 2016. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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