Michael the Black Man

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Donald Trump speaking at a rally in Phoenix, Arizona in August 2017. Michael the Black Man can be seen holding a sign, reading, "Blacks for Trump 2020.com".

Michael the Black Man (born Maurice Woodside, but also known as Michael Symonette and Mikael Israel)[1] is an American political figure from Miami, Florida. An outspoken supporter of current President of the United States Donald Trump, he is known for appearing at Trump's rallies both before and after the 2016 election, and is often seen holding a "Blacks for Trump" sign at these rallies.[2]

Biography[edit]

Membership in Yahweh ben Yahweh cult[edit]

Woodside first met Hulon Mitchell Jr., better known as Yahweh Ben Yahweh, in 1980. Along with his brother, Ricardo, who joined the cult before he did, Woodside was reported to have played "a big role in the rise and fall of the [Yahweh ben Yahweh] cult".[3] His mother, Johnnie Simmons, was also a devout member of the cult;[4] he later left the cult with his sister after his mother died.[5] He was one of 16 members of Yahweh ben Yahweh arrested and charged with one count of murder and one count of attempted murder in 1990.[6] He was found not guilty of these charges by a Florida jury in 1992, although Yahweh himself was found guilty and sentenced to 20 years in prison.[2][7] At the trial, Ricardo testified that he and Maurice attempted unsuccessfully to murder Eric Burke, a dissident member of Yahweh's cult, and that Maurice had also helped beat another cult member, Aston Green, unconscious.[8]

Later career and reinvention[edit]

Woodside subsequently became a rabid opponent of the Democratic Party,[9] changed his name to Michael Symonette, and began a career as a musician. He later started a radio station, BOSS 104.1 FM, before reinventing himself as "Michael the Black Man".[1][10] He briefly came to media attention in September 2008, when he accused Oprah Winfrey of being the devil, and Barack Obama of being endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan, at one of Obama's speeches in Coral Gables.[2][11] In 2012, he spoke to the audience at a Rick Santorum campaign rally in Coral Springs, where he said that the Democrats were "the worst thing that ever happen [sic] to the black man."[12] As of August 2017, he runs multiple conspiracy theory-promoting websites, including Gods2.com, which he frequently promotes on his shirt at Trump rallies.[1][13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Mettler, Katie; Bever, Lindsey (2017-08-23). "The strange story of that 'Blacks for Trump' guy standing behind POTUS at his Phoenix rally". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2017-09-23.
  2. ^ a b c Cullen, Terence (2017-08-23). "'Michael the Black Man' at Trump's Ariz. rally is ex-cult member". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2017-09-23.
  3. ^ Elfrink, Tim (2011-06-09). "Yahweh ben Yahweh is back". Miami New Times. Retrieved 2017-09-24.
  4. ^ Staff (1990-11-08). "Profile of Yahwehs". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2017-09-24.
  5. ^ Freedberg, Sydney; Gehrke, Donna (1990-12-31). "From idealists to 'death angels'?". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2017-09-25.
  6. ^ Viglucci, Andres (1990-12-03). "U.S. investigates financial deals by Yahweh cult". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2017-09-24.
  7. ^ Raymond, Adam K. (2016-10-26). "The 'Blacks for Trump' Guy Is a Former Cult Member Who Thinks Obama Is the Devil". Daily Intelligencer. Retrieved 2017-09-23.
  8. ^ Ocker, Lisa (1992-03-24). "Yahweh Defendant Denies Murder Charge". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 2017-09-24.
  9. ^ Ovalle, David (2010-07-25). "North Miami Beach Police: Ex-cult member's son shot at teens". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 2017-09-24.
  10. ^ Elfrink, Tim (2016-10-12). "The "Blacks for Trump" Guy at Florida Rally Is Former Yahweh Ben Yahweh Cult Member". Miami New Times. Retrieved 2017-09-23.
  11. ^ Garcia-Roberts, Gus (2008-09-25). "Michael the Black Man Trashes Obama". Miami New Times. Retrieved 2017-09-25.
  12. ^ "Santorum Aligns With Controversial South Florida African-American Leaders; One Calls Democrats 'Nazis'". The Huffington Post. 2012-01-23. Retrieved 2017-09-24.
  13. ^ Walsh, Michael (2017-08-23). "Blacks for Trump guy has some deeply weird views about Cherokees, Masons and Obama". Yahoo News. Retrieved 2017-09-23. ...his trademark T-shirt lists a website Gods2.com, which redirects viewers to honestfact.com, a page teeming with outlandish conspiracy theories, compared to which Alex Jones is a voice of calm reason.

External links[edit]