Some people of color in Philadelphia turn out for Trump

Participants in the “All American Rally for Trump” held Sunday on Independence Mall gather for a group photo. Organizers sought to rally support among people of color in Philadelphia.

Abdul Fattah, a Muslim man from Philadelphia, isn't offended by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's promise of a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States if he is elected.

In fact, Fattah said, he actually is "grateful" for the proposed policy.

"A lot of Americans have the misconception that Donald Trump is racist toward Muslims," said Fattah, 39, who attended a rally on Independence Mall on Sunday as part of a small group under the banner Muslims for Trump. "That's not what [the policy] is about whatsoever. It's about the extreme vetting of Muslims coming into this country, and I am in complete agreement of that."

Fattah said he is worried about Muslim immigrants entering the country illegally, "coming into communities, and saturating them with their hate."

Fattah was among about 100 demonstrators at Sunday's "All American Rally for Trump." The event, organized by Texas activists Arvind Kumar, Satya Dosapati, and Black Men for Bernie founder Bruce Carter, who is now campaigning for Trump, sought to rally support among people of color in Philadelphia. The organizers said they are planning similar demonstrations in other swing states.

"Our long-term aim is to liberate the Civil Rights movement from bipartisan politics," Kumar said. "Nobody owns us. Just because of our race, we are not obligated to vote for one party or the other."

Other demonstrators wore T-shirts emblazoned "Chinese Americans for Trump." Some carried signs that read: "Muslims for Trump" and "Hindus for Trump."

Ruben Obed, a singer born in New Jersey and now living in Puerto Rico, attended as well and performed his original salsa song "Latino Anthem for Trump."

"Trump, Trump, Trump, this Latino's gonna vote for Trump," he sang.

Heidi Little, 45, who wore a "Chinese Americans for Trump" shirt, said she believes Trump can bring racial minority groups together and give everyone a "fair-and-square" chance at the American dream.

Little added that she isn't bothered much by the 2005 video released recently of Trump using vulgar language while speaking about women with former Access Hollywood host Billy Bush.

"I think that there are much more important issues in this country, and we should be rational," Little said. "We should be more focused on bigger issues in this country. I think [the video is] just a distraction."

"Michelle Obama is out there talking about Donald Trump and all these women," said Daphne Goggins, 53, a Republican ward leader from North Philadelphia. "I don't care about the women. I really don't."

Goggins, who is African American, said she supports Trump because of his education and economic policies, and because she is tired of the assumption that all black people vote for Democrats.

"We have to tell the Democratic Party that they don't own us, like we're slaves still," Goggins said. "Black people need to wake up now. I can understand if they don't vote for Donald Trump, but I would love to see him" get elected.

The rally went mostly uninterrupted until Ryan Bott, who was on his lunch break, started to "boo" from a bench.

"It's all just fearmongering. It's not true," Bott said, referring to the cheers that erupted whenever Trump's plan to build a wall on the Mexican border was mentioned. "I don't believe it's what this country is founded on."

The rally was scheduled for Oct. 8, but it was postponed twice due to rain from Hurricane Matthew.

About 100 people attended Sunday.

"The black community has voted to our own detriment," Goggins said. "They're trained to pull that lever for Democrat, so I'm hoping to dent it as much as I can so we can win Pennsylvania."

mwinberg@philly.com

215-854-5915

@mwinberg_