In a statement of support, BET Founder Bob Johnson urged black Americans to give Donald Trump “a shot” as president:
“You know, Joe, I have known President-elect Trump for some time. I knew him when I was running BET, and I’ve seen him at a number of events and it’s my conclusion that we can find common ground with the Trump administration.
I know I had a great dialogue with him, with his son-in-law, Jared, and I know Reince Priebus, so my approach to these guys is, look, ‘I don’t look at you as enemies and I don’t look at you as necessarily friends. I look at the question as, on behalf of African-Americans, I’m talking about we have permanent interests. That doesn’t mean that one day we won’t support you or one day we will support you.’ And that’s where the African-American voter should be.
This is something that a member — Congressman Bill Clay from Missouri said when the Congressional Black Caucus was founded, that black American should have no permanent friends, no permanent enemies, just permanent interests. With the Trump administration, that’s the philosophy we should take and we should not lock ourselves in one part or the other.
And I’m a Democrat, and I say this with all due respect to the Democratic party and to the Republican party, this country needs somebody that is going to lead it and not somebody who is going to force us to choose sides. If President-elect Trump believes that he should be talking about what black Americans have to gain, as President Obama said and Hillary said, ‘Let’s give him a shot. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and see if we can find common ground,’ and I think that’s the best interest of African-Americans.”