Fixing economic hardship in black communities was a main point of the speech given by GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump on Saturday to members of the Great Faith Ministries, a nondenominational church in Detroit. Protesters outside the church, most of whom reportedly were African-American, chanted, "Whose city? Our city!" This was the one of the first largely African-American audiences Trump has addressed since becoming a presidential candidate.
"For centuries, the African-American church has been the conscience of this country. So true," Trump said, reading from prepared remarks, reports CNN. "The African-American faith community has been one of God's greatest gifts to America and its people."
Trump told the audience he was there to "listen to your message" and said he hoped his appearance would "also help your voice to reach new audiences in our country." He stated that in the future he would lay out his plans for economic change and school choice, both issues he said would benefit black communities.
"When I see wages falling, people out of work, I know the hardships this inflicts and I am determined to do something about it. I will do something about it," Trump said. "I do get things done, I will tell you. I'm going to get things done."
"I fully understand that the African American community is suffering from discrimination and that there are many wrongs that must still be made right," Trump said at the church, which was only half-full, reports Reuters. "I want to make America prosperous for everyone. I want to make this city the economic envy of the world, and we can do that."
He said during the Detroit visit he hoped to learn about ways to remedy economics so the African-American community can benefit economically through jobs and income.
"I believe we need a civil rights agenda for our time," said Trump, before he concluded by citing 1 John 4:12. "No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. That's so true."
Great Faith Ministries' pastor, Bishop Wayne Jackson, draped a prayer shawl over Trump's shoulders and handed him a Jewish Heritage Study Bible, when he finished his 10 minutes of remarks.
"This is a prayer shawl straight from Israel. Whenever you're flying from coast to coast -- I know you just came back from Mexico and you'll be flying from city to city -- there is an anointing. And anointing is the power of God," Jackson said. "It's going to be sometimes in your life that you're going to feel forsaken, you're going to feel down, but the anointing is going to lift you up. I prayed over this personally and I fasted over it, and I wanted to just put this on you."
Trump then accompanied Ben Carson, his former Republican competitor-turned-top-proxy, to Carson's boyhood home in Southwest Detroit. Carson told CNN's Jeremy Diamond he wanted Trump to see areas in the city that are now blighted but were prosperous when Carson was a boy.
While in the city, Trump separately met with approximately 100 community and church leaders, his campaign said, according to Reuters.
Opinion polls show Trump has low support among U.S. minorities.