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Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Black Barber Says Donald Trump Misled Him to Use His Shop

Rocky Jones, barbershop owner

Nationwide — Rocky Jones, owner of Rocky’s Barbershop in Buckhead, Atlanta, says he felt shocked and deceived after unknowingly hosting a political event for former President Donald Trump. He said he initially thought he was agreeing to host a forum for small and Black-owned businesses.

“To me, cutting hair is like an art,” Jones told 11Alive. “We try to specialize in just giving good service to the community. As you can see, I’ve been here for 17 years, and it’s been good.”

Jones initially agreed to host the event after a text message and a phone call while he was abroad, believing it would support Atlanta’s Black business community. However, the event quickly spiraled into something he didn’t expect. Trump even made a surprise phone call during the event.

“I thought it was going to be something real private,” Jones recalled. “I’m thinking about Black businesses in Atlanta, small Black businesses in Atlanta. And I’m like, ‘Ok, so when are we gonna start talking about this?'”

Since the event, Jones has faced criticism and a drop in customers. “We had some calls Thursday. We definitely got some calls, some backlash, some angry people that don’t know me and I have to deal with that.”

Jones emphasized that his barbershop has always focused on providing excellent service without delving into politics.

“I have no involvement in politics. We don’t even talk politics in my barbershop. It’s all sports. The World Cup, soccer, baseball, basketball — politics is not what I do. I commend everybody to vote, but that’s your business. ‘You know, I don’t tell you what to do,'” he said.

Moreover, Jones claims that he never spoke directly with anyone from the Trump campaign and was unaware it would be political until later. He plans to return the $4,800 payment received for hosting the event.

Despite the backlash, Jones remains focused on his customers. He hopes to put the incident behind him, allowing him to continue serving his community at Rocky’s Barbershop as he has for the past 17 years.