Once again, it appears that many black leaders — at least those safely ensconced in wealth and fame — prioritize racial identity politics and virulent Trump hatred over actual black lives. This hurts the country, but fundamentally damages black Americans.
That’s a tough charge. But how else to read the most recent example other than maintaining the image of President Trump as a racist is more important than tackling some of the black community’s most intractable problems? If the President starts meeting with a bunch of blacks, including non-conservative blacks, to talk about prison reform of all things, the media will have a much harder time continuing to cast him as racist. And if he is not a racist, then why should blacks vote against him considering his accomplishments have measurably improved their standard of living?
So we encounter the sad situation where mega-rich rapper and producer Jay-Z persuaded rapper Meek Mill to dump a meeting with Trump because it might make Trump look like a real person, a real non-racist person. The president had invited Mill because the rapper, recently released from prison, has a unique take on what reforms within the prison system could benefit blacks reintegrating into society. Further, New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft befriended Mill after visiting him in prison. Kraft is a big Trump supporter (another rich, white racist?) and is the likely conduit for Trump inviting Mill.
Jay-Z is that paragon of wisdom and insight who, along with Black Panther-promoting wife Beyonce, yucks it up with the brutal dictators in Cuba while Cubans (including black Cubans) are imprisoned for political views or impoverished because they don’t toe the dictatorial line. Mill listened to the wrong friend.
It’s too bad. He walked away from a one-time opportunity to influence national policy on prison reform by listening to the foolish counsel of Jay-Z. (The cynic might suggest watching to see if Mill now comes out with an album on Jay-Z’s label.)
Trump sought to meet with black leaders, both conservative and liberal, so they could find some type of broad consensus on what might need to be done with criminal justice reform. That is exactly the type of leadership that would have been rightly lauded if President Obama had ever tried it. But he didn’t. He kept the incarceration issue and racial division alive and stoked and ruled by pure partisanship. Republicans in Washington will tell you there was no serious reaching across the aisle during Obama’s eight years.
Now, it’s not at all clear that criminal justice reform is the primary solution. The evidence strongly points to the dramatic decline of the family and the church. But Trump does think there should be reform and in this aligns himself with Black Lives Matter, Jay-Z, Van Jones and others on the left. Unfortunately, Meek Mills followed the Jay-Z and BLM prescription of anti-Trump before pro-black.
Doubtful Mill will get a second chance. A Republican president and a Republican Congress open to criminal justice reform was the best opportunity to get something done.
Indeed, a start is already on the table with the U.S House of Representatives expected to vote within a week on a Trump-backed bill going after some prison reforms. The bill provides $50 million of funding for prisons to implement job training and education in an effort to reduce recidivism. Naturally, some have criticized the bill as not going far enough. But it’s certainly a start and perhaps with more input from someone like Meek Mill could have offered effective refinements.
Trump is really onboard: “For this effort, we are not just absolving prisoners of their central role in their own rehabilitation; there is no substitute for personal accountability and there is no tolerance for those who take advantage of society’s generosity to prey upon the innocent,” Trump said. “However, if we want more prisoners to take charge of their own lives then we should work to give them the tools to stand on their own two feet.”
This was the opportunity Mill walked away from. Not all did. Hardened leftist Obama acolyte and CNN personality Van Jones, Jr. attended the meeting and spoke very positively about it afterward.
But Mill scuttled it. It’s all too easy to believe that Democrats in Congress would do the same because they, like Jay-Z and others, are more interested in beating Trump and winning races in November than seeking actual solutions to the criminality plaguing the black community. Sadly, they have been for a long time.
This all is why Kanye West matters. He just flat out said he’s going to do what he wants to do, he’s going to be defined as an individual before a racial group. He was pilloried by Jay-Z, John Legend, Maxine Waters and the rest of the blackthink crowd, but stuck to it. Apparently Meek Mill is no Kanye West.
Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.
Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever, and a lot of sources are not trustworthy. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time from good sources.
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