- The Washington Times - Friday, August 28, 2020

MSNBC’s Joy Reid says President Trump attempted to trick the American public into embracing “White nationalism” by giving Black speakers prominent spots at this year’s Republican National Convention.

“If you read one thing today, this would be a good choice,” Ms. Reid said while sharing an op-ed by The Nation. “@ElieNYC writes about the outrage and pathos of the Black people the #RNCConvention trotted out to make white Americans feel good about white nationalism.”

Writer Elie Mystal asserts that White people who “need cover” for racism were given it by this year’s lineup of speakers.

“Republicans are doing everything they can to give white people “permission” to vote for a white nationalist bigot, Donald Trump,” Ms. Mystal wrote Thursday. “Of course, most white Republican voters don’t need permission to vote for white supremacy. They’re racist themselves and think being racist is just common sense. This convention has plenty for them. … The Black people who were allowed to speak at this convention were there to transmit one message to white listeners: ‘It’s OK.’ Trump’s racism is OK, because here’s one of Trump’s Black golfing buddies.”

Ms. Mystal added that “systemic issues facing Black people” were not discussed by individuals who do not know “a Kardashian,” a reference to speaker Alice Johnson.

Ms. Johnson, 65, was pardoned by Mr. Trump in 2018 after her case was spotlighted by celebrity Kim Kardashian.

“I was once told that the only way I would be reunited with my family as a corpse,” Ms. Johnson, originally sentenced to life in prison without parole for her involvement with a cocaine-dealing ring in the 1990s, said Thursday. “But through the grace of God and the love and compassion of President Donald John Trump, I stand before you tonight and I assure you, I am not a ghost. I am alive, I am whole and most importantly, I am free.” 

Ms. Johnson said that what she did decades ago was “wrong” and that she regretted her decisions.

“They say you do the crime, you do the time,” she said. “However, that time should be fair and just. We all make mistakes — none of us want to be defined forever based on our worst decision.”

A sampling of other Black speakers who touted the president’s leadership include: White House aide Ja’Ron Smith, former NFL stars Herschel Walker and Jack Brewer, and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott.

“Just because someone loves and respects the flag, our National Anthem, and our country doesn’t mean they don’t care about social justice,” Mr. Walker told RNC viewers Monday. “I care about all of those things, and so does Donald Trump. He shows how much he cares about social justice and the Black community through his actions. And his actions speak louder than any stickers or slogans on a jersey.”

Mr. Smith said Thursday evening that he once “believed all the stereotypes” about Republicans until he got to know them.

“In the wake of the murder of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and LeGend Taliferro—a moment of national racial consciousness—I have seen [Mr. Trump’s] true conscience,” Mr. Smith said. “I just wish every American could see the deep empathy he showed to families whose loved ones were killed in senseless violence.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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