Rev. Al Sharpton criticized rappers who’ve expressed solidarity with former President Donald Trump, even after Trump was arrested in Georgia in connection with efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
The civil rights activist appeared as a guest on MSNBC’s The Reid Out, with host Joy Reid on Tuesday, and discussed “critical Trump theory”— where people believe the system is rigged against Trump.
While some hip-hop artists have voiced support for the embattled 2024 presidential candidate, Sharpton suggested they consider Trump’s record on race.
“Let’s go to the 1990s when five young Black and Brown young men were falsely accused of raping a White woman in Central Park. It was Donald Trump that took out ads in the papers in New York saying they should get the death penalty,” he said.
“So if they want to cite how Blacks have been abused by the criminal justice system, cite the case where we marched and eventually it was proven these five young men — that Donald Trump called on to get the death penalty — were in fact innocent,” Sharpton added.
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The 68-year-old activist, who hosts Politics Nation on MSNBC, was referring to the Central Park Five case — in which five teenagers of color were wrongfully convicted of rape.
Trump took out full-page newspaper ads calling for the five to get the ultimate punishment, and for an increased police presence.
“Let them come and tell the rappers and others that are being seduced by Trump what he did in his hometown to innocent Black men,” Sharpton told Reid.
“They’re going back to the ‘30s because they can’t go back to New York where he discriminated against Black housing, and when he discriminated against these five young men and helped cause their long sentences that they were innocent of all along,” he added.
Some rappers who’ve backed the ex-president include Lil Pump, who posted “FREETRUMP” on Instagram with both of their mugshots side-by-side.
Buffalo rapper Benny the Butcher recently posted on X/Twitter: “I’m voting Trump 2024.”
Kanye West has also been a vocal Trump supporter, and met with the real estate mogul in the White House after he became president.
Watch a clip from The Reid Out below:
.@TheRevAl: "If they want to cite how Blacks have been abused by the criminal justice system, cite the case where we marched and eventually it was proven that these five young men that Donald Trump called on to get the death penalty, were in fact innocent." #TheReidOut pic.twitter.com/3toDjeAGv4
— The ReidOut (@thereidout) August 29, 2023