Today President Donald Trump made headlines with his commutation of Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old grandmother who had a life sentence for a non-violent drug offense.
Kim Kardashian met with President Trump just last week in an effort to advocate for Johnson and many are crediting her high-profile meeting with pushing the ball forward.
But in an interview with theGrio on Tuesday before Johnson’s commutation became official, Professor Michael Eric Dyson cautioned against getting too excited by any of Trump’s pardons.
“I love Kim Kardashian, she’s a wonderful woman, and the woman she’s speaking on behalf is great,” said Dyson.”But is [Johnson] getting out of jail worth– in terms of the PR that Donald Trump might be able to get from her visit– the kind of photo op that suggests that even people of color are attracted to him? Or women married to people of color are attracted to him?”
President Trump recently boasted at the National Rifle Association that support from the Wests are helping him with the “black vote”
“Kanye West must have some power because you probably saw I doubled my African American poll numbers,” said President Trump on May 4. “We went from 11 to 22 in one week.”
An analysis by CNN questions how a sample size as small as 200 people could actually be representative of African-Americans, and clarifies that the Reuters poll Trump referred to only applied to a small segment of African-American men who signed up to be surveyed.
“He’s trying to manipulate black sentiment in his favor,” Dyson tells theGrio.”Before Donald Trump became president, he was being cited in rap lyrics and it was cool to be with the Donald. That’s because they didn’t have much conscience, they weren’t really that woke.
“This ain’t your homeboy. This is a guy who is doing public policy that is hurting your people.”
“Now he’s the president. This ain’t your homeboy. This is a guy who is doing public policy that is hurting your people.”
Dyson suggests that anyone meeting with Trump, take it as an opportunity to hold his feet to the fire.
“I’m not saying you can’t meet with Donald Trump. If you want to meet with Donald Trump tell him the truth though,” says Dyson. “Understand that you are becoming complicit in a white supremacist ideology that has been perpetuated… You can be a white supremacist in brown skin or black skin.’”
Catch the full interview with Michael Eric Dyson on theGrio‘s Facebook page.
TheGrio LIVE!: Hey Grio Fam! We have Author, Professor and Speaker, Michael Eric Dyson, here with us to discuss his new book: WHAT TRUTH SOUNDS LIKE: Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation About Race in America.
Posted by TheGrio on Wednesday, June 6, 2018