Congressional Black Caucus says Trump’s Ice Cube-assisted ‘Platinum Plan’ looks familiar
EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee says the president ignored attempts by the CBC to meet with him about issues facing Black Americans.
Ice Cube, real name O’Shea Jackson, became a household name for as a founder member of rap group NWA and later acting in top big-budget movies like Friday and The Barbershop.
But more recently, his name became a trending topic on Oct. 13 when Trump campaign adviser Katrina Pierson thanked and apparently revealed for the first time publicly that the entertainer had helped in revising President Donald Trump‘s “The Platinum Plan” – an agenda based on priorities for Black America.
That set off a firestorm of responses from Black Twitter, in part, because the rapper who was once a vocal critic of Mr. Trump was now appearing to be in lockstep with him.
In a series of his own tweets, Ice Cube defended his decision to give input on the Trump plan saying, “I will advise anybody on the planet who has the power to help Black Americans close the enormous wealth gap.” He added that his meeting with the administration was not an endorsement but rather an opportunity to discuss his Contract with Black America, which includes initiatives on racial injustices, prison and police reform, and employment opportunities.
“I have not heard first hand of any attempt to reach out to any senior members of the caucus about this,” Democratic Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, (D-TX) tells theGrio when asked about Ice Cube’s Black America plan, which the Congressional Black Caucus says makes similar points brought forth in their Jobs and Justice Act 2020 legislation proposal introduced in September.
What’s more, Rep. Jackson Lee says the Trump administration has shown little interest in the needs of Black America. “They have not been a friend of poor people, working people, small businesses, and they certainly have not been a friend of African Americans and people of color,” she says.
In 2015, then-presidential candidate Trump urged Black America to consider him, asking, “What do you have to lose?” After elected, he briefly sat down with Black faith leaders and heads of historically Black colleges and universities. He touted his First Step Act, formally known as the Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act, a bipartisan criminal justice bill passed by the 115th Congress and signed by Trump in December 2018.
As he moves through the 2020 campaign cycle he has famously said he has been the best president for African Americans since Abraham Lincoln.
“We know history of Abraham Lincoln and he is no Abraham Lincoln,” said Jackson Lee.
Jackson Lee said members of the Congressional Black Caucus have attempted more than once since Trump took office to meet with him about issues facing Black Americans that included a 125-page proposal for Black America after he was inaugurated but it went ignored.
“The President of the United States has never in his four years of being there been an advocate or help anything get accomplished and he will not get anything accomplished this time,” says Jackson Lee. “Everything that was in the Platinum Plan has already been proposed by the Congressional Black Caucus and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.”
Americans of all creeds and ethnicities will head to the polls in 15 days to cast a vote for president of the United States. Early voting, however, is already underway in a number of states across the country and the ground game for the Black vote has been on full display in both the campaigns of Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
Since his meeting with the Trump campaign broke, Ice Cube has been tweeting his thoughts on the backlash. He noted that he reached out to both campaigns but was told by the Biden team to wait until after the election.
Following the public discourse about Trump’s Platinum Plan and Ice Cube’s involvement, the Biden campaign — which has proposed its own plans during the campaign trail to address race and inequality — released a statement slamming Trump’s record on issues that impact Black U.S. citizens.
“Donald Trump has been president for nearly 4 years and does not have a record to stand on when it comes to the Black community — but we are supposed to believe he now all of a sudden has a plan 3 weeks before the election?” said Biden’s Director of Strategic Communications Kamau Marshall.
“COVID-19 is disproportionately killing the Black community and his failure to have any plan to get the virus under control has made it worse. Since March — 1 in 1000 Black Americans have died from COVID-19. By the end of the year, the estimate is it will be 1 in 500.
“Black businesses are being decimated due to the economic devastation caused by this virus. If Trump wants to talk about his plan for the Black community, he first needs to explain why he has failed to get this virus under control,” Kamau added.
“Donald Trump believes that the economy is doing well, his friends on Park Avenue and the wealthiest Americans are doing well. Vice President Biden believes the economy is doing well when workers and families are doing well.”
Kelsey Minor is a 2x Emmy-awarding winning freelance journalist based in New York City. He can be followed on Twitter @theKELSEYminor.