Absolutely absurd that Trump has reacted more angrily to the Prime Minister of Sweden over the arrest of a rapper than to Saudi Arabia over the vicious killing of U.S. resident and @washingtonpost writer Jamal #Khashoggi.
Signed, A Member of the "African American Community" https://t.co/JzpfwftvGb
— Karen Attiah (@KarenAttiah) July 26, 2019
Normally I would have been relieved not to be required to have an opinion on rapper A$AP Rocky’s innocence or guilt. But I did wonder, as a very white person and an old one at that, if Trump’s indignant ‘appeals’ to the Swedish justice system went beyond You don’t understand our folkways! He’s a celebrity! He has money! Eugene Scott’s report at the Washington Post was illuminating:
“The attention the president is paying to a black rapper incarcerated abroad is not mainly about winning over black Americans but keeping existing supporters, mostly white Americans, from defecting.” https://t.co/y9h3WZSSvM
— Eugene Scott (@Eugene_Scott) July 26, 2019
… A$AP Rocky, whose legal name is Rakim Mayers, has been accused of beating a man in the street on June 30 in central Stockholm.
In a video of the alleged assault, the rapper and those with him apparently threw a man to the ground before kicking and punching him.
Another video posted to A$AP Rocky’s Instagram account claims that the men followed him for four blocks and had repeatedly been asked to leave the artist alone…
Trump, a celebrity before he was a politician, appears to give more credence to the words of black musicians than he does black people working in policy and advocacy. He tweeted that he got involved with the effort to release A$AP Rocky after a request from Kanye West. Last year, he demonstrated his commitment to sentencing reform by commuting the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson after Kim Kardashian West advocated for that.
He views entertainers as the most influential voices in black America. That could be in part because Trump does not have a black person working in a senior position in his White House. Some of the people the president mentions most when addressing issues like criminal justice reform and the black unemployment rate are hip-hop artist Kanye West and conservative activist Candace Owens, supporters of the president with no expertise in these areas…