And it shouldn’t surprise you that he wasn’t entirely truthful.
After a single person once affiliated with Black Lives Matter Rhode Island gave a gushing pro-Trump interview to Fox News, the former president claimed to have the support of BLM itself. The post said:
Spoke with Mark Fisher yesterday, a great guy, very honored to have his and BLM’s support. I have done more for Black people than any other President (Lincoln?), including 10 year funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, where they had none, Opportunity Zones, Criminal Justice Reform, and much more. Thank you to Mark!
The claims are dubious. Trump — who has called Black Lives Matter a “symbol of hate” and said its members “hate our country” — doesn’t have BLM’s support. Certainly not the backing of the national organization, which said in a tweet:
The leader of Black Lives Matter Rhode Island told The Providence Journal that Fisher — who describes himself as a “co-founder” of the chapter — once worked for the group as an advocate, but had not been a co-founder.
Fisher is now involved with a group in Maryland called BLM Inc., so it seems like Trump is just playing word games. By saying he has “BLM’s support,” it gives the appearance that he has widespread Black support when, in actuality, he was just endorsed by … some random Black dude.
As Black Lives Matter Rhode Island and Black Lives Matter RI PAC put it in a joint statement, per The Washington Post:
Anyone can start an organization and add the words Black Lives Matter to it in an attempt to muddy the waters of our movement, as Mark Fisher did. His organization is illegitimate and not in any way connected to the righteous BLM community fighting to protect and save Black lives. Continuing to call Mark Fisher a Black Lives Matter leader is disingenuous and inappropriate.
Trump’s claim to have done more for Black people than any other president, with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln, is absurd as well.
Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act into law — both of which shored up Black civil rights, only to later face attacks by Trump’s administration (and Supreme Court justices he appointed for life). The Affordable Care Act, which was signed by Barack Obama and which Trump is currently vowing to repeal, has made significant inroads in reducing racial and ethnic gaps in access to health care.
The facts aren’t on his side when it comes to his supposed alliance with the Black community. He is, to put it mildly, not invited to the theoretical cookout.
So I predict that Trump and his supporters will continue to desperately tout virtually any Black person who backs him, be it declining rapper Waka Flocka, a niece of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., or some guy who used to live in Rhode Island.