Progressives on Twitter had a collective meltdown when Katrina Pierson, a senior advisor to President Trump’s campaign, publicly thanked rapper and actor Ice Cube, whose real name is O’Shea Jackson, for his contribution to President Trump’s Platinum Plan, which is designed to promote economic growth in the black community. The artist, who has been a vocal critic of the president, has come under fire for giving his input on the plan even though he was rebuffed by the former Vice President Joe Biden’s team.
On Tuesday, Pierson posted a tweet acknowledging Ice Cube’s role in shaping the plan. “Shoutout to @IceCube for his willingness to step up and work with @realdonaldtrump administration to help develop the #PlatinumPlan,” she tweeted.
Leaders gonna lead, haters gonna hate. Thank you for leading! ✊🏾
— Katrina Pierson (@KatrinaPierson) October 13, 2020
It did not take long for Democrats to excoriate the hip-hop pioneer for his decision to work with members of Trump’s team. Some fallaciously claimed that this was a signal that Ice Cube is now a Trump supporter.
CNN commentator Keith Boykin lashed out at the rapper, slamming the president for his stance on the Central Park Five, his role in spreading the birther conspiracy about President Obama, and his supposed guidance for police to mistreat black Americans.
Did Ice Cube ask Trump to apologize for leading a lynch mob against the Central Park?
Did he ask him to apologize for spreading a racist lie about Pres. Obama’s birth certificate?
Did he ask him to apologize to the Black people beat up by police that followed Trump’s guidance? https://t.co/dMCC0auZa9
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) October 14, 2020
TV personality Elgin Charles (no relation) accused the artist of working for “his own personal gain.”
Shame on Ice Cube and any of you who are allowing yourselves to be led by him. He isn't bucking the system, he's working his way into it for his own personal gain.
Donald Trump doesn't give AF about Black people; yet, some of you are all too willing to shuck & jive for him.
— Elgin Charles (@ElginCharles) October 14, 2020
Author and activist Toure also chimed in, arguing that Ice Cube shouldn’t trust Trump to address the black community’s problems.
— Touré (@Toure) October 14, 2020
On Wednesday, Ice Cube clarified his role in creating the Platinum Plan on Twitter, noting that both the GOP and the Democrats reached out to him about his Contract With Black America (CWBA), a document that he released on social media detailing his desires for government action. He indicated that while the Democrats promised they would address the plan after the election, Trump’s team was willing to sit down with him and use his input to craft their strategy.
Facts: I put out the CWBA. Both parties contacted me. Dems said we’ll address the CWBA after the election. Trump campaign made some adjustments to their plan after talking to us about the CWBA.
— Ice Cube (@icecube) October 14, 2020
In Ice Cube’s Contract With Black America, he points out that “The problems facing America are too deep and wide to simply reform one area or another.” The rapper explains that “Long-lasting solutions demand a comprehensive thorough ‘rethink’ of America so that each new approach in each area supports the success of the others. This Contract with Black America will provide conceptual approaches in several areas.”
The contract addresses 13 different areas that require improvement, including prison reform, police reform, the removal of confederate monuments, and bank lending.
In August, the rapper posted a video taking both political parties to task for failing the black community and asked, “What’s in it for us?” when it comes to lending electoral support.
The details of Ice Cube’s contribution to the Platinum Plan are still unknown. In fact, Trump’s team has not released any details regarding the plan’s implementation since President Trump announced it in late September, nor has it been promoted to a significant degree since the announcement.
Many have criticized the plan as mere pandering, a cynical attempt to siphon black votes from Biden. They point to the fact that it was announced a little over 30 days before the election and the fact that Trump’s team has not provided much detail about how they plan to accomplish the goals laid out in the document.
Many on both the left and the right have speculated that the artist’s involvement in the Platinum Plan indicates that he is now a Trump supporter. However, Ice Cube has not proclaimed his support for the president.
Ice Cube’s willingness to reach out to both parties instead of only the Democrats is a break from the norm when it comes to high-profile black Americans. The GOP’s failure to engage with the black community in a meaningful way has bred much distrust in the black community.
But it is still telling that Biden’s team refused to meet with Ice Cube. The reason why they did not take him seriously is apparent: They don’t have to. Since the Democratic Party hasn’t had real competition from the GOP for black votes in decades, they already know that they will win the vast majority of the black community’s support.
However, as I mentioned in my previous piece on the Platinum Plan, President Trump broke tradition by introducing a plan specifically for the black community. It’s not clear whether or not this will influence black voters on Election Day, but either way, it could be the beginning of a reimagining of the Republican Party’s approach to black voters.
Author: Jeff Charles