February 12, 2018

Members of the Central Park Five took a shot at Trump for his hypocritical calls for "due process" when it comes to himself or his fellow abusers of women. Trump took to Twitter to voice his complaints about how terribly unfair it is that false accusations can end up ruining people's lives, and here's the response he got from Raymond Santana:

MSNBC's Yasmin Vossoughian spoke to another member of the Central Park Five, Yusef Salaam, about the tweet, and Salaam didn't mince words when it comes to who and what Trump cares about.

VOSSOUGHIAN: You wrote an op-ed back in 2016 and wrote "Trump has smeared dozens of people with no regard for the truth." So, I imagine, Yusef, you were not surprised by the president's reactions this past Saturday to Rob Porter.

SALAAM: No, not at all. To me it's all institutional protectionism, and that's the part that's unfortunate, because we live in two different Americas, one where your rights are protected, we'll help you out, it's the good old boy's club and the other America that people spell with three Ks, where the darker enclave of society, we see things happening all over the place. And especially in regards to the Central Park jogger case.

Here you had Donald Trump two weeks in, taking out a full-page ad, rushing to judgment, finding out thirteen years later after he did all of that, that we were not the real culprits, but yet he still stood and continues to stand on the side of history, which makes absolutely no sense.

But here we have clear photos, we have a person saying, hey, I need to leave this administration, I smeared myself, so to speak, and Donald Trump is saying, wait, hold on. Let's not rush to judge, let's give this person due process. I mean, hey, he very strongly says that he didn't do it.

It's really amazing that he would say these types of things, especially in today's age where we see people getting shot down on TV, we see all kinds of atrocities happening and people basically just getting a slap on the wrist, if that, and allowed to go on with their lives.

The Central Park Five, their families, the community around the families, we were not able to move on with our lives. Our lives were completely destroyed and devastated. Any kind of dream and idea or kind of goal that we had to be anything in life was quickly erased by this accusation, by an accusation.

VOSSOUGHIAN: There was another Central Park Five defendant, Raymond Santana, and he tweeted this in response to President Trump's due process tweet. He wrote, "you should have spoke like that back in 1989. You called for the death penalty. We were 14 and 15-year-old kids." Have you heard from the others, from the other Central Park Five? Have you talked to them? What's been the conversation between you guys?

SALAAM: You know, we talk about these kinds of things all the time. We've been -- we've become brothers through this process, brothers through the fire, you know, and we're very, very close. We're very much in communication with each other. A lot of us try to hit things from different angles. I'm a motivational speaker, so I'm always out there on the circuit pushing out positive messages and things like that. I most certainly spoke to Raymond about this thing.

And it was like, the audacity of someone who called for our death, who very well, this thing could have turned into a modern day Emmitt Till. We became modern day Scottsboro Boys, and so that tweet that Raymond put out there was so on time and so on topic, you know, and I was just really congratulating him, you know, again for doing some amazing work on twitter to combat these things that we see Donald Trump continuing to do.

VOSSOUGHIAN: Yusef, the president in his tweet, as I mentioned earlier, he said lives are ruined by these false allegations. What was your life like after being wrongly accused?

SALAAM: You know, everything that a young person values, the social interaction, the feeling that you have worth in the society and the community that you're coming from, that stuff is gone. You're turned immediately into a pariah and you have to try to live your life in spite of all of that, and it's very, very difficult, because as you can imagine, if you walk through life being told that you're worthless, you will begin to act like you are worthless.

But the fact that, as my mentor told me, Les Brown, that you were the one out of the 400 million sperm that made it, that means you have purpose, you have something great to do in this world. And I'm so proud and honored to have the opportunity to still have my faculties to speak to these kind of issues to make sure that never again would there be another Central Park Five.

We're trying to balance the scales of justice, but, in fact, what we see is corruption being the law of the land. Corruption out of the mouth of the president himself saying that, hey, you know, you can go into the – I usually go into the rooms and see the young ladies, he called them young ladies, but they were teenagers, you know. They are nude, they are getting dressed. They're getting ready.

They're getting prepared, but he's doing something out of his own affluenza that is very dangerous, very, very dangerous, because now in the era of Me Too, we have so many people who are being really shattered, because they had to go through these things in order to rise up the ladder of success, you know, and it's truly a tragedy. It's truly, truly tragic.

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