After calling himself a lynching victim, Donald Trump’s effort to hold himself up as a champion of criminal justice reform did not go over well with former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner, to put it mildly.
October 26, 2019

After insulting African Americans by likening the impeachment inquiry to a lynching, Trump boasted about how great he has been for African Americans during a speech at historically black Benedict College. Only 10 students were invited, despite the college president’s request for more.

This morning, Kirschner had some choice words when asked by MSNBC host Ayman Mohyeldin how Trump “actually rates” on the issue of criminal justice reform.

KIRSCHNER: Yeah, you know, Ayman, reducing the prison population, particularly for non-violent offenders who are serving unduly, lengthy sentences, is a good thing and I give Trump exactly no credit for that, because what we have to do is put it into the larger context, because every time Donald Trump says something like comparing his circumstances to lynching, you know what he does? He's honoring this country's history, but he's honoring things like 1787's three-fifths compromise, where a black person wasn't a full person, only three-fifths of a person, and he's honoring 1857's Dred Scott decision, where a black man tried to sue to have himself and his family declared citizens, and the courts said, no, you can never be a citizen of the country to which you were brought via kidnapping.

He honors what is a low point in our Supreme Court jurisprudence. 1896 is Plessy vs. Ferguson's horrific “separate but equal” doctrine where the government sanctioned segregation and prejudice. Those are the things that Donald Trump honors when he compares his circumstances with lynching.

Kirschner also gave a shout out to Jamelle Bouie’s New York Times column that blasted Trump’s lynching remark and Sen. Lindsey Graham’s endorsement.

[Bouie] sets out how the Donald Trumps and the Lindsey Grahams, by saying, you know what, it's okay to call what's happening to Donald Trump a lynching, he is also dishonoring the Emmett Tills of the world, because Emmett Till, 14-year-old boy, lynched in 1955 in Mississippi for being disrespectful to a white woman. Donald Trump is honoring the people today that are in Mississippi shooting up, literally shooting up the Emmett Till memorial over and over again, such that it has to be re-erected and re-erected. Those are the kinds of people today that Donald Trump and Lindsey Graham are honoring, and it's despicable.

By the way, Trump declined to apologize for his lynching comment as he prepared to leave the White House for the trip to Benedict.

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