February 17, 2020

Nothing to see here. Just a Trump organization setting up a group fronted by Black folks to go into Black communities to promise them cash if they attend pro-Trump events. According to CNN, America First Policies is one of the main organizations trying to get Trump re-elected. They donated over $230,000 to help begin the Urban Revitalization Coalition, headed by Cleveland's Darryl Scott — Pastor of the New Spirit Revival Center.

What's the Urban Revitalization Coalition doing with its money? Holding Trump events, promising cash prizes to the Black people who attend the giveaways wherein they're pumped full of propaganda. So, there's that.

According to Sara Murray from CNN:

MURRAY: Tax experts contacted by CNN raised red flags saying the cash events may violate tax laws that bar nonprofits from engaging in political campaign activities and could jeopardize the group's tax-exempt status. Though in an interview with CNN, Scott said he's careful to follow the law. Racial justice groups like the NAACP accused Scott of trying to buy support for president Trump in the Black community.

JOHNSON: It's both worrisome and it's very disingenuous. We're in a political climate where elections are won by the margins. Less than a fraction of a percentage. And people are using many tricks to encourage people to participate or persuade their political point of view.

MURRAY: Scott hit back at critics telling CNN, "I really think that's insulting to Black people. They automatically think Black people demean themselves so much that they'll sell out a vote for $300." Trump has struggled to build support among African-American voters. And 83% of African-Americans believe the president is racist, according to a recent poll. The organizers have touted the group as a link between the White House and urban communities.

Cleveland City Councilman Blaine Griffin is not buying Pastor Scott's line that the events help the community and weren't endorsements for Trump. Organizers even wanted to honor Councilman Griffin at one of their events, and once he began to investigate, he smelled a rat, and not only declined the invitation and honor, but denounced the event.

It's worth noting that this conversation is taking place within the Black community, and that generally speaking, it's not for white folks to step in and judge where and how they receive whatever economic help they find. That the Black community is in this situation to begin with is the result of the nation's history of oppression, and the fact that all of our institutions were designed to give white people tremendous advantage. We can, however, point out how completely typical and crass it is for Trump and his cronies to exploit that disadvantage for his own personal and political gain. At the end of the segment above, the anchors said it best.

VICTOR BLACKWELL: Cash for votes. That really doesn't require comment. You know what that is.


Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.