Sheriff David Clarke pulls no punches when it comes to explaining his thoughts on the current state of black America, and on Saturday he once again presented his take on the relationship between the black community and President Trump.
Sheriff Clarke appeared on the weekend edition of Fox and Friends to discuss major Civil Rights icons, including Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., decision to boycott Trump’s appearance at the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.
“Donald Trump realizes that he is the president of all people,” Clarke told Fox News. “He also realizes that actions speak louder than words.”
“What these obstinate people are afraid of, (is) that President Donald Trump is winning hearts and minds quietly and slowly throughout black America, as they are willing to give him a chance as he asked during the campaign,” he added.
The Sheriff then mentioned his belief that the museum’s grand opening ceremony “will be better off without those people there.”
When asked by co-host Pete Hegseth if Trump’s decision to attend the event could be perceived as the president “shining a light” on the museum’s importance, Clarke responded with more praise for Trump.
“He adds to the moment, and he’s being responsible in doing so,” Clarke stated. “Look, Donald Trump could care less about whether any of these are showing up or what they think. He’s going to do what’s in the best interest of all American’s — and the right thing to do, the best thing to do is to show up at this opening and just kind of ignore the fact that some people have chosen this to use as a platform to make a political statement.”
The lead-up to the invitation-only event in Jackson, Mississippi, was rife with controversy after Lewis and other black leaders announced they wouldn’t be attending the ceremony due to Trump’s presence at the event.
“President Trump’s attendance and his hurtful policies are an insult to the people portrayed in this civil rights museum,” Lewis and Democratic Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson said in a statementThursday.
Trump attended anyway, and spoke briefly at the event, The Washington Post reported.
“The Civil Rights Museum records the oppression inflicted on the African American community — the fight to end slavery, to end Jim Crow, to gain the right to vote — so that others might live in freedom,” Trump said.
“Today we pay solemn tribute to our heroes of the past and dedicate ourselves to building a future of freedom, equality, justice, peace,” he added.
Clarke’s appearance was not free of controversy, as he engaged in a back-and-forth with co-host Eboni Williams, according to The Hill. Upon hearing Lewis’ name referenced, Clarke appeared to take a jab at the Georgia representative.
“John, who?” Clarke asked at the beginning of the segment, a comment that seemed to strike a nerve with Williams, who responded by listing off Lewis’ history as a civil rights advocate.
“John Lewis — he was bloodied on the Selma bridge, sheriff, when he was trying to protest voting rights and organizing sit-ins,” Williams said, referencing Lewis’ contributions during the Civil Rights Movement.
“John Lewis has become one of the most irrelevant members of Congress,” Clarke said in response to Williams.
The former Milwaukee sheriff then referenced “the high poverty, the high unemployment,” and “the crime that goes on and the failing schools” present in Lewis’ 5th congressional district of Georgia.
He then stated that Lewis’ has now turned to using racially based issues as a platform for political grandeur.
“He has to pull a political stunt like this. He can’t even honor the civil rights museum opening,” Clarke added. “He has to pull a political stunt to get news coverage. That’s how bad this is.”
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