On Nov. 13, 2016, Dave Chappelle hosted the first Saturday Night Live after the 2016 election. The most stinging part of that episode was not the sketches or even the long-awaited return of Chappelle himself, but for me, it was a line he said in his opening monologue.
Chappelle joked, “But America’s done it, we’ve actually, we’ve actually elected an internet troll as our president.”
Four years later, simply calling Trump an internet troll is wishful thinking. Now we’ve learned that he’s an aspiring authoritarian, economically incompetent, repugnantly dishonest and disdainful of American troops.
None of this is to say he isn’t a troll. It’s just to say that he’s far worse things as well. Nothing shows his trolling, though, more than his supposed “Platinum Plan” for Black Americans, a proposal filled with empty language and vapid gestures, quite like the President proposing them.
For starters, before discussing the plan, it’s important to take a close look at the man proposing it. Donald Trump is racist and has a long history of racist behavior to prove it.
In the 1970s, the Nixon administration– which was abhorrently racist as well– sued the Trump management corporation for refusing to rent to Black tenants. In the 1980s, Trump paid for full page newspaper ads for the execution of the Central Park Five, a group of kids who were later exonerated of charges. In the 1990s, Trump had to pay a $200,000 fine for transferring Black dealers off of tables to appease gambler’s prejudices.
His racism didn’t end in the 20th century. His modern political career is based upon pushing Birtherism, a conspiracy theory that alleges that the first Black President wasn’t American. In office, has publicly refused to condemn white supremacists but labels Black Lives Matter, our modern civil rights movement, as discriminatory.
It’s beyond me how anyone could trust such a man– who’s senior advisor of policy is an avowed white supremacist– to do anything right by Black Americans.
Then to actually get on to the plan, itself, well, it’s not much of a plan at all. It’s filled with vague sentences like, “INCREASE ACCESS TO CAPITAL IN BLACK COMMUNITIES BY ALMOST $500 BILLION”, “ADVANCE HOME OWNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES AND ENHANCE FINANCIAL LITERACY IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY” and “BRING BETTER AND TAILORED HEALTHCARE TO ADDRESS HISTORIC DISPARITIES”.
Those all sound great, but not only are they not policies, but they’re the opposite of what Trump has been pursuing over the last four years.
For instance, Trump has denied the existence of systemic racism in the United States so if he’s operating from that premise, he would never sign onto giving Black Americans 500 billion dollars. That would be reparations.
Trump isn’t serious about improving home ownership or healthcare either. He’s warned his supporters that Democrats are trying to destroy the suburbs with low-income housing (which is an expansion of housing opportunities) and still ignores the COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed thousands of Black lives.
In reality, if Trump was going to do anything for Black Americans, he would’ve done it during his first two years in office where the Republican party controlled all three branches of government. Instead, he was more interested in destroying the legacy of the first Black president.
So as election time approaches, remember that Donald Trump isn’t just an internet troll, but a fervent racist who’s Platinum Plan is just more of his trolling. He’s not interested in helping Black Americans and never will be: in office or out.
Adonis Fryer is a sophomore studying communications at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Tell Adonis by emailing him at email@example.com.