The Democratic Black Caucus of South Carolina stands vehemently and unalterably opposed to the appearance of President Donald Trump as the keynote speaker at the Criminal Justice Forum to be held at Benedict College, a historically black institution, on Friday, October 25, 2019.
After careful consideration, we have concluded that this event is yet another attempt by the Republican party to manipulate black voters and is a manifest insult to our collective intelligence. President Trump is perhaps the most corrupt, racist person to ever hold the highest office in America. He has continually demeaned our people and used every divisive tactic to give support and comfort to those whose intention it is to turn the clock back to the days of segregation and Jim Crow.
For this president to now be heralded as the champion of criminal justice reform on the strength of the passage of the First Step Act is laughable at best. The Act made no significant change in the rate of mass incarceration and the vast majority of those released had already served decades many for nonviolent drug offenses.
We also call for presidential candidates to boycott the event for the following reason. The 20/20 Bipartisan Criminal Justice Center is a Republican-led organization despite its claim to be bipartisan. Most of the presidential candidates declined to appear on Fox News for similar reasons. We encourage presidential candidates who are truly desirous of securing support from African American voters in South Carolina to reconsider.