Rev. Al Sharpton is speaking against rappers who are standing in support of former President Donald Trump. During an appearance on MSNBC, Sharpton questioned how Black people, including rappers, could support Trump, recalling his history with the Central Park Five.
For a brief history lesson, in 1989, Trump, who was then a prominent New York City businessman, took out several full-page newspaper advertisements calling for New York City politicians to reinstate the death penalty following the brutal rape and attack of a female jogger in New York City. Five youth, Yusef Salaam, Korey Wise, Antron McCray, Raymond Santana, and Kevin Richardson, were wrongfully imprisoned for 7-13 years until the attacker was caught. They had been coerced into giving false confessions and received substantial settlements. All are involved in criminal justice activism efforts now. Trump never formally apologized to the five, especially since he took out the ads before their trials began.
“Let’s go to the 1990s when five young Black and brown men were falsely accused of raping a white woman in Central Park,” Sharpton said. “It was Donald Trump that took out ads in the papers in New York saying they should get the death penalty.”
Sharpton later said, “Black men need to know they were all young Black men. One spent 13 years in jail. He was with us for the March on Washington on Saturday. Let them come and tell the rappers and other Black men being seduced by Trump what he did in his hometown to innocent to Black men.”