Yusef Salaam, one of the members of the wrongfully convicted Central Park Five wants an apology from Donald Trump. Of course, this will never happen. Trump has never apologized for anything; and, he isn’t going to start now. I mean, why would he do something like that and blemish his record of good judgment. Besides, Trump is a man who has publicly stated that he’s not into asking God for forgiveness. Can we expect him to ever apologize?
So yeah, good luck with that apology thingy.
In a statement to CNN, Trump said that “they admitted they were guilty.” “The police doing the original investigation say they were guilty. The fact that that case was settled with so much evidence against them is outrageous. And the woman, so badly injured, will never be the same,” he added.
To Trump, the evidence against the Central Park Five was overwhelming.
I assume that this is what motivated Trump to spend a reported $85,000 to take out a full-page ad in the New York Times and three other newspapers.
In the ad, Trump called for the employment of the death penalty against the falsely accused young teenagers. According to Trump’s ad, the Central Park Five were part of a larger problem of “bands of wild criminals roam our neighborhoods, dispensing their own vicious brand of twisted hatred on whomever they encounter.” In 1989, Trump’s ad further inflamed New York City’s racial tension and was a cause celebre.
“I want to hate these muggers and murderers. They should be forced to suffer and, when they kill, they should be executed for their crimes. They must serve as examples so that others will think long and hard before committing a crime or an act of violence,” Trump’s ad continued.
Here’s the thing: DNA evidence cleared then of any wrongdoing. In fact, the actual perpetrator of the crime came forward and confessed to the rape of the Central Park jogger. And, it was his DNA that matched that of the victim.
But of course, Trump is allergic to this thing called facts.
Interestingly enough, though, Trump also said that the city of New York settling a $41 million lawsuit with the members of the Central Park Five isn’t an admission of their innocence. In an op-ed in the New York Daily News, Trump described the 2014 lawsuit settlement as the “heist of the century.”
Trump added, “Settling doesn’t mean innocence, but it indicates incompetence on several levels.” Yeah, because it’s all about being guilty until proven innocent, even if there’s sufficient scientific evidence that proves otherwise. And this from the same guy who said that him settling a racial discrimination lawsuit filed by the federal government isn’t an admission of guilt on his part.
There’s Never A Racial Double Standard
Double standard? Nope. Wealthy white men and what they say is the standard. If they say you’re a criminal, you’re a criminal. If they say you’re a rapist, you’re a rapist. Like Trump, if you unknowingly admit to using your fame to sexually assault women – you know, by grabbing them by the pussy – it’s locker-room banter. Yes, there’s nothing criminal here at all. Incidentally, this explains all the rape accusations against Trump. If anything, this exhibits an extreme flaw of judgment, basic human decency, and character.
Come to thnk about it, this is the reason there are many like the Central Park Five, who fall victim to the bias within a racially inequitable criminal justice system. Meanwhile, Trump wants to be president of the United States. To help him get there, he wants people of color – black folks in particular – to vote for him, because as he put it, we have nothing to lose.
I’ve written about the Central Park Five before. But, I never thought they would be mentioned in this election cycle. As narcissism and the undisciplined need for attention would have it, here we are. Donald Trump had to open his mouth once again. He couldn’t ignore taking the bait offered up by CNN. Instead, Trump’s comments, once again, proves that he’s an enemy of fact-driven discourse. Because, in the face of truth, his racist beliefs won’t allow an ounce of contrition. Nor will his level of moral bankruptcy allow him to admit that he was wrong.