Some Black Americans Detect Irony in Trump's Response to the Guilty Decision

Donald Trump criticized the guilty verdict of his hush money trial while he was in a Manhattan courthouse. This courthouse is known for being involved in a well-known case of unfairness in recent New York history. He was involved in it.

The courthouse is the same one where, 34 years ago, five Black and Latino youths were wrongly convicted for beating and raping a white female jogger. The previous president became well-known for placing an advertisement in a newspaper in New York City after the 1989 attack. In the ad, he called for the accused individuals to be executed. This case caused a lot of racial tension in the local area and is often cited as an example of a biased criminal justice system that discriminates against defendants of color.

However, on Friday, just one day after becoming the first U.S. president to be convicted of felony crimes in a court of law, Trump criticized the same criminal justice system, claiming it is corrupt and biased against him.

“He said that the case brought by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, led by Alvin Bragg, who is the first Black person in that role, and overseen by Judge Juan Merchan, who is of Colombian descent, is a scam,” he said.

“This trial is unfair and biased. It was not appropriate for it to be in that location. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee said on Friday at Trump Tower in Manhattan that we should not have had that judge.

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Many Black Americans found it ironic that Trump was speaking out against what he saw as an unfair conviction, especially considering that he had strongly supported the wrongful conviction of five Black and Latino teenagers in the same courthouse. The Central Park Five case was the first time Trump got involved in tough-on-crime politics, which set the stage for his later populist political persona. Many people believe that Trump used coded language and openly racist speech throughout his public career.

Recently, Trump has started using the same language as advocates for criminal justice reform when reaching out to Black and Hispanic communities. He says that Black Americans and Latinos can understand him because he believes that prosecutors are targeting him, just like they have targeted many men and young people in their communities.

“Donald Trump’s conviction is going to be a problem for him with many Black people because, guess what, many Black people do not like people who break our criminal laws,” said Maya Wiley, a civil rights attorney from New York and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

“Black people are more likely to be victims of crime compared to other racial groups.” They don’t only support people who have been found guilty of a crime.

Wiley, who tried but did not win the race for mayor of New York City in 2021, mentioned that the Black and Hispanic people in the city also recall Trump’s remarks regarding the Central Park jogger case.

“According to Wiley, people still remember that Donald Trump once placed a full-page advertisement calling for the death penalty for the Central Park Five. However, these individuals have since been proven innocent and were mistreated by the justice system,” Wiley said.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, who supports the five men who were proven innocent, said that Trump’s conviction is a symbolic way to bring them justice.

“This is the building that Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise went into every day during their unfair trial for a crime they didn’t do,” Sharpton said right after the verdict was announced.

“Now the situation has reversed.” He said that Donald Trump is the criminal, and those five men are proven innocent.

Yusef Salaam, who became a member of the New York City Council last year, expressed that he did not feel happy about the former president’s guilty verdict. He mentioned that Donald Trump had wanted him to be executed, even though it was proven that he was innocent.

Salaam and the other young men had their convictions overturned in 2002 because evidence showed that someone else committed the crime. In 2019, Trump did not say sorry to the men who were proven innocent.

“Today, Salaam wrote on the social media platform X that we should be proud because the system worked,” “However, it is important to acknowledge that we Americans have a former President who has been convicted of 34 different serious crimes.”

“We need to improve our performance.” “We are better than this,” he wrote.

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