Speaking at an event about criminal justice on Friday, Donald Trump compared his own situation with the ongoing impeachment inquiry to America’s long history of systemic racial inequities in the justice system.
Trump was speaking to the 2020 Bipartisan Justice Center at Benedict College, a historically black institution, in front of an audience almost entirely composed of his supporters. The State newspaper reported Friday afternoon that only seven Benedict students attended Trump’s speech.
“We’ll never let up on our efforts to ensure that our justice system is fair for every single American,” said Trump. “And I have my own experience, you know that. You see what is going on with the witch hunt. It’s a terrible thing that’s going on in our country. No crimes. It’s an investigation in search of a crime. It’s been going on for longer than I have been in office.”
Trump is facing an impeachment inquiry in the House after evidence was revealed to Congress that he withheld foreign aid to Ukraine while pressuring that country to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, Trump’s potential political rival.
The process, despite Trump’s complaints, is not remotely comparable to the injustices inherent in the U.S. criminal justice system.
“We have systems and institutions that produce racially disparate outcomes, regardless of the intentions of the people who work within them,” columnist Radley Balko, who has covered the topic for years, has noted.
Balko explained that “much of the criminal-justice system was built, honed and firmly established during the Jim Crow era” and that the “modern criminal-justice system helped preserve racial order — it kept black people in their place.”
Areas of the criminal justice system that have documented racial disparities include policing, profiling, driver’s license suspensions, sentencing and penalties for drug crimes, the death penalty, jury selection, and many more.
By comparison, Trump has thus far not experienced any repercussions at all, other than the public’s opinion of him becoming even more negative.
His personal situation, which led to an impeachment inquiry, is nothing like the injustices black Americans face as part of their everyday lives.
Published with permission of The American Independent.