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There has been a lot of criticism of Black celebrities who have met with President-elect Donald Trump as he transitions to the presidency. Notable stars and activists who have met with Trump include Jim Brown, Ray Lewis, Kanye West and most recently comedian Steve Harvey. The meeting with Harvey has created the biggest stir in social media with some calling him a “coon”, “uncle tom” and “sellout” for speaking with a lying, racist and misogynistic Trump.

Harvey, however, stated that “When the President-elect calls you, you answer” and has since given a lengthy response to his critics. All the Black celebrities who have met with Trump have been unanimous in their praise of the President-elect in stating that he was a good man and concerned about the plight of Black America and the inner-city.

On April 4, 1964, famed human rights leader Malcolm X explained the actions of Black leaders in his pivotal speech “The Ballot or The Bullet.” In the speech, Min. Malcolm X warned Black America by stating, “That same white man knowing that your eyes are wide open will send another negro into the community telling you to support him so he could use them to lead us astray…The first thing the [White racist] does when he comes to power, he takes all the Negro leaders and invites them for coffee, to show that he’s alright. And these Uncle Toms can’t pass up the coffee. They come away from the coffee table telling you and me that this man is alright.”

Black America is seeing this play out currently and it seems that those leaders who Trump has invited for meetings are falling right into the playbook of continued oppression. Not one of these leaders stated that they presented a plan or received any concrete plan from President-elect Trump on what will be done for the Black community. Instead, we are left to rely on the Black celebrity’s word based on their fame that “Trump is sincere.”

The question is, when will our Black spokespersons learn to deal from a position of power with a man who claims to know the “art of the deal”?

Mo Barnes

“Mo Betta”
Maurice “Mo” Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician.