So, I get it. The Black Community is pissed at Steve Harvey for meeting with Donald Trump. Harvey, a prominent radio and television personality, like many in recent days, upon invitation, entered the gilded trappings of Trump Tower and kissed the ring.
To be fair, however, I believe what’s not being articulated is that the harsh sentiment isn’t coming from Harvey simply meeting with Trump, I believe it’s more about what the African American leader did (or did not do) when he got the chance to meet with the soon-to-be 45th President of these United States.
Trump has recklessly and shamelessly rattled off and tweeted a whole litany of racist and otherwise offensive remarks. One of the latest being how he erroneously characterized civil rights icon and House Representative John Lewis as “all talk, no action.”
John Lewis only was physically beaten, ostracized, and lived under the threat of assassination because of his commitment to civil rights and equality for all people. That hardly qualifies as “all talk, no action”. So Trump has said and, in fact, done some racist things. But I don’t believe at his core Trump is a racist. I believe he is something far worse: He is a shameless, concisely calculating, bombastic, bullyesque opportunist. Meaning, he will become whatever he needs to be to accomplish his amoral, self serving and un principled purpose. He is like one of those oily haired carpetbagger from the 40s traveling from town to town selling a secret and magical potion and changing his personality and core “beliefs” and views to whomever he happens to be speaking with to get the sale.
So, many in the Black Community feel Trump is a racist and consequently, Steve Harvey is viewed as a traitor for meeting with him. As I stated at the top of this post, I believe it’s more disappointing that he didn’t challenge and call Trump out for his comments, that he didn’t respectfully put Trump on notice that he wasn’t there to kiss the proverbial ring and do photo ops. He should have respectfully asked Trump IN DETAIL about the supposed policies he intends to implement to “help” the minority communities. He should have help him accountable for his words and let him know unequivocally that rhetoric against a revered citizen like Rep. John Lewis will not be tolerated by the community he intends to serve. So that meeting could have been powerful and productive and full of advocacy and real solution-based conversation. But alas, Mr. Harvey, like so many who get seduced by the trappings of power, missed a great opportunity and, in the process, set a fire to people who look up to him as a leader.