On Thursday, Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., better known by his stage name Lil Wayne, posted a picture of himself with President Donald Trump and praised the president’s policies. It seems Lil Wayne may have just endorsed Trump, although he did not explicitly say so.
“Just had a great meeting with [President Trump] besides what he’s done so far with criminal [justice] reform, the platinum plan is going to give the community real ownership,” Lil Wayne tweeted. “He listened to what we had to say today and assured he will and can get it done.”
Just had a great meeting with @realdonaldtrump @potus besides what he’s done so far with criminal reform, the platinum plan is going to give the community real ownership. He listened to what we had to say today and assured he will and can get it done. 🤙🏾 pic.twitter.com/Q9c5k1yMWf
— Lil Wayne WEEZY F (@LilTunechi) October 29, 2020
Other celebrity rappers have also supported the president recently. Curtis James Jackson III, better known as “50 Cent,” endorsed Trump in opposition to Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s tax plan (although he later appears to have withdrawn that endorsement). A few other rappers have also supported the president publicly.
“Trump 2020 b**ch,” Gazzy Garcia, better known as “Lil Pump,” said in an Instagram video, slamming Biden’s tax plan. “F**k sleepy Joe, Trump 2020 b**ch!” (WARNING: vulgar language.)
— Henry Rodgers (@henryrodgersdc) October 26, 2020
O’Shea Jackson, better known as “Ice Cube,” worked with Trump to craft the $500 billion Platinum Plan for Black America. While Ice Cube did not endorse Trump, his willingness to work with the president is notable.
Black Georgia House Rep. Vernon Jones (D) has praised Trump, saying he “did more for the Black community in less than four years than Biden did in over four decades.”
While former President Barack Obama had called for criminal justice reform, Trump made tremendous strides with the First Step Act. The tax reform bill Trump signed in 2017 created opportunity zones, a program envisioned by Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) to help members of impoverished communities find a leg up. Trump has championed school choice, which has helped black students escape failing schools. During Trump’s presidency, African American unemployment fell to historic lows.
These successes, along with Trump’s Platinum Plan for Black America, constitute a solid argument for black voters to support the president. While it seems unlikely Trump will get 30 percent of the black vote — as Rasmussen polls suggest — black voters are moving in his direction.
According to a Harry Enten analysis of 10 polls, President Donald Trump is picking up steam among the black community, taking support that once went to third-party candidates in 2016. This shift might translate to about 0.5 percent of the vote nationwide, which does not seem significant — but in a close race, it could make the difference.
Some polls have shown Trump’s approval among black voters doubling since 2016. In the recently-released book Coming Home: How Black Americans Will Re-Elect Trump, black former Air Force officer Vernon Robinson and conservative pollster Bruce Eberle predict that Trump could win as much as 20 percent of the black vote in key swing states — as he already did, they argue, in Pennsylvania in 2016.
“Democrats have been telling black voters year after year after year that all Republicans are racist. I would be willing to bet that in those swing states if we point out that the Democrats are really racist, we will win more than 20 percent of the black vote,” Eberle told PJ Media in January. Eberle argued that “Blexit” rallies against Democrats and the historically low unemployment rate for black Americans before the pandemic might represent a growing trend among black voters dissatisfied with Democrats.
Rappers like Lil Wayne might help Trump pick up votes in unexpected places.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.