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By DEENA ZARU, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — Ice Cube responded on Wednesday night to intense backlash in the hip-hop community and beyond after an adviser to President Donald Trump revealed on Twitter that the hip-hop star and NWA legend advised the Trump administration on a plan for Black America.
“Shoutout to (Ice Cube) for his willingness to step up and work with [President Donald Trump’s] Administration to help develop the #PlatinumPlan,” Kartina Pierson tweeted on Tuesday, sending social media into a frenzy with the suggestion that Ice Cube — who rose to the national spotlight in the late 80s for speaking out against issues like police brutality at a time when it was considered taboo — could work with Trump.
Leaders gonna lead, haters gonna hate. Thank you for leading! ✊🏾
— Katrina Pierson (@KatrinaPierson) October 13, 2020
Ice Cube, who has been a vocal critic of Trump, famously releasing a song titled “Arrest the President” in 2018, clarified his role and defended his involvement in a series of tweets.
Facts: I put out the CWBA. Both parties contacted me. Dems said we’ll address the CWBA after the election. Trump campaign made some adjustments to their plan after talking to us about the CWBA.
— Ice Cube (@icecube) October 14, 2020
“Facts: I put out the CWBA. Both parties contacted me. Dems said we’ll address the CWBA after the election. Trump campaign made some adjustments to their plan after talking to us about the CWBA,” the rapper tweeted.
The CWBA refers to the rapper’s “Contract With Black America” — a 13-point document that he released on July 1 in the wake of nationwide Black Lives Matter protests. The contract urges all politicians asking for a vote from Black Americans to back the plan and “demand an open debate and a clear and fair vote within the first 100 days of the 117th Congress in 2021 on the following proposals to be codified into specific bills.”
The rapper consulted with policy experts on the CWBA, which is described as “a blueprint to achieve racial economic justice” and touches on a wide range of issues, including finance, police, criminal justice and education reform.
Some critics pointed to Ice Cube’s own criticism of the late NWA member Eazy-E for attending a White House fundraiser for President George H.W. Bush.
The wild thing is that Eazy E went to a fundraiser at the George HW Bush White House in 1991 and got criticized about *for the rest of his life.* Ice Cube apparently forgot about that when he decided to collaborate with an infinitely worse administration.
— jelani cobb (@jelani9) October 15, 2020
“The wild thing is that Eazy E went to a fundraiser at the George HW Bush White House in 1991 and got criticized about *for the rest of his life.* Ice Cube apparently forgot about that when he decided to collaborate with an infinitely worse administration,” journalist Jelani Cobb tweeted.
But amid the backlash, Ice Cube insisted that “Black progress is a bipartisan issue.”
Black progress is a bipartisan issue. When we created the Contract With Black America we excepted to talk to both sides of the isle. Talking truth to power is part of the process.
— Ice Cube (@icecube) October 15, 2020
“When we created the Contract With Black America we excepted to talk to both sides of the isle,” he tweeted Thursday morning. “Talking truth to power is part of the process.”
Ice Cube, who has been outspoken about social justices issues throughout his career in both public appearances and his music, has not indicated who he will vote for in 2020. He has been critical of both Republican and Democratic politicians, and proclaiming that he is now a “single issue voter,” he expressed disillusionment with the lack of progress that has been made in uplifting the Black community.
“After getting a very close look at our politics and politicians, I’ve turned into a single issue voter,” he tweeted in September. “My single issue is, whoever does the most for Black Americans will get my vote. If you leave us blank, I will leave you blank. Crumbles not excepted.”
The rapper’s criticism comes as the Democratic Party grapples with criticism from progressives and conservatives — including presidential candidate and hip-hop star Kanye West — that its politicians have been taking Black voters for granted for decades but have not done enough to earn it by working to uplift Black communities.
Although there has been somewhat of a lukewarm embrace of the Biden-Harris ticket in the hip-hop community this election cycle, the opposition to Trump has been passionate — a similar scenario to 2016 when then Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, was met with skepticism.
Ice Cube’s position is not uncommon and reflects the longstanding mistrust that some in the Black community have in the American political system, as generations have battled and continue to grapple with the impact of systemic racism — from housing and education, to policing and the criminal justice system.
Every side is the Darkside for us here in America. They’re all the same until something changes for us. They all lie and they all cheat but we can’t afford not to negotiate with whoever is in power or our condition in this country will never change. Our justice is bipartisan. https://t.co/xFIXXpOs8B
— Ice Cube (@icecube) October 14, 2020
In response to a tweet that he is working with the “dark side” by partnering with Trump, Ice Cube wrote that for Black Americans, “every side is the Darkside for us here in America.”
“They’re all the same until something changes for us,” he tweeted on Wednesday night. “They all lie and they all cheat but we can’t afford not to negotiate with whoever is in power or our condition in this country will never change. Our justice is bipartisan.”
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