Charlamagne Tha God, host of a nationally syndicated morning radio show that has become a must-stop for 2020 presidential candidates, predicted that President Trump will “probably” get reelected to a second term. But he said he hopes that doesn't happen.
“If he doesn’t end up in jail, he’ll be president again,” Charlamagne, co-host of “The Breakfast Club,” told Yahoo News. “That’s only because I still feel like a lot of Democrats are running on an anti-Trump agenda.”
The way Charlamagne sees it, the field of potential Democratic candidates are not addressing issues important to the African-American community. And that disconnect will lead to disinterest in the election.
“When you have gone through all the things black people have gone through in this country and your circumstances haven’t changed regardless of who’s in the White House ... you’re like, ‘Go ahead, take another four years of Trump,’” Charlamagne said. “‘There’s no candidates out there talking about the issues that directly affect us and talking about things that specifically affect our communities, then why do I care?’ Some of them are really shrugging their shoulders.”
A string of 2020 presidential hopefuls have appeared on “The Breakfast Club,” including Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Kamala Harris, D-Calif. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is reportedly negotiating an appearance soon.
Yahoo News asked Charlamagne about criticism Harris received from some members of the African-American community for her record as a prosecutor and district attorney. But that doesn’t necessarily bother Charlamagne.
“For her, being a prosecutor doesn’t really raise a red flag for me because prosecutors lock people up,” he said, noting that a pair of popular potential Democratic nominees — Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden — voted for a 1994 crime bill that led to its disproportionate incarceration of African-Americans and is a prime target of the criminal-justice reform movement.
“All of those people that have been ‘tough’ on crime — all of those things have disproportionately affected black and brown people,” Charlamagne said. “I would rather have someone in there that looks like they could be a part of my family because they understand our circumstances a little bit better than somebody else would. I would rather have somebody in there who is actually trying to make the system a little bit more just.”
Charlamagne also weighed in on another issue that has emerged on the nascent 2020 campaign trail: reparations. Both Harris and Warren have in some way given support to reparations for African-Americans, while other candidates have proposed other ways of tackling the racial wealth gap.
“It’s frustrating,” Charlamagne said, “when I hear people just dismiss the reparations conversation altogether, because it’s not about just the check, it’s just about the idea of dismantling white supremacy knowing what Americans did to black people was absolutely wrong.”
“The Breakfast Club,” broadcast on New York’s 105.1 FM, reaches a young, heavily African-American audience — a demographic Charlamagne is keenly aware of when there’s a candidate in the studio.
“I think it’s a heavy responsibility,” he said. “That’s the reason you have them on the platform. I know that a lot of these kids are not going to MSNBC. They’re not going to CNN. They damn sure ain’t going to Fox News.”
Charlamagne has said he would welcome Trump as a guest on “The Breakfast Club.” But he’s otherwise done with the idea of a “celebrity in chief.”
“We got somebody with no political experience whatsoever,” he said. The former executive producer of ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ is the president of the United States of America. We all know that wasn’t a great idea.”
“I don’t want to see Oprah, I don’t want to see Kanye, I don’t want to see the Rock, I want to see no more celebrities in chief. That’s not a position that we should play with,” Charlamagne added. “Remember that election where Deez Nuts got 2 percent? I’m like, yo, we gotta stop playing with our votes and realize the power of the positions that we’re putting these people in.”
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