If there’s one thing Donald Trump will be known for once he leaves the White House, dividing the country may be at the very top of the list. Since taking office on January 20, 2017, Trump has attacked everyone from immigrants and Muslims, to journalists who just report the facts.
While Trump has championed several policies — like Stop and Frisk — that have been harmful to communities of color, CNN commentator and justice reform activist, Van Jones, is giving Trump props for endorsing the First Step Act, a bill that would alter the way federal inmates are sentenced and rehabilitated.
“Give the man his due,” Jones tweeted. “[Trump] is on his way to becoming the uniter-in-Chief on an issue that has divided America for generations.”
Give the man his due: @realDonaldTrump is on his way to becoming the uniter-in-Chief on an issue that has divided America for generations. Congrats to everyone on both sides who fought for this. #FIRSTSTEPact #CriminalJusticeSummit #CriminalJusticeReform #justicereform #Trump https://t.co/G9kI1C3gXy
— Van Jones (@VanJones68) November 14, 2018
It’s easy to see why Jones — who co-founded Cut50, an organization working to reduce the prison population — would be excited about the possibility of a prison reform. Black men and women are disproportionately incarcerated, unfairly sentenced, and more harshly affected by the justice system, so it’s great that Trump has thrown his s support behind making the federal system a little more equitable.
Still, a unifier he is not.
Since Trump’s election hate crimes have increased, he’s done very little to bring the country together, and he’s continued to label his critics as “the enemy.” So to label such a divisive character, who once called some Neo-Nazis “very fine people,” as the “uniter-in-chief” is not only a stretch, it’s a gross rewriting of history.