On Monday, Trump and the White House celebrated the First Step Act, a prison reform bill focused on inmate rehabilitation, with a dinner that included prominent figures such as Washington. The event also included a discussion about furthering reform efforts; a gesture the former Grey’s Anatomy star said Obama never did during his time in office.
“I voted for 44 twice. I even checked my emails in his Senate Office while lobbying for Salone to be given another chance to rebrand,” the actor tweeted. “Not once in 8 years was I given any support regarding Africa or the Black Agenda, but 45 invites me to the WH to celebrate the #FirstStepAct [shrug emoji].”
Moments later, he followed up his comparison by saying he is neither a Democrat nor Republican, but rather sides with individuals who take action.
“Those who know, know that I’m not a Democrat or a Republican,” he tweeted. “I will work w/h anyone as long as things get done. The #FirstStepAct was passed on December 21, 2018 w/h the hard work of @JessyMichele @LouislReed @VanJones68 and @cut_50 I’m proud to stand with them all today.”
Trump signed the bipartisan legislation into law on Dec. 21, 2018. According to FOX 59, included in the reform are rehabilitation programs, job training, education grants and fair sentencing.
On his way to the White House, Washington suggested that Trump’s next move would be to support reparations for the African descendants of slaves.
“@realDonaldTrump you freed 3,000 Federal Prisoners, got 16,000 in drug rehabilitation programs and now you just need to deliver #Reparations2020#FirstStepAct,” he tweeted alongside a picture of himself in a car.
On Wednesday, after making headlines and receiving backlash, the actor addressed his stance in a tweet, which referenced JAY-Z’s hit song “99 Problems.”
“I may have 99 problems with 45, but mass incarceration ain’t one of them,” he wrote.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.