Talking in an interview with Jonathan Swan of Axios, US President Donald Trump downplayed the legacy of American civil rights icon John Lewis to the Black African Americans in the country.
When asked about John Lewis and if he found him impressive for what he had done for the country, Trump answered, "I can't say one way or the other."
On the contrary, he said no president has done more for black than himself, "with the possible exception" of Abraham Lincoln.
Trump has been making similar claims a lot many times and has taken the credit for criminal justice reform which he says would benefit Blacks and people of colour the most.
But is that true and has Trump done more than any other president for Blacks?
Going by media reports, it appears that Trump has done a lot more talking than walking here.
In a well-documented photo op in 2018, Kim Kardashian appeared with Donald Trump inside the Oval Office in the White House came out. It wasn't like any regular picture of some celebrity with the President of the United States.
The occasion marked a point in the US political system which both Kim and Trump would later boast as one of their biggest achievement.
For Kim, it was securing the release of a black woman, Alice Marie Johnson, who had languished in jail for a non-violent crime for over 21 years. Kim worked with attorneys and legal experts to buildup the case for presidential clemency for Jackson and finally succeed in gettering her released from the prison after Trump approved the commutation.
Prison and Justice Reforms
Trump, on the other hand, was more than pleased to approve it. Mainly for two reasons...Firstly, a picture with Kim would get him extra publicity, secondly releasing a black person would give him a positive rating among black voters.
And he, since then, has boasted about it innumerable times and gave himself the credits for bringing in criminal and justice reform. Trump has claimed that the reforms would mainly benefit Black and people of colour in the US.
But is his much-touted reforms actually benefitting Blacks and people of colour as he claimed?
The answer to this question wouldn't be difficult for anyone who has known Trump for a few years or someone who follows US Politics.
The answer is - very little.
First, let's see what are justice reforms
Justice reforms aim to allow an early release to thousands of non-violent drug crime offenders lodged in US prisons.
The majority of those offenders are Black and people of colour who are lodged in federal prisons with jail sentences of more than 20 years for non-violent crimes.
Now, starting with clemency to Jackson which Donald Trump has made a poster person of his justice reform.
Who benefitted from these reforms
Jackson who was lodged in jail for over two decades for a drug crime is only one of the two Black people that have been issued clemency by Trump. The other man, a famous boxer John Jackson, was issued clemency posthumously for the crime he committed in 1923.
In fact, in his first three years in office, Trump gave clemency to 24 people and only 4 of them were nonviolent drug offenders. All others were politically motivated release.
Politically motivated releases
Of the rest of the 22 commutations issued by him, all were was politically motivated. That included Joe Arpaio, the notorious white police officer, Scooter Libby, a former aide to Vice President Dick Cheney; Dinesh D'Souza, a right-wing author and commentator; Conrad Black- Trump biographer; and Pat Nolan, a former Republican lawmaker.
Another incident that shows the degree of his concern for Blacks was his handling of the Black Lives Matter movement. Trump called the BLM the "symbol of hate".
The protest erupted after a black man named George Floyd was killed during the arrest by white police officers, and snowballed into a massive movement against police brutality against Blacks and people of colour.
Trump called BLM 'symbol of hate'
The protest that spread across the country with even non-Black people joining the movement called for removing the statues of Confederate leaders who were also considered the proponents of racism in the US. Many of the statues of such leaders including Robert E Lee, Christopher Columbus etc were razed.
As a President of the United States of America, Trump chooses to stoke the fire by not only protecting the Confederate statues but also ordering the arrest of protestors who indulge in the acts.
He ordered the police to use a tough measure to curb the protestors allowing rubber bullets, tear gas and arrest to deter protestors.
He called the BLM a hate group for the simple act of demanding to end police brutality against Blacks.
Trump has long considered blacks as lesser human beings who indulge in crimes and love to live in poverty.
From refusing to lease apartments in Trump towers to Black people to calling the black-dominated Baltimore a 'disgusting, rat and rodent-infested mess' to calling Chicago a crime city to calling some African nations "shit hole", Trump has always considered Blacks not equals to Whites.
Trump's much-touted justice reform is like any of his standard fares. Half-truth, half misinformation.
In reality, Trump's any move related to African Americans is politically motivated. Either it is getting Carson, Omarosa in his administration, or showing off his friendship with Mohammad Ali. For him, all that matters is appeasing his base and reelection in 2020.