President Trump ran an ad during the Super Bowl touting the commuted sentence of Alice Marie Johnson who served nearly 22 years in prison for her role in a cocaine trafficking organization.
"Thanks to President Trump, people like Alice are getting a second chance," Trump's commercial said. "Politicians talk about criminal justice reform. President Trump got it done. Thousands of families are being reunited."
Two Super Bowls ago I was sitting in a prison cell.
Today I am a free woman and my story was featured in a Super Bowl Ad.
I will spend the rest of my life fighting for the wrongly and unjustly convicted!
God Bless America! pic.twitter.com/CGSyk54O37
— Alice Marie Johnson (@AliceMarieFree) February 3, 2020
Johnson was brought to Trump's attention by Kim Kardashian West who met with the president in May of 2018 to discuss the case.
The ad appeared to be an attempt by Trump to endear himself to the African American community. In 2016, he only received 6% of the black vote, but Republicans believe if he can grow that figure it will be hard for Democrats to beat him in 2020.
According to The Washington Post, African-Americans are a significant portion of swing-state voters and if Trump can increase his share of their vote to even as low as 15%, "Democratic chances of winning the electoral college become very low."
But are we really to believe that Trump isn't a racist because he helped one black woman?
Fox News anchor Ed Henry tried to convince Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg that Trump isn't a racist because of the ad on Monday. On Sunday, Buttigieg had told CNN's Jake Tapper he is "very concerned about the racial division that this president has fostered."
"How can you attack not just the president, but 63 million people in America who voted for him, when you have African-American women like Alice Johnson saying, 'This is a president who gave me a second chance?'" Henry asked, sounding like he had completely lost his long-term memory.
"You know, I think that President Trump's decision to sign the First Step Act when it came to his desk is one of the handful of things I could actually agree with him on," Buttigieg answered.
Then he let Henry have it.
"It doesn't change the incredibly cruel and divisive racial rhetoric that comes out of this White House. That is one of the many reasons that I'm meeting not only Democrats, but Republicans, who tell me that they struggle to look their children in the eye and explain to them how this is the president of the United States," Buttigieg said.
Henry then attempted to equate Buttigieg with Trump, bringing up his controversial firing of South Bend's first black police officer when he was mayor. But to equate the two is utterly ridiculous.
"He is wrong to attack women of color, he is wrong to compare people to animals, he is wrong to assault entire cities in his tweets," Buttigieg said.
"And you don't have to be a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat to know that's wrong, just as a lot of Republicans in Congress and the Senate, even if they're providing cover for the president, can't actually bring themselves to say that he's a good leader," he continued. "And it's revealing."
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