Trump took to Twitter to cape for the Harlem rapper, who’s facing assault charges after a confrontation in Stockholm earlier this month. A$AP, born Rakim Mayers, was arrested July 3 after the incident was caught on video, and will remain in a Swedish jail until his trial.
“[I’m] Very disappointed in Prime Minister Stefan Löfven for being unable to act,” Trump tweeted. “Sweden has let our African American Community down in the United States. I watched the tapes of A$AP Rocky, and he was being followed and harassed by troublemakers. Treat Americans fairly”
The president called on Sweden to “give Rocky his FREEDOM,” later saying: “We do so much for Sweden, but it doesn’t seem to work the other way.” He concluded both his tweets with the hashtag #FreeRocky.
Trump’s Twitter rant not only drew the ire of Swedish officials, but those in the Black community who were quick to point out how America has failed our community in more ways than one.
“Want to know a country that has truly let the African American Community down? It’s America,” writer Frederick Joseph tweeted.
Author and radio host Clay Cane rattled off a list of his own, writing: “Let’s count just a few ways Trump let down the African American community. 1- Ending 21st Century Task Force on Policing. 2- Criminal Justice Rollbacks From Sessions. 3- 90% of Trump’s picks for lifetime federal judges are white. 4- Rise in hate crimes. 5- Betsy DeVos. 6- Ben Carson.”
One user opined: “Tbh I feel like the African American Community was more let down when Trump called for the execution of 5 teenagers but that’s just me…”
“I’m HOLLERING at the fact that the most outwardly racist and discriminatory president in my life time is accusing a country overseas of letting down the African American community over a nigga that don’t even ‘relate to us,’ while he’s in his country locking people up in cages,” wrote another.
Others also accused to the president of using the controversy to pander to Black voters ahead of the 2020 election.
“The African American Community faces systemic racism, social injustice, and cultural stereotypes on the daily and Trump uses #FreeRocky to pander as if Hip Hop is a key general unifying issue for blacks. This is racist. Period,” rapper Produkt tweeted.
Trump, 73, got involved with the rapper’s case last week after pal Kanye West and wife, Melania Trump, asked him to intervene on A$AP’s behalf. Despite his calls to some “very talented” officials in Sweden, Prime Minster Löfven refused to meddle in the case and made it clear that all in Sweden are equal under the law.
“All I can say at this point, is that Sweden and Prime Minister Stefan Löfven have explained and emphasized the complete independence of the Swedish judicial system, prosecutors and courts,” Mikael Lindström, a spokesman for Löfven, told CNN after Trump’s tweets. “The Government is not allowed, and will not attempt, to influence the legal proceedings, which are now ongoing.”
A video that surfaced earlier this month showed A$AP and his team dragging a man in the street, then punching him. The rapper later posted a video showing him playing peacemaker as the alleged victims proceed to follow and harass his entourage.
“We’re not trying to fight y’all,” he says.
If convicted, A$AP faces up to two years behind bars.
The 31-year-old lyricist’s past comments distancing himself from social justice issues, including police brutality, have not gone entirely forgotten in certain quarters of the Black community.
“Dear Sweden, We good. Signed, The African American Community,” one user tweeted.