Ice Cube has alleged that Democrats ignored his Contract With Black America, which prompted him to seek the help of the Trump administration.
Now, Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond has come forward to dispute those claims.
“Let me be crystal clear. That did not happen,” the five-term Louisiana congressman said in an interview this week.
Richmond, a campaign co-chair for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, was a guest on SiriusXM’s “Urban Show” show on Monday, Oct. 26, and took the opportunity to rebut Ice Cube’s allegations. While the rapper took to Twitter two weeks ago to say Democrats advised him to wait until after the election to address his plan, Richmond said he was instead told to improve and expand upon his project.
“I like the fact that Ice Cube is getting engaged in policy,” Richmond said to host Joe Madison. “I think that is a good thing, however, once you embark on getting into it, one, you have to be truthful, but two, you have an obligation, I think, to see it through and to be thorough with it. Our plan is very thorough. I won’t say he has a skeleton plan, but he has an outline of things, he has an outline of things that should be done.
“It’s not as comprehensive as our plan. And so that’s what we told him, and the offer to stay engaged was not, ‘we’ll talk to you after the election.’ It went like this: ‘Here’s my cell number, anything else you want to talk about on this plan or anything you think, you know, we need to talk about further, just pick up the phone and call.”
Ice Cube has come under fire for reaching out to the Trump campaign for assistance with the CWBA and being open to their involvement.
He initially shared the CWBA on social media, asking users to give their input. According to his Facebook post, the CWBA was “designed to start the hard conversations. It was made to be perfected and debate.”
Prior to sharing the news about his actions, Ice Cube posted a Twitter video in which he said he had held meetings with Democratic and Republican leaders to talk about facilitating positive change for Black Americans.
“Who knows what’s really gonna happen. I just know one of ’em is gonna win. I don’t know if it can really matter to us. We gotta just push whoever’s in there because no one’s solved our problems. People say we can’t take another four years of this. Black people, we can take anything,” said the multimillionaire rapper, who himself is well insulated from “another four years of this.”
In the swirl of criticism and condemnation from some on social media after Trump campaign figure Katrina Pierson announced on Oct. 14 that Ice Cube had helped the Trump administration develop its Platinum Plan for Black Americans, the rapper posted what was supposed to be a clarifying tweet that stated President Donald Trump was receptive to Ice Cube’s plan, while Joe Biden and Democratic officials waved him off until after next week’s election.
Ice Cube said he subsequently decided to convene with the Trump campaign, who then supposedly made minor changes to their plan in return. He wrote, “I put out the CWBA. Both parties contacted me. Dems said we’ll address the CWBA after the election. Trump campaign made some adjustments to their plan after talking to us about the CWBA.”
Despite Ice Cube’s accusations against the Democratic party, Richmond said that he is proud of famous figures like Ice Cube, Colin Kaepernick, and other Black athletes for raising awareness of important issues of concern to the community.
“The real message is we should follow the lead of those NBA players and Colin Kaepernick and go protest with our vote and make sure that we change the system. Because that’s our power, but watching these African-American athletes and actors and entertainers and all of that start to use their voice is a really good thing for our community,” Richmond said.
Richmond noted that he appreciated Ice Cube’s activism and did not interpret it as personal support of Donald Trump. However, the congressman said he felt the rapper-turned-actor’s involvement gave Trump’s plan attention and a sense of weight that was dangerous.
“He’s not endorsing Donald Trump, however, you know, he does give credibility to Donald Trump’s ridiculous plan,” the congressman said. “I mean, the first prong of Donald Trump’s plan is I’m going to make Juneteenth a federal holiday. What that is is symbolic. Yes. What does that do to change the lives of Black people that are being discriminated against? That are fighting like heck to keep a roof over their head, clothes on their back, and food on the table? Does nothing.
“Then he says he wants to do policing reform,” Richmond continued. “If you [Trump] want to do policing reform, pick up the phone, call Mitch McConnell, your guy in the Senate, and tell him to pass the George Floyd Act, which we passed in the House. If you want to do police reform, if you have to touch on the Voting Rights Act — which I’m not sure Ice Cube’s plan did or did not — but we have a voting rights bill waiting in the Senate that Mitch McConnell won’t bring up.”
Richmond has expressed skepticism at Trump’s so-called Platinum Plan for Black Americans and whether their attempts at providing help are designed to resolve the critical problems in the community. Meanwhile, Ice Cube has not publicly backed either candidate, but he has been vocal on Twitter, airing his thoughts on Biden’s proposals for the Black community.
“I believe Joe Biden still needs to show us his MAJOR plan to help heal the BLACK community to totally secure the vote,” Ice Cube wrote in June.