Lil Wayne’s decision to endorse Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign may end up being a gift and a curse. According to reports, Trump is considering pardoning Wayne of federal charges before the lame-duck president’s term ends on Wednesday.
However, it appears many social media users are not ready to move past Wayne backing a politician who has struggled to denounce white supremacist groups and told the neo-fascist Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by” during a televised debate. The rap star’s past comments suggesting he was not concerned about Black Lives Matter or systemic racism are an albatross as well.
All of those issues came back to the forefront again this week. To celebrate MLK Day, Lil Wayne tweeted, “Because he had a dream I am able to live out my dreams. I am forever mindful. Forever grateful. Because he had a dream I’ll never stop dreaming and dreams are forever. King. Forever.”
Wayne’s tweet about the iconic Civil Rights Movement leader was met with a lot of online vitriol. Other Twitter users slammed the man born Dwayne Michael Carter for supposedly using Martin Luther King as a performative gesture that does not align with his previous thoughts on race matters in America.
“Not the dude who doesn’t support #BlackLivesMatter and is so tight with Trump he might receive a pardon,” wrote one tweeter. Someone else posted, “Y’all done with the performative quotes today from #MLK yet because I’m tired. I thought Lil Wayne basically said racism don’t exist because Officer Bob saved his life? Enjoy your pardon tho…”
Other people claimed endorsing Trump’s MAGA policies – such as the travel ban against Muslim-majority countries, child separation at the U.S.-Mexico border, and harsh federal prosecutions of BLM protestors – were not in line with King’s message. While she did not mention Wayne by name, MLK’s daughter Bernice King offered a warning about how her father’s legacy would be used on the holiday.
“Please don’t act like everyone loved my father. He was assassinated. A 1967 poll reflected that he was one of the most hated men in America. Most hated. Many who quote him now and evoke him to deter justice today would likely hate, and may already hate, the authentic King,” tweeted Bernice King.
Pick a side 😒 https://t.co/aD049k5Ib1
— samiyahnichole (@samiyahnichole) January 19, 2021