Comedian Chelsea Handler may have thought she was scoring political points by telling ex-boyfriend 50 Cent that, as a black person, he “can’t vote for Donald Trump.” Instead, her advice got her scolded for its racist undertones.
“I had to remind him that he was a black person, so he can’t vote for Donald Trump, and that he shouldn’t be influencing an entire swath of people who may listen to him because he’s worried about his own personal pocketbook,” Handler said on Friday, in an interview on the “Tonight Show.”
Handler’s comments were made in reference to 50 Cent’s declaration on Monday that he would vote for President Trump’s re-election after seeing how high his tax rate would be under Democrat candidate Joe Biden’s fiscal plans (which Handler dismisses as a lie). “I don’t care [if] Trump doesn’t like black people,” the rapper said. “62% – are you out of ya f***ing mind?”
The surprise Trump endorsement triggered a scornful reaction on the left. For instance, journalist David Leavitt called 50 Cent “a selfish piece of s***” for “choosing his personal wealth over the health of the nation.”
But Handler took the criticism to another level, seemingly suggesting that black people don’t have the capacity to make independent decisions on what’s best for them. Her comments echoed Biden himself, who said in a May interview with black radio host Charlamagne tha God that, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”
Handler’s statement got full support and a laugh from ‘Tonight Show’ host Jimmy Fallon, but on Twitter she was quickly pronounced “racist,” while Fallon was scolded for failing to point out the offensive implication of her comments. Conservative commenters were quick to suggest that it reflects the Democrat supporters’ attitude in general.
This is how racist and condescending the left is,” conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza tweeted Saturday.
One observer was left stunned, saying, “The stupidity of that statement, the inherent racism in that point of view… no words, just no words.”
I’m voting for Biden – my personal choice. I don’t agree with 50, but how the heck are you going to tell 50 or anyone who they can vote for?” a black commenter wrote, adding, “I assure you that he does not need to be reminded that he is black.”
Another black Twitter user added, “Just found out last week that I’m not black anymore. Lol!”
Just found out last week that I’m not black anymore! Lol! Black people are free to vote for whoever we want!— Jermaine Deese (@DeeseJermaine) October 24, 2020
With Trump’s popularity among black voters rising, Biden’s supporters have become increasingly sensitive to what they see as disloyal behavior by prominent African Americans. Polling by Rasmussen Reports showed that Trump’s job-approval rating among black voters shot up to 46 percent on Friday, after his final debate with Biden, from 25 percent on Monday
Democrats have relied on dominating the black vote to underpin their electoral success. Trump won just eight percent of the black vote in 2016, but that was relatively high for a Republican. Mitt Romney garnered just six percent in 2012.
Another black rapper, Ice Cube, was hit with blowback last week, after merely agreeing to work with Trump on a plan to invest $500 billion in black communities. CNN published an opinion piece on “Why Ice Cube’s political logic is so dangerous.” He was forced to defend himself, saying he was willing to work with “whoever is in power” to help black Americans.
The pushback apparently hasn’t swayed 50 Cent, a New York native who was born Curtis Jackson. “I’m packing my bags” if Biden wins, he said on Tuesday. “Everybody that has money is gonna move.”