Recently, Liberty University founder and ardent Trump supporter Jerry Falwell Jr. took to Twitter to suggest that President Donald Trump should be awarded an extra two years in office as part of a “reparations” package.
In light of the economy and Falwell’s take on the Mueller investigation, he wrote, “I now support reparations—Trump should have 2 yrs added to his 1st term as pay back for time stolen by this corrupt failed coup.”
After the best week ever for @realDonaldTrump – no obstruction, no collusion, NYT admits @BarackObama did spy on his campaign, & the economy is soaring. I now support reparations-Trump should have 2 yrs added to his 1st term as pay back for time stolen by this corrupt failed coup
— Jerry Falwell (@JerryFalwellJr) May 5, 2019
Trump retweeted the comments, adding, “Despite the tremendous success that I have had as President, including perhaps the greatest ECONOMY and most successful first two years of any President in history, they have stolen two years of my (our) Presidency (Collusion Delusion) that we will never be able to get back.”
Despite the tremendous success that I have had as President, including perhaps the greatest ECONOMY and most successful first two years of any President in history, they have stolen two years of my (our) Presidency (Collusion Delusion) that we will never be able to get back…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 6, 2019
There’s a lot to unpack in Falwell’s tweet. Besides the fact that “best week ever” is, well, a very gracious take on news surrounding Congressional hearings into the Mueller report, his use of the term “reparations” seems intentionally combative.
The term is generally associated with the idea that the descendants of African slaves should receive some form of compensation for the decades of unpaid labor their ancestors contributed and the ensuing financial hardships brought on by segregation and mass incarceration. Reparations have even become a potential campaign platform for several Democratic presidential hopefuls. As New York Magazine notes, the word seems intentional: “If the president in question was anyone else, the suggestion from a prominent supporter, Jerry Falwell Jr., that he was owed an extension of his term as ‘reparations’ for the Mueller investigation could be dismissed as mere rhetorical excess combined with an effort to taunt liberals for their interest in reparations for the descendants of slaves.”
On CNN, political commentator Kirsten Powers also took issue with his use of the term. She explained “Reparations is to repay black people who were kidnapped and enslaved, brought to the shores, and built literally our entire economy and our entire country. So to invoke reparations over something like that is literally … that’s the biggest outrage of what has happened today.”
"Wow… wow."@andersoncooper reacts to CNN political commentator Steve Cortes' claim that "there absolutely was an attempted coup against" President Trump. https://t.co/Acccr0aq86 pic.twitter.com/T98j0v1517
— CNN (@CNN) May 7, 2019
Conservative commentator Steve Cortes said, “It’s a joke,” to which Powers replied, “Oh, so slavery is funny?” Cortes then seemed to backtrack saying, “Who mentioned slavery? You’re injecting slavery into it,” suggesting that the slavery reference wasn’t intentional. You can see the clip above.
Jesse Carey is a mainstay on the weekly RELEVANT Podcast and member of RELEVANT's executive board. He lives in Virginia Beach with his wife and two kids.