COLUMBIA, S.C. – In case you missed the news – and you probably did since the MSM never reported it – President Trump traveled south for an appearance on the campus of Benedict College late last month. The visit occurred here on October 25, 2019. Perhaps surprisingly to many, Trump appeared on this historically black college campus to attend an event honoring him as the winner of the Bipartisan Justice Award. The Greenville (South Carolina) News picks it up from there. (Hat tip to Lucianne.com for the link.)
Trump wins Bipartisan Justice Award for work on First Step Act
“The award from the 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center, a nonprofit organization founded by 20 black Republicans and 20 black Democrats in 2015, is given annually to a public servant who has demonstrated the ability to work across the aisle to achieve meaningful progress in reforming the criminal justice system, according to the White House.
“Trump was honored for leadership in the passage of the First Step Act, which expands opportunities for elderly inmates to get released, increases the amount of good-time credit inmates can receive and has provisions to help inmates transition back into society.”
Presidential Justice Forum
Benedict College was chosen as the site of “the 2019 Second Step Presidential Justice Forum, at which multiple Democratic presidential candidates [were] scheduled to appear to discuss their plans to tackle criminal justice reform,” according to the Daily Caller. The forum invited all this year’s active Democrat Presidential candidates to attend the event. President Trump surprised everyone involved by choosing to accept the Bipartisan Justice Award in person, which generated the usual uproar from his opponents and the reliably hostile media which neglected to report the event. So, albeit belatedly, we chose to post news of this event here as a way to remedy the MSM’s sin of omission.
About Benedict College
The Benedict College website briefly outlines the college history as follows.
“Founded in 1870, Benedict College is a private, co-educational liberal arts institution and currently has over 2,100 students enrolled in its 33 baccalaureate degree programs. Benedict College was ranked for the eight-consecutive year (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017) as one of the top baccalaureate colleges in the nation by Washington Monthly for creating social mobility among low-income students, producing cutting edge scholarship and research. Benedict has been recognized by the National Civic Engagement Award from The Washington Center for encouraging students to give back to the community, which is the heart of the College’s vision and mission.”
More on the bipartisan First Step Act
The First Step Act is broadly defined as
“… the first step in transforming federal prisons into safe and effective facilities that will reduce recidivism and strengthen our communities and economy. The legislation expands rehabilitative programming and earned-time credit opportunities. It also reduces and clarifies mandatory minimums and better provides for the needs of federal prisoners.”
Reducing or reassessing the reasonableness of prison sentences quickly became the centerpiece of the new legislation. Overly lengthy prison sentences for certain crimes severely and unfairly affects many black prisoners. The First Step Act aims to vigorously address this issue.
President Trump signed this rare, bipartisan Act into law on December 21, 2018. The President strongly endorsed the act, helping push it to the finish line – a crowning achievement in a rare, bipartisan effort put together in a capital city that rarely accomplishes anything of significance.
YouTube video of the event, posted by Channel 17, Raleigh-Durham, NC, appears below.
Local media display typical left-wing media bias in coverage of the event
Both Greenville Online and The State newspapers of South Carolina predictably gave plenty of ink and online verbiage to the pre-organized but minor protests organized against the president’s visit. Ditto the predictable snarky remarks from the leftists both papers targeted for soundbites. All of which one might find fairly odd in South Carolina, a state that’s as conservative as they come. Their newspapers, however, are not.
The large left-wing presence of the University of South Carolina also dominates the political leanings in the state capital region. For example, the University’s flagship Columbia campus recently boasted an enrollment of roughly 35,000 students. The faculty and staff to support them increases that number by a few thousand more. That’s a considerable influence right there.
But, like so many American universities, this one has gone far-left in recent years This shift this strongly influences the politics of this capital city. Hence, there were ample forces available to staff the small number of demonstrators who showed up to trash the president’s visit.
Interestingly, however, a fair number of pro-Trump demonstrators also showed up outside the Benedict campus, a fact scarcely reported by the mostly local media that did bother to cover the event.
(A personal note. I earned my doctorate at USC years ago. Looking back I still fondly remember the many professors, most now retired or deceased, who helped me along the way. It pains me to see the university become so politically politicized today. Yet this is par for the course on America’s campuses.)
Democrat Presidential hopefuls also make an appearance. Including Kamala Harris
The current batch of Democrat presidential hopefuls were all invited to the event. But to avoid giving Trump the time of day, they managed to schedule their event on the following day of the two-day event. As a result, they appeared in an exclusive a Democrat candidate forum on the Benedict College campus.
Democrat attendees included the always battle-ready Sen. Kamala Harris. Harris initially vowed not to attend the event since the event organizers decided to invite Trump. Harris apparently re-thought her decision, and decided to show up anyway, perhaps hoping to shore up her already faltering presidential hopes. Nearly a month after the fact, it seems that her presence at Benedict College failed to help. Her candidacy continues to sink slowly into the sunset.
Nevertheless, President Trump had his say. And those who invited him and voted to give him their organization’s award may very well be in the vanguard of younger black leaders and ministers across the country. As a result, this small but growing black leadership now openy questions the wisdom of continuing to vote for Democrats. They’ve noticed these same Democrats habitually forget their standard promises to the black community immediately after winning each election. With the help of black votes.
Demographic changes in the electorate?
Finally, should party-switchers in the black community could increase by even a few percentage points in November 2020. Notably, even this modest change could help ensure a second term for president Trump. Additionally, it could permanently upset the legion of Democrat candidates who’ve taken advantage of black voters now for well over 50 years.
So it might prove fascinating to see how President Trump’s outreach efforts actually turn out next fall. And that includes his new Bipartisan Justice Award. President Trump’s visit to Benedict College might prove the first step toward altering America’s once taken-for-granted political affiliations.
— Headline image: President Donald Trump (C) accepts the Bipartisan Justice Award from Rep. Byron Donalds (D-Fla.), (L), and Matthew Charles (R). The latter won release from federal prison through the First Step Act. The President received the award prior to speaking at the 2019 Second Step Presidential Justice Forum. Benedict College hosted this event in Columbia, South Carolina on Oct. 25, 2019. Screen capture, YouTube video.