Narrative, meet thy match: Actuality.
On Wednesday, Robert Johnson appeared to indicate he’ll be sticking with Donald Trump when November comes around.
During an interview on CNBC’s The Squawk Box, the mogul discussed devils:
“As a businessman, I will take the devil I know over the devil I don’t know any time of the week. And that seems to be what business people are confronting today.”
BET Founder Robert Johnson: “As a businessman I will take the devil I know over the devil I don't know.”
He makes it clear he supports Trump, although he doesn’t have the stones to come out and say it outright. pic.twitter.com/kzTtHBsApz
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) September 30, 2020
Don’t misunderstand — it wasn’t any kind of official endorsement. “I’m not endorsing anybody,” he explained.
But he’s averse to the unknown:
“What I’m saying is, if I, as a businessperson, what you want more than anything else, particularly coming out of something as horrible as this pandemic and its impact not only on the U.S. economy but the global economy, the more you know about who will be pulling the levers of economic growth, economic development, taxes, stimulus, regulations, in my opinion, you’re better off dealing with somebody you know where they’re gonna be than somebody you really have no idea what decisions they will make at such a critical time.
Of course, I can’t speak for the man; but I’d assume he wouldn’t be saying the above if he were especially unhappy with Trump’s job. He may not call it an endorsement, but it’s surely a favorable statement.
CNBC asked if he’d rather stay with The Donald because he didn’t know what Biden might do.
And he made clear — he has no idea what the heck Joe would do. Because the candidate hasn’t offered anything coherent:
“I absolutely do not know what Vice President Biden will do. I haven’t heard anything coherent out of what he said he will do. It was, to me, what I had hoped he would do would be a reasonable, relaxed balance, if you will, in a debate where he would talk about specific policies — particularly as it impacts black Americans. We vote, consistently, 90+ percent for the Democrats.”
If Trump is helming aptly, it’s hard to argue with Robert’s reasoning:
“[I]f we don’t get clear and concise direction as to what the benefit of changing forces at this time, then — again, I’m speaking as a businessperson — I would rather know who I’m gonna deal with in the White House. I’m gonna know what regulatory decisions they’re gonna make, what fiscal policy decisions, what monetary policy decisions they’re going to make — than to be taking a chance, particularly with the turbulence of a pandemic.”
Speaking of the debate — as noted by The Daily Caller — Mr. Johnson was less than impressed in general:
“This was like a schoolyard fight over who has the best looking girlfriend. It was a waste of an hour-and-a-half that gave no guidance, no direction at all as to where the country will go after this election.”
Even so, Robert’s long said good things about Trump, and that’s particularly notable given the media’s narrative on race and the President — and the fact that Robert founded Black Entertainment Television.
The entrepreneur doesn’t appear to have changed his view since November, when he offered complimentary things to the Commander-in-Chief:
“For African Americans, the trend continues to be favorable. There used to be an old saying, ‘When White America catches a cold, African Americans get pneumonia.’ It’s going the opposite way now. White unemployment is going down, African American unemployment is going down. That’s a plus-plus that you can’t argue with. I give the President credit for doing positive things; when I see a president doing positive things, particularly for African Americans.”
And at the time, he wasn’t too thrilled with Democrats’ 2020 chances:
“I do not see anybody in the Democratic primary races today that is enough in the center — where I believe most of the voters are…”
I’d say that trend continues.
By some, we’re constantly told black citizens and Trump are at odds; Robert Johnson stands as one example to the contrary. But more than that, he represents something uniquely American, which also goes against the current media-message maxim: In the United States, everyone has a shot at success.
For Robert — Trigger Warning — it was a billion-dollar shot.
And Bob hit the bullseye.
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