Disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich lauded President Donald Trump’s economic policies and criminal justice reform efforts during an event Thursday that was hosted at the billionaire’s namesake downtown skyscraper by a controversial Black Republican.
“I’m one of your homies,” Blagojevich said to a crowd consisting almost entirely of people of color, some of whom donned caps promoting the Q-Anon conspiracy theory and bearing Trump’s signature “Make America Great Again” catchphrase.
Blagojevich’s appearance at the Trump Tower event came just over eight months after the president commuted his 14-year prison sentence for corruption. Following the event, Blagojevich continued to endorse Trump’s reelection bid and businessman Willie Wilson’s long shot campaign against Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin.
“I talked a little bit about how important it is for … leaders in the African American community to no longer just assume that the Democratic Party is on their side,” Blagojevich told the Sun-Times. “Too many Democrats like Dick Durbin have taken them for granted.”
Blagojevich specifically faulted Durbin for voting in favor of the 1994 crime bill, which he said “created a whole generation of young Black men who’ve been oversentenced and condemned to no chance at a second chance.” Durbin has said that “was the worst vote I ever gave since being in Congress.”
The Thursday event, organized by CommCap America Inc., was touted as the launch of a nationwide tour “to promote harmony and equality with support from every race, color, culture, and religion in every city across the United States of America uniting behind the message of ‘economic justice and reform.’” While over 1,500 attendees were expected, only a few dozen showed up.
CommCap America’s leader Kareem Lanier also heads the National Diversity Coalition for Trump alongside Pastor Darrell Scott.
Their nonprofit organization, the Urban Revitalization Coalition Inc., caused a stir for holding cash giveaways in largely African American neighborhoods earlier this year. According to the IRS, the organization had its tax exemption status revoked “for not filing a Form 990-series return or notice for three consecutive years.”
Lanier explained that his latest endeavor “was birthed out of an economic crisis with the coronavirus pandemic.”
“We created the company to create capital for Black and minority communities, but also to prepare Black and minority communities for capital,” Lanier said of CommCap America. “Black and minority Americans are facing the greatest crisis today, right now.”