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Yes, Joy Reid, POTUS Name Checked "Assata Shakur" in #TrumpingCuba

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Joy Reid, radical leftist news commentator, went Tweet crazy when President Trump announced on Friday he was rescinding much of President Obama’s order loosening diplomatic relations with communist Cuba.

And although most of them amounted to outrage that yet another imprudent Obama administration policy was going by the wayside, there is one President Trump should print out and tape to his office wall.

“Trump name checks Assata Shakur (calls her by her former name, Joanne Chesimard) as a dog whistle to his people. #Trumping Cuba,” she tweeted.

Reid is angry Trump not only rescinded what he called the “completely one-sided deal” then-President Obama cut with the Cubans in 2014, but that he demanded – as a condition of improved relations – that Cuba return Chesimard to the United States for trial.

And yes, he did call her by her original name because that’s the name that has sat atop the FBI’s Most Wanted List for New Jersey since 1979.

On May 2, 1973, Chesimard and two men, all members of the radical and violent Black Liberation Army, were stopped by New Jersey State Police on the Jersey Turnpike. Another officer nearing the end of his shift, Werner Foerster, stopped to provide backup.

The trio in the car struggled with the officers, and they eventually wrestled Foerster’s gun from him.

Foerster, who had two young children, was fatally wounded – Chesimard herself shot him twice in the face after the struggle just to make sure – and another officer was wounded. One of the attackers was killed, and Chesimard and the other attacker were tried and convicted in the case.

Chesimard, aka Assata Shakur (the rapper Tupac Shakur was her godson and nephew), spent time in several prisons during the 1970s but escaped in 1979. She lived as a fugitive in the United States for five years, then fled to Cuba, where she received political asylum.

Chesimard, who has been there since, will turn 70 next month. She has walked free for nearly 40 years despite having wantonly murdered a state police officer. Donald Trump thinks it is time for her to come home and face her sentence, and he is not willing to play footsy with communists while a convicted cop killer suns herself on their beaches.

And Joy Reid thinks it’s all about a “dog whistle” meant to gratify “his people.”

Darn right it was a dog whistle to his people. This was President Trump saying it was wrong to let slide the human rights abuses of the past, to give Cuba relief from the sanctions without getting or even expecting anything in return.

That it was wrong to lavish millions in American travel dollars on a country that has not lifted a finger to provide free and fair elections, free its thousands of political prisoners or recognize opposition political parties. That it was insane to spend money that could make its way to the Cuban military or abusive security services.

That the ban on tourism and embargoes on various goods was still in place and would again be enforced. That any American money that makes its way into Cuba – he spared a couple of deals that already were under way – would go to the people and not enable their repressive rulers.

And it was a dog whistle to law enforcement – another in a series of messages that emanated from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue since Jan. 20 and before – that President Trump has their back in a way his predecessor never did. Trump sees law enforcement as a force for good, not a nuisance or a jackboot on the necks of the American people.

And he sees people such as Joanne Chesimard as indefensible, unlike Joy Reid, who prefers to use the name Chesimard used when she was out murdering cops.

And she is indefensible. The FBI opened a nationwide manhunt for her in 1972 after it was alleged the Black Liberation Army cell she led had conducted a series of cold-blooded, execution-style murders of New York City police officers. An NYPD deputy commissioner called her “the final wanted fugitive, the soul of the gang, the mother hen who kept them together, kept them moving, kept them shooting.”

Yes, how cynical of President Trump to insist a remorseless cop-killer – perhaps one of the most calculating in American history – be returned before we open the golden doors to Cuba. How cynical of him to call her by her name, so police around the country would know he cares about the people who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe.

Darn right it was a dog whistle to his people. His people are the law-abiding citizens of the United States, and they’re happy to have a president again who cares about bringing cop killers to justice.

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