Diamond of Diamond and Silk dies at 51, Trump announces
Lynnette “Diamond” Hardaway, an African-American commentator who attracted a right-wing fan base for her witty and unflinching embrace of President Donald Trump as part of the social media duo Diamond and Silk, has died. She was reported to be 51 years old.
Diamond and Silk’s official Facebook account, with 2.4 million followers, announced the death on Jan. 9, but no other details were immediately available. The Diamond and Silk Twitter account, with 1.9 million followers, asked them to pray for Ms Hardaway in November without specifying a reason. On his “Social Truth” platform, Trump called her death “really bad news for Republicans and, frankly, all Americans.”
The two sisters – Mrs. Hardaway and Rochelle “Silk” Richardson — rose to prominence during Trump’s first presidential campaign as rare examples of black women vocally supporting the candidate’s policies and encouraging Democrats to leave the Democratic Party’s “Bowl of Fools.” According to polls, Trump’s standing among black women was negligible for most of his tenure.
At Trump campaign rallies, Diamond and Silk parroted the Republican candidate’s slogans to “build the wall” on the border with Mexico to keep out people they described as terrorists.
“He’s going to build that wall!” Ms Hardaway shouted at a 2015 Trump rally in Raleigh, in the sister state of North Carolina.
“He will build it!” Richardson echoed.
“He’ll make it tall!” said Mrs. Hardaway. “He will protect us all!”
“He’ll make it tall!” Richardson repeated. “He will protect us all!”
“They have a cadence and rhythm that is entertaining to Donald Trump’s broader audience,” Leah Wright-Rigeuer, author of “Black Republican Loneliness,” told The Washington Post in 2018. “But they mostly don’t appeals to black audiences.”
The sisters said they were never paid by the Trump campaign, but they received nearly $1,275 for what the campaign told the Federal Election Commission was “on-the-ground consulting.” Diamond and Silk said the money was travel reimbursement. They also distributed Trump merchandise on their website and sold tickets to their speaking tour.
In other events, the sisters labeled the Democratic Party “a plantation,” called 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton “a slave” and defended Trump against accusations of racism. “Trump is not a racist, he is a realist,” Ms. Hardaway told Fox & Friends.
They became a GOP celebrity in 2018 after Facebook, in what the social media network later said was a mistaken message, began blocking their videos and notified them in a letter that their messages were “unsafe to the community”.
“We don’t belong to any gang, so how are we insecure about the community?” Ms. Hardaway said on a “Fox & Friends” segment that April. “It worries me. It’s insulting. It’s terrible. … Why are you censoring two black women? … They are trying to become dictators.”
That same month, House Republicans invited the pair to testify before the House Judiciary Committee after they accused Facebook of discriminating against their support for Trump. Their testimony underscored Republican concerns about an anti-GOP bias on social media platforms. However, if anything, their numbers on social media increased.
Personal information about the sisters was scarce. They rarely agreed to interviews and, when pressed on basic biographical details, tended to reply, “No job!” Ms. Hardaway, whose name was sometimes translated Lynette, was said to have been born on Thanksgiving Day in 1971 and grew up in Detroit before the family moved to North Carolina.
Their parents, according to The Post, became pastors who made religious videos and sold weight loss pills.
Who are diamond and silk? How two former small-town Democrats found fame as ‘warriors’ for Trump.
The sisters, who said they were once Democrats, switched to making videos in support of Trump when he first ran for president, in what they describe as the “Drop and Pass Now” movement.
On their website, they described themselves as conservative women who were not “politically correct” in expressing their opinions, particularly about the perceived bias of the liberal media. They attended Trump’s inauguration in 2017 and quickly found a place on Fox Nation, a subscription-based video site of the Fox network.
But the network cut ties with the couple in 2020 for promoting conspiracy theories and misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic. Diamond and Silk also began broadcasting on Newsmax, a conservative digital media outlet. They wrote a book, “Uprising: Who the Hell Said You Can’t Quit and Change?” (2020).
Just so you know, we’ll always have our Presidents behind us.
“Don’t get it twisted!”
(Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead) pic.twitter.com/d5YwEqbT3g
— Diamond and Silk® (@DiamondandSilk) March 24, 2018