Diamond & Silk
|And a dirty dozen more|
|—Diamond & Silk, defending racist Steve King at a press conference|
Lynnette Hardaway (1971–2023) and Rochelle Richardson, better known as Diamond & Silk, were an American vlogging and conservative-commentary sister-duo, were two of Donald Trump's most visible fangirls, until Diamond passed away. They have had a considerable presence on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, among others.
All onboard the Trump Train!
The daughters of a pair of televangelists based out of North Carolina, Hardaway and Richardson were actually both Democrats originally, but Donald Trump's presidential campaign caused them both to immediately switch over to the Republican Party in 2015. They both believed him to be someone who would work for African-American people and would "actually get stuff done." And they've been rabid Trump supporters ever since.
Though the two sisters were never officially a part of the Trump Campaign, they have made appearances at several of his rallies, notably joining him onstage in Raleigh, North Carolina on December 4, 2015, and serving as the opening speakers at a rally in Biloxi, Mississippi on January 2, 2016. They encouraged Democrats and Independents to vote for Trump with a
bait and switch "Ditch and Switch" campaign.
Right-wing media darlings
Being associated with Trump gave Diamond & Silk the wingnut stamp of approval. They've been omnipresent on conservative news media, becoming Fox News regulars and being interviewed by the likes of Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham. They've also appeared on Breitbart, The Daily Caller, Newsmax, TheBlaze, CNS News, and InfoWars, being interviewed by Alex Jones himself.
In March 2016, Diamond & Silk got into a small spat with Rush Limbaugh, who was not aware that the two sisters had switched over to the Republican Party and, because he thought they were still Democrats, made an implication on his show that their support for Trump wasn't genuine. They sent him an open message via a YouTube video to "set him straight" where they confirmed that they had indeed become Republicans but kept it quiet to avoid drawing too much attention from the "GOP establishment" and the "mainstream media." Limbaugh would later retract his statements and congratulated the two for their mission to convert Democrats to Republicans.
You gotta get off the plantation, I tell ya!
Diamond & Silk's pro-Trump rhetoric comes with large dollops of anti-Democrat bullshit. Their primary argument is that the Democratic Party is a "plantation" that represses African-American voters who hold different opinions, and that the silent majority need to fight back by supporting Trump. They seem to be convinced that the Democratic Party is trying to "condition" black people into hating the Republican Party so they can keep voting Democrat.
They present themselves as primary examples of why Trump totally isn't racist: "How could Trump have a race problem when these two vibrant, independent black women like him so much?" They think anyone who dares to call Trump a racist is wrong, and anyone who calls them out for supporting him are the actual racists.
- They have called Hillary Clinton a "slave master", a "crook", and an "insult to white people." They have also pushed the already multi-time debunked Uranium One conspiracy theory.
- They have given their support for Trump's proposed border wall.
- In an act of cognitive dissonance, they described the removal of Confederate monuments as a liberal plot to erase history.
- They are anti-gun control; when they spoke at the National Rifle Association's leadership forum in Dallas, Texas in May 2018, they went on a long spiel about how they would keep their guns and would defend the Second Amendment any way they could.
- After Whoopi Goldberg voiced her opposition to waterboarding, they suggested that she try it before criticizing it.
- They claimed that Barack Obama did nothing for the African-American community for his whole eight years in office, and did nothing for Chicago (more bullshit).
- They were once interviewed by John Friend — a noted white nationalist and holocaust denier who has cited Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels his idols — for the American Free Press, a publication that has ties to anti-semitism and the Truther Movement. During that same interview, they accused immigrants of depriving Americans of civil rights and services.
- They endorsed eventual white supremacist Paul Nehlen for the U.S. House of Representatives over Paul Ryan.
It's all a leftist plot!
In April 2018, Diamond & Silk claimed that some of their content on Facebook had been flagged as "unsafe to the community" and also suggested that YouTube blocked some of their content because of their support for Donald Trump. These claims originated from Mark Zuckerberg's congressional hearing in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Representatives Marsha Blackburn and Joe Barton and Senator Ted Cruz accused Zuckerberg of deliberately censoring Diamond & Silk, with Barton in particular claiming that Zuckerberg was targeting conservative bloggers such as Diamond & Silk. Zuckerberg said that it was a mistake and that his team personally contacted the two.
In truth, there has been no evidence that any of this has ever happened, and the censorship claims have since been debunked by CNN and Business Insider, but the sisters persist that it has. They posted a video on YouTube telling off Zuckerberg, claiming that there was nothing "unsafe" about two black women supporting [their] president (to be fair to them, they're not even wrong) and that they weren't "terrorists."
Diamond & Silk go to Washington
Diamond & Silk appeared before the House Judiciary Committee on April 26, 2018 in a hearing about alleged filtering practices of social media. Mostly, they just did a lot of yelling about fake news, liberal bias, and how the whole hearing was stupid and pointless.
Oh, and they lied under oath. When asked if they ever received money from the Trump Campaign, they said they didn't. However, a Federal Election Commission filing showed that the Trump Campaign had, in fact, paid the sisters $1,275 in November 2016 for "field consulting."
They gave a press conference with white nationalist Representative Steve King in 2019 in support of the "so-called Diamond and Silk Act — designed to shift funds from sanctuary cities to homeless veterans — but really King needed them to inoculate him from the whole racism thing."
Diamond & Silk began promoting conspiracy theories and disinformation about the COVID-19. In response to this Fox News has officially cut ties with the MAGA duo, “After what they’ve said and tweeted you won’t be seeing them on Fox Nation or Fox News anytime soon,” a source with knowledge of the matter told The Daily Beast. Similarly to other Fox pundits fired for being spreading bullshit that was actually too libelous for Fox News, Diamond and Silk found a new home with Newsmax.
Supporting Trump's bullshit election fraud claims
In late 2020, Diamond and Silk were one of the more notorious "superspreaders" on social media of misinformation that attempted to support Donald Trump's bullshit 2020 "election fraud" claims. On December 11 2020, after the Supreme Court dismissed one of Trump's bizarre lawsuits seeking to overturn the election, Diamond and Silk actually called for the military to intervene, calling the fair and free election Joe Biden had won a "coup".
Of course, when a mob (including some notable alt-right personalities) actually attempted a coup on January 6, 2021, Diamond and Silk tweeted, perhaps a little shocked by the turn of events, that "Americans who love this country would never destroy it. Violence is never the answer!" (Predictably, though, their very next tweet engaged in some whataboutism whining about Black Lives Matter protests earlier that summer.)
On March 26 2021, having learned nothing from the above events, in a "discussion" with obscure pundit David Brody on an even more obscure[note 1] conservative outlet called "Real America's Voice", Diamond and Silk were still supporting Trump's election fraud bullshit, and were still calling for "the military to step in and take over" Joe Biden's government and "get to the bottom of" the 2020 presidential election.
A Diamond shining no more
During the Thanksgiving season in 2022, Diamond was rumored to be hospitalized due to COVID-19. Eventually on January, 9th, her death was announced by Trump on Truth Social. Before her death, Diamond has denied being hospitalized from COVID, which some critics believed to have killed her. Her death was confirmed to be from heart disease and high blood pressure.
True to form, in early 2023, Silk spouted multiple conspiracy theories about her sister's death that aligned with her anti-vaccination beliefs. At Diamond's memorial service in January 2023, Silk suggested that "shedding" from COVID-19 vaccines caused her death. In early February 2023, Silk floated a related theory for her sister's death, conspiring that a bio-weapon "being sprayed in the air" was to blame.
- As of March 29, 2021, not even notable enough for a Wikipedia entry
- Steve King’s proof he’s not racist? Diamond and Silk. by Dana Milbank (June 12, 2019) The Washington Post.
- ‘Totally Unexpected’: Diamond of MAGA Duo ‘Diamond & Silk’ Dies by Will Sommer (Jan. 09, 2023) The Daily Beast.
- 'Diamond' and 'Silk' interviewed by Varney and Company, Fox Business.
- A Look at Proud Donald Trump-Supporting Sister Act 'Diamond and Silk' by Byron Pitts, Marjorie McAfee, and Ashley Louszko, April 5th, 2016, ABC News
- Donald Trump Supporters Diamond and Silk a Comedy Act? [Video] by Cherese Jackson, December 9th, 2015, Liberty Voice
- VIDEO: ‘Stump for Trump’ duo rock capacity crowd at MS rally by Kyle Olson, January 3rd, 2016, The American Mirror
- DIAMOND AND SILK MESSAGE TO RUSH LIMBAUGH
- Ted Cruz Leaps to Diamond & Silk’s Defense During Facebook Hearing by Julia Arciga, April 10th, 2018, The Daily Beast
- Monica Hesse and Dan Zak, Who are Diamond and Silk? How two small-town ex-Democrats found fame as ‘warriors’ for Trump. Archived from The Washington Post, 26 April 2018.
- Diamond and Silk Liken Democrats to Slave Owners During 'Fox and Friends' Interview by Joe DiFazio, April 27th, 2018, Newsweek
- Liam Stack, Who Are Diamond and Silk? A Look at 2 Pro-Trump Social Media Stars. Archived from The New York Times, 14 April 2018.
- Diamond and Silk at NRA: No more ‘slave mentality,’ ‘walk off that Democratic plantation’ by Victor Skinner, May 7th, 2018, The American Mirror
- Diamond & Silk: Whoopi Goldberg Should ‘Try’ Waterboarding Before She Criticizes It by Jon Levine, May 11th, 2018, The Wrap
- Diamond and Silk: Obama ‘Terrible’ for Race Relations, ‘What Has He Done for the African-American Community?’ by Lauretta Brown, June 9th, 2016, cnsnews
- Black Donald Trump Supporters Get Cozy With White Nationalist by Christina Wilkie, March 24th, 2016, HuffPost
- Trump vloggers Diamond & Silk are sticking to their debunked claim about Facebook censorship by Joe Perticone, April 25th, 2018, Insider
- Diamond and Silk Hit Back at Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook 'Censorship': 'We Are Not Terrorists' by Max Kutner, April 4th, 2018, Newsweek
- Diamond and Silk Yelled At a Bunch of Members of Congress Under Oath by Aaron Mak, April 26, 2018 Slate
- Did Diamond and Silk Actually Lie Under Oath? by Aaron Mak, April 26, 2018 Slate
- Fox News Cuts Ties With Diamond & Silk, Unofficial Trump ‘Advisers’ Who Spread Bonkers Coronavirus Claims by Lachlan Cartwright and Justin Baragona, April 27th, 2020, The Daily Beast
- "Newsmax has emerged as a landing spot for cable news personalities in need of a new home" by Jeremy Barr, Washington Post, 2020 August 12
- "How Misinformation ‘Superspreaders’ Seed False Election Theories" by Sheera Frenkel, New York Times, 2020 November 23
- "Imploding MAGA World Turns to Civil War Fantasies, Secession After Supreme Court Disaster" by Alaina Demopoulos, Daily Beast, 2020 December 12
- "Trying to overthrow the Government by exploiting a Pandemic, thus implementing rules that break our election laws, is unconstitutional. If the DOJ and the FBI can't do their jobs, then where is the Military? This is a Coup!", @DiamondandSilk, Twitter, tweeted on 2020 December 11, archived on 2021 March 29
- "'Assault on democracy': Lady Gaga, Meghan McCain, Cardi B and more react to Capitol riots" by Charles Trepany, USA Today, 2021 January 6
- "The DC Mayor is calling for law and order. Where was she at when BLM and Antifa was destroying DC over the summer?", @DiamondandSilk, Twitter, tweeted on 2021 Jan 6, archived on 2021 March 29
- "Diamond and Silk Urge Military to Remove Biden, Say Otherwise U.S. Will Go 'to Hell in a Handbasket'" by Aila Slisco, Newsweek, 2021 March 26
- MAGA Supporter Diamond, Of Diamond And Silk, Has Been Hospitalized Due To COVID Aria Bell, MSN.com, 2022/11/30
- "Diamond's Cause of Death Revealed: Pro-Trump Internet Star Dies at 51 of Heart Disease" by Tracey Harrington McCoy, People, 2023 January 24
- "‘I call it murder’: Silk revives anti-vax ‘shedding’ conspiracy while eulogizing Diamond" by Claire Goforth, Daily Dot, 2023 January 23
- "Silk Now Claims A 'Bio Weapon' Sprayed Into The Air Killed Her Sister Diamond" by Mary Papenfuss, Huffington Post, 2023 February 2, 2023