President Donald Trump is once again taking credit for something he has done very little about — and this time, he is hitting out at rapper Shawn Carter, better known as Jay-Z, for saying the president does not know much about the treatment of people of color in the United States.
Trump, in a tweet, attributed to himself the lowest ever rate of black unemployment in the country, following the rapper’s comments on “The Van Jones Show.”
Somebody please inform Jay-Z that because of my policies, Black Unemployment has just been reported to be at the LOWEST RATE EVER RECORDED!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 28, 2018
Jay-Z, amid discussing a wide range of issued on the show, including the #MeToo movement, was asked by Van Jones about Trump’s claim that unemployment for black Americans had dropped.
Jay-Z responded by referencing to Trump’s infamous “shithole” statement calling it “hurtful,” “misinformed” and “disappointing.” He also said boasting about the African-American unemployment rate (which, by the way, can be accredited to Obama’s policies rather than anything Trump did) does not erase the fact that Trump treats people of color abominably.
“Because it's not about money at the end of the day. Money doesn't equate to happiness. It doesn't. That's missing the whole point. "You treat people like human beings. That's the main point. It goes back to the whole thing — ‘treat me really bad and pay me well.’ It's not going to lead to happiness, it's going to lead to, again, the same thing. Everyone's going to be sick,” was the sage statement by the rapper.
There has certainly been improvement in regard to employment rates for black people in the U.S. in recent years. In 1990, only 11.3 percent of African Americans had four-year college degree. The figure rose to 24 percent in 2017. In that time, the black unemployment rate fell to 6.8 percent late in 2017, the lowest ever recorded number by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
However, Trump has hardly played a role in the improved numbers. Unemployment rate among black people had been on the decline since 2011. By the time Trump took office in January 2017, the African-American rate was already at 7.8 percent
“Trump has had nothing to do with the decline in African-American jobless rates, or any other group’s rates,” Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said.
The unemployment rate among African Americans is indeed at a low point but it’s a continuation of an eight year trend that has little or nothing to do with @realDonaldTrump. pic.twitter.com/fSJKLamxcM— Ben White (@morningmoneyben) January 28, 2018
However, even as the unemployment rate has declined, racial disparities have increased. Black unemployment rate remains twice as much as the white unemployment rate. The net worth of the average black family is 10 percent of the net worth of a white family — and none of Trump’s tweet acknowledged the systemic, racial barriers that are stopping black people form progressing.
Economists don’t expect it to get better under Trump, either.
Banner/Thumbnail credit: Reuters