Despite President Donald Trump boasting at Tuesday’s State of the Union address that his administration has lowered the Black unemployment rate — or his tweets to JAY-Z about this very topic — there are things called facts.
And the fact is, this is simply untrue.
On Tuesday night, Trump delivered his very first State of the Union address, complete with dangerous rhetoric about immigrants, false promises of the American Dream and even a congratulatory comment about the way this nation came together to recover after a series of damaging hurricanes (FEMA is set to pull aid from Puerto Rico this week). But what had everyone confused was his statement on the Black unemployment rate.
“And something I’m very proud of, African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded,” Trump said to applause and a very Howard Dean-esque roar from a singular, very excited individual we cannot identify.
Black lawmakers, who wore Kente cloth to protest Trump’s anti-Black “shithole countries” statement, were not impressed.
And if you’re a fan of facts, you’re probably not impressed either.
Trump was right about one thing, however. The Black unemployment rate is at its lowest. But that doesn’t mean it’s his doing.
From the Los Angeles Times:
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last month that the unemployment rate for blacks dropped to 6.8% in December, the lowest since the government began tracking the figure in 1972. The sharp decline began eight years ago. The rate peaked in 2010 at 16.8%, which was the highest since 1984 in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Trump has presided over a continuation of a trend in which the rate has declined about 1 percentage point a year.
The truth is, the Black unemployment rate has been on a steady decline since 2011, according to Vox. Not only can this movement be attributed to a presidency before his, but Trump and his administration haven’t exactly been clear about what policies or practices are aiding in this decline.
Likely because they don’t exist.
Beyond anti-Black sentiment and the sickening exploitation of a grieving Black family to push his xenophobic stance on immigration during Tuesday’s address, we’re not sure when we’re on Trump’s radar.