Donald Trump hits back at Jay-Z over unemployment claims

Publish Date
Monday, 29 January 2018, 10:25AM
Photo / Getty Images

Photo / Getty Images

President Donald Trump lashed out at Jay-Z with misleading claims his policies have lowered unemployment for African Americans after the rapper shared that he was 'disappointed and hurt' by Trump's alleged 'shithole countries' comment.

The president used Twitter on Sunday morning to respond to the hip-hop icon's CNN interview with Van Jones on Saturday.

'Somebody please inform Jay-Z that because of my policies, Black Unemployment has just been reported to be at the LOWEST RATE EVER RECORDED!' Trump tweeted.

He added: 'Our economy is better than it has been in many decades. Businesses are coming back to America like never before. Chrysler, as an example, is leaving Mexico and coming back to the USA. Unemployment is nearing record lows. We are on the right track!'

His tweets come after the rapper stated that even if Trump was responsible for putting more money in African American pockets, it's 'not about money at the end of the day.'

'Money doesn't equate to happiness,' he explained.

'That's missing the point. Treat people like human beings. If we're going back to "you treat me really bad but pay me well," that's not going to lead to happiness, it's going to lead to, like, the same thing.

'Everyone's going to be sick.'

Trump's tweet highlights reporting from the Associated Press detailing how the black unemployment rate has reached a record low in December, at 6.8 per cent.

But the assertion is a stretch as NPR reported that long before Trump took office, the rate of black unemployment was already decreasing.

In fact, it was reported that as early as 2010 - well within Barack Obama's first tenure in office - the rate had been falling.

NPR reports that the rates not having dropped at a faster pace since Trump took office implies that nothing he has done has actually impacted the unemployment rate for African Americans.

Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and a former economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, told Vox that Trump can't take credit for the trend.

'Trump has had nothing to do with the decline in African-American jobless rates, or any other group's rates,' Bernstein said. 'He's completely riding a trend he inherited.'

And while the unemployment rate for African Americans may be at 6.8 per cent, it is still almost double that of the white unemployment - which is at 3.7 per cent.

Hiring discrimination, inadequate educational resources, and racism exhibited through the prison industrial complex system are contributing factors to why the number has been so high in the past.

Trump's tweets come after Jay-Z told CNN's Van Jones that he wasn't surprised by the president's alleged 's***hole countries' comments.

'Everyone feels anger but after the anger it's really hurtful because he's looking down on a whole population of people and he's so misinformed because these places have beautiful people,' the hip-hop legend told CNN's Van Jones Saturday evening.

'But on the other side, this has been going on. This is how people on, this has been going on behind closed doors.'

He said that the comments just show the underlying problem of racism that exists in America - and how, even though it's widely condemned, it's still active behind closed doors.

Jay-Z said that the way we treat it is like 'spraying perfume on a trash can and creating a superbug.'

That superbug, he said, is Donald Trump.

As an example he spoke about the former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers Donald Sterling, who was outed as a racist on a private phone conversation in 2014.

'They took the team from him, and OK that's one way to do it,' he explained.

'But another way to do it is let him have his team and then let's talk about it together... Maybe some penalties.

'Because once you do that, all the other closet racists run back in the hole. You haven't fixed anything. What you've done is spray perfume on the trash can.'

He explained that more spray attracts more bugs - as you aren't actually dealing with the trash itself. The trash in this analogy is racism.