Ignoring His Own Sordid Racist History, Trump Attacks Minorities For Voting Democratic

Desperate to move the conversation away from the blowback to the unflattering portrayal of his administration in the best-selling book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House; Donald Trump is reverting to a tried and true method to segway to more favorable terrain within his base: racist rhetoric. The president kicked off the first full business week of 2018 with an arrogant tweet aimed at African-Americans and Latinos, who voted overwhelmingly against him in 2016:
African American unemployment is the lowest ever recorded in our country. The Hispanic unemployment rate dropped a full point in the last year and is close to the lowest in recorded history. Dems did nothing for you but get your vote! #NeverForget @foxandfriends

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 8, 2018

For Donald Trump to claim credit for the current unemployment rate for any demographic at this stage of his Presidency is, at best, disingenuous. According to the Department of Labor, African-American unemployment peaked during the Great Recession at 16.8% in March 2010 and has been steadily declining ever since.

In fact, there was a slight uptick in October and November of 2017 before dropping to the 6.8% recorded for December:

Source: Department of Labor statistics

A similar trend exists within the Latino community:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

The president belies the reality that he has been in office for less than a year, and more importantly, has only been operating on his own budget since October 1, 2017. In fact, the only major legislation he’s been able to pass is a widely unpopular tax reform bill which has yet to go into effect. Claiming “Dems did nothing for you” is simply not true, even when viewed through a solely-economic lens. But that shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering Trump told 1,950 lies or untruths in 2017. He’s merely picking up where he left off.

Support — Or Lack Thereof — Goes Well Beyond Economics

Even if we were to suspend disbelief and accept the argument that the president waved a magic wand and was solely responsible for the presently low unemployment rates in both communities, the mere fact that he uses a singular indicator to measure why he deserves minority support is almost as insulting as the tweet itself. Consider many of his actions since he entered the political arena, and the racist twinge behind them:

  • He made his first serious foray into politics by openly questioning the legitimacy of Barack Obama’s citizenship, and therefore his ability to legally serve as President. It’s nearly impossible to find a defense of so-called Birtherism that doesn’t rely on blatant bigotry.
  • When declaring his candidacy, he referred to Mexican immigrants as “criminals” and “rapists”.
  • Trump claimed that federal judge Gonzalo Curiel was incapable of ruling objectively in a lawsuit against Trump University because he was “Mexican”, despite being born in Indiana.
  • As a candidate, he regularly retweeted verified white nationalists and white supremacists.
  • After a white supremacist mowed over an anti-Nazi demonstrator in Charlottesville, Virginia, Trump said that “good people” were marching with the Nazis and Confederate sympathizers.
  • He defended his supporters physically assaulting a Black Lives Matter demonstrator.
  • “Look at my African-American over here“.

Anyone who has followed his rise from Manhattan showboat to President of the United States knows this barely scratches the surface of his long and shameful history when it comes to bigotry and prejudice. And his equally long and shameful history of taking credit for the achievements of others. The mindset that he can just take credit for the continuing trend of declining black and latino unemployment — which is a result of the Presidency of Barack Obama, America’s first black President, who Trump declared unfit to serve — would wipe the slate clean of Trump’s racism and send voters of color in droves to the Trump camp just might be the most cynically comdescending racist idea he’s put forward yet.

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