On Sunday, Trump sat down with Face the Nation host Margaret Brennan to slosh his way through a number of topics including: football, troops in Afghanistan, his dumb-ass border wall and race.
While most of his answers were a massive word gumbo, his answers on race may have been the most telling. Whenever Trump talks about race he usually pivots to two areas to show that he’s down with the brown. The first is his approval ratings, which he grossly overstates. Like the time he tweeted out this random bullshit poll that claimed that a third of African Americans approved of the racist-in-chief.
The Washington Post later debunked the story in “No, one-third of African Americans don’t support Trump. Not even close,” which found that by using reputable polling data that actually polls African Americans, Trump’s approval ratings among the blacks hovers somewhere around 10 to 15 percent.
So when not using polling from The Weekly Reader and Highlights, Trump usually points to unemployment numbers as an indicator that people of color love them some Trump.
Trump had this to say during his interview Sunday:
TRUMP: What has happened is very interesting. The economy is so good right now. You saw the jobs report just came out. Three hundred and four thousand added jobs, which is a shocker, for the month. A shocker to a lot of people. They thought it was going to be half that number. The African Americans have the best employment numbers in the history of our country….So I think I’ve been given a lot of credit for that. And in terms of race, a lot of people are saying, “Well, this is something very special what’s happening.”
BRENNAN: So – because when colleagues of yours, even like Republican Senator Tim Scott. He said Donald Trump is not racist. But he said you’re racially insensitive.
TRUMP: I have a great relationship with Tim and certainly with his state, South Carolina, and – where we do very well. And I think if you look at the numbers for African-American unemployment, best numbers they’ve had – literally the best numbers they’ve had in history. And I think they like me a lot and I like them a lot.
Did this orange tinted bitch just refer to African Americans as “The African Americans?” I don’t know what it means either but it feels racist.
It’s interesting to note that Trump was asked explicitly about his racial insensitivity and his answer was to point out that his unemployment numbers are balling.
It’s as if, in the president’s mind, low unemployment is necessarily evidence of sound leadership on race – which isn’t just wrong, it also reflects the perspective of someone who hasn’t given the issue nearly enough thought.
Complicating matters, Trump is taking credit for the continuation of a trend that began long before he took office. Some history is in order: at the height of the Great Recession, black unemployment reached a brutal 16.8%. In May 2018, it fell to 5.9%, which is the lowest on record.
But the unemployment rate began improving in Barack Obama’s first term, not Donald Trump’s. The Republican has an unfortunate habit of being born on third base and thinking he hit a triple, and this offers a classic example of the phenomenon.
But what might have been Trump’s most telling position was his belief that NFL protests against police brutality and racial injustice issues had been address because he passed a criminal justice reform bill.
BRENNAN: Talking about the kneeling position you’ve taken and the controversy around it, do you think that the players who did kneel had a point? Are you sensitive at all to players like Colin Kaepernick who point out that the majority of victims of police violence are black?
“Well you know I’m the one that passed judicial reform,” the president said. “President Obama tried. They all tried. Everybody wanted to do it. And I got it done and I’ve been, you know, really ― a lot of people in the NFL have been calling and thanking me for it.”
He continued, “They have been calling and thanking, you know, that people have been trying to get that taken care of and it’s now signed into law and affects tremendous numbers of people, and very good people.”
While Trump is correct that the criminal justice reform bill, called the First Step Act, was a good move, it has nothing to do with why the players were protesting. The bill essentially eases the three strikes rule for drug offenders so that instead of getting life for their third offense, they’d only be looking at 25 years. Most importantly, the bill “would make retroactive the reforms enacted by the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, which reduced the disparity between crack and powder cocaine sentences at the federal level.” And inmates would be allowed to earn more “good credits” for taking vocational classes or avoiding infractions while in jail.
In truth, many critics of Trump’s First Step Act don’t believe it goes far enough and may only impact some 181,000 inmates currently in federal custody. But whether you agree with the reform bill or not, please tell me what the hell any of this has to do with police brutality and racial injustice by police? This sounded like a talking point that Trump staffer gave him should race come up and Trump pivoted to his only known triumph when dealing with people of color.
The saddest part is that Trump truly believes that his work with “the” African Americans is done and his answer shows that he’s a president that doesn’t think about such matter during “Executive Time.” And Trump continued to blow his racist dog whistle that all players need to respect the flag at all times and should any NFL player choose to do so, well, then he’s a “son of a bitch” that deserves to be fired.