Luke Visconti is the founder and CEO of DiversityInc. Although the title of his column is meant to be humorous, the issues he addresses and the answers he gives to questions are serious — and based on his 18 years of experience publishing DiversityInc. Click here to send your own question to Luke.
Donald Trump taking credit for record-low unemployment rates is racist.
The economic recovery is proceeding along the same pace it has been since former President Barack Obama was in office, and Black unemployment is following the same pattern. Put a straight edge across either unemployment or the economy and you will see the truth. Momentum, not the “stable genius” of Trump, is responsible. And it’s racist to point out that Black people are doing “better than ever before” because they still aren’t close to how well white people are doing, economically or by employment rate. It’s racist because it demonstrates Trump’s low expectations for Black people.
Trump should get credit for not screwing up. The economy is proceeding along the pace that Obama set it on. Trump has not screwed it up yet, but this is much like his personal wealth: he would have roughly the same amount of money he claims to have now have, if he simply invested his inheritance in treasury bills. Trump exhibits the same magical thinking of most inherited-money narcissists. Anything good is to his credit.
But the stubborn fact remains: progress for Black Americans has been stalled for decades and remains stalled. At no point in this recovery did the gap between Black and white unemployment close. It’s the same old story — the recovery takes longer and isn’t as good for Black people in America.
This is nothing to be proud of. The long-term solutions are difficult — education by outcome must be the same for all Americans (within one standard deviation). That means more money is going to be spent on poor white West Virginians and poor Black Mississippians. Where is the money going to come from? Trump’s constant stolen valor nonsense holds the key: we need a smarter military, not a bigger one. We spend more on our military than the next eight nations added together. We spend more on nuclear weapons every year than we do a tertiary education. The point is that there is plenty of money.
Van Jones may want to give Trump credit, but none is deserved.