CNN host Don Lemon scolded black Trump supporters for prioritizing the economy over the “president’s racist behavior,” even though black Americans have been thriving under his tenure.
According to Newsbusters, Lemon and his panel of guests on Friday attempted to downplay a recently released statistic showing that black unemployment reached a record low of 5.5% during the month of August. While the news bodes well for black Americans, Lemon and his guests said that the numbers should not sway black voters come 2020 due to Trump’s “racist behavior,” while arguing that President Obama should take all the credit for black prosperity.
“It started going down though in the Obama administration. It was 16.8 percent in March of 2010. And it dropped to 7.8 percent; a 54 percent reduction under President Obama,” said panelist Keith Boykin. “And Trump while … while this was happening denied that it was even happening. He called the numbers fake news; until he came into office and suddenly all the numbers he said were fake were magically real. And so, he took credit for the momentum that has … has occurred since that time.”
“So, we have 8.9 percent in the Obama presidency and down by 2.5 percent in this presidency,” Lemon chimed in. “As you said, it is good news. It is a good trend. But it didn’t start under this President and the numbers actually declined much stronger under the former President.”
Lemon then asked his panel how black voters will be able to reconcile the solid unemployment numbers with Trump’s allegedly racist behavior. Panelist Joseph Pinion likened the solid economy under Trump to having someone spit in it your face and then hand over a napkin.
“I think the message is something that does not resonate with black communities and brown communities simply because of the rhetoric that has come out of the White House,” said Pinion. “And so, I think I said almost two years ago to the day on this program that if someone spits in your face and then hands you a napkin, you don’t get to say thank you.”
“As you say, if someone spits in your face and hands you a napkin, how…what is that supposed to…I don’t understand that argument,” Lemon responded. “Does that mean that the only part of your brain, or the only part of our being that matters is money? Rather than how someone treats you and what someone says about you?”
The panel agreed that President Trump should take no ownership of the great unemployment numbers for black Americans.
“Donald Trump had little to nothing to do with the drop in unemployment for African-Americans,” concluded Boykin. “No one can … no one who talks about this in the Republican Party can cite a single policy contributed by Donald Trump that is responsible for the drop in black unemployment. It’s all because of policies that … that started long ago. It wasn’t the tax cut or anything like that. Policies started long ago in the Obama administration when we started to see the drop. And the other thing is that Obama had the good sense not to go out and brag about it every time that there was a drop in unemployment because he knew that it’s still too high compared to the white unemployment rate.”