Internet erupts over black unemployment after Trump’s unlikely feud with rapper Jay-Z
“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 on Sunday.
The spat comes after Jay-Z was asked by CNN’s Van Jones whether it was okay for Trump to “say terrible things but put money in our pockets.” The rapper said no, “because it’s not about money at the end of the day. Money doesn’t equate to happiness. It doesn’t. That’s missing the whole point.”
Jay-Z, who is married to megastar Beyoncé, is worth an estimated $810 million according to Forbes, making him the second-richest hip-hop artist in the US after Diddy.
Many have taken to Twitter to argue Trump “missed the whole point” on Sunday when he tweeted about black unemployment falling as a result of his policies.
Van Jones himself fired back by saying “someone needs to inform” Trump that he already asked Jay Z whether the black unemployment figures are enough to redeem Trump’s presidency, to which the singer responded with a “powerful” answer.
Others said the unemployment figures, reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) earlier this month, had nothing to do with Trump at all, instead crediting his predecessor Barack Obama. Several anti-Trump Twitter handles used the exchange to accuse the US president of “trying to take credit” for Obama’s work.
Rep. Gregory Meeks of New York’s 5th Congressional District also chimed in, saying black unemployment remains “unacceptably high” and that “standing on Obama’s laurels don’t reverse Trump’s harmful comments about people of color.”
One Yale Law School JD claimed Trump was asking the nation to "lie" to Jay-Z by "informing" him that black unemployment has dropped under the president’s tenure. “What policy has he even enacted that could have accomplished this?” Darren Hutchinson wrote.
Meanwhile, another Twitter user Andrea Light called out Trump for having the “least diversified” cabinet in modern times. “How many black people have you employed in high paying positions in the White House?” she asked.
However, Trump’s supporters also took to Twitter to cheer the president and lambast Jay-Z.
Pro-Trump Twitter user @Lrihendry told Jay-Z to “stick to rapping” and to “leave the business of running America to the man who knows what he’s doing – President Donald J. Trump.”
Former Sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin and conservative political commentator, David A. Clarke, Jr., touted the success of Trump’s employment policies, while also disregarding Jay-Z’s opinions altogether. “CNN asking Jay-Z for political commentary is akin to asking Sen. Mitch McConnell for commentary on rap music,” he wrote.
Blogger JaVonni Brustow called Jay-Z’s remark to CNN the “dumbest remark of the year so far and worse than s***holes,” referencing Trump’s alleged remark about Haiti, El Salvador, and African nations.
Others noted the irony of Jay-Z’s remark that it’s “not about money,” as tickets to the singer’s concerts carry a hefty price tag.
The black unemployment rate cited by Trump came after the BLS revealed data earlier this month showing it had dropped to 6.8 percent, the lowest level since the government began tracking such data in 1972.
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