Trump’s State of the Union address through the African-American lens

Farida Dawkins January 31, 2018
Donald Trump at the State of the Union address

President Trump’s first State of the Union address, the longest on record, covered a plethora of topics affecting the American people.  The American people is a loaded term because it often dismisses the disenfranchised.

Marginalized groups – in which African-Americans fall under the category – still face injustices and discrimination every day; despite the current president’s claims to “make America great again.”  Keep reading to learn what Trump’s State of the Union Address means for Black people.

Trump claimed to create 2.4 million jobs; with 200,000 being in manufacturing.  The president claimed that unemployment in the African-American population has reached an all-time low – 6.6% to 7.6% for men and 6.2% to 5.8% to be precise.  He doesn’t specify what industries have been blessed with these additions.

Racial discrimination, bias, systematic racism all play a huge role in the amount and quality jobs held by blacks.  So where and exactly what type of jobs are Blacks obtaining sir?

The middle-class and small business owners are predominately White. Small business owners are – wait for it – old, White males; so it is this demographic that are receiving the precious tax cuts that the president bragged about implementing.  Would you look at that?

So those earning a substantial amount of money from their business ventures are receiving the additional honor of paying fewer taxes while those in lower tax brackets are still dishing out major bucks.  This contributes to the “robbing Peter to pay Paul” adage as any working class Black adult knows that their salary doesn’t stretch for very long. The tax rate has now gone from 35% to 21%. Great improvement; just doesn’t benefit us.

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed by former President Obama and enacted by 111th United States Congress attempted to overhaul the Medicare and Medicaid act of 1965 and Public Health Service Act of 1944.  As a result, half of the uninsured population – roughly 20-24 million individuals received much needed medical coverage. Trump conveniently forgot that African-Americans report having lower uninsured rates than their counterparts.  Job well done? Not quite.

Trump proclaimed “struggling communities, especially immigrant communities, will also be helped by immigration policies that focus on the best interests of American workers and American families.”  Translate: I will implement laws that cause a large expulsion of non-Americans.” Well, there is data to suggest that immigrants tend to not only tend to obtain higher levels of education than whites and Blacks but are also represent a large number of the American workforce.

Trump uses doublespeak and inflated statistics to ensure that his followers are kept in the sunken place.  Reality suggests that African-Americans continue to be underrepresented. The powerful display of Ghanaian kente cloth at the SOTU Address is a bold move in saying we are here and we will be heard.

See for yourself here:

Last Edited by:Ismail Akwei Updated: June 19, 2018


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