Adams, Butterfield blast Trump on black unemployment rate

Adams, Butterfield blast Trump on black unemployment rate
February 08
17:00 2018

During his speech in Cincinnati Monday, Feb. 5, President Donald Trump attacked members of the Congressional Black Caucus who, while Republicans were loudly applauding, refused to clap while African kente’ cloth draped their all-black attire, or acknowledge the president’s announcement that black unemployment had dropped to an historic 45-year low during his first State of the Union address to Congress and the nation.

“You’re up there. You got half the room going totally crazy, wild, loved everything,” Trump said in his remarks Monday. “They want to do something great for our country, and you have the other side, even on positive news — really positive news — like that, they were like death, un-American. Somebody said treasonous. Yeah, I guess, why not? Can we call that treason? Why not? I mean they certainly didn’t seem to love our country very much.”

Even before the Republican president accused them of “treason” for not applauding him, two prominent members of the CBC – Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC-12) and Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC-1) – had pretty much had their fill of Trump, especially after his infamous “shithole” reference to Haiti and Africa.

So his subsequent taking credit for black unemployment going down to just single digits for the first time in a long time, didn’t help.

“African-American unemployment has been going down for a decade, yet it’s still double white unemployment,” Rep. Adams tweeted Jan. 30. “Would POTUS be celebrating if this stat were the other way around?”

The morning of the State of The Union (SOTU) address, when the Black Press called Rep. Butterfield at his office, and asked how Washington was doing, the North Carolina congressman replied tongue–in-cheek, “Not well, not well! I don’t think this president is going to say anything constructive.”

When asked about the decline in black unemployment (which was 6.8, a fall from a high of over 15.2 years earlier), Butterfield echoed his North Carolina colleague’s sentiment.

“President Barack Obama worked very hard to get the economy under control,” Rep. Butterfield said. “When Obama stepped into the Oval office, he inherited a terrible economy. We were bleeding 700,00-800,000 jobs per month, the automotive industry was about to shut down, the stock market was plummeting, consumer confidence was at an all-time low … things were not good.”

“He inherited a trillion-and-a-half dollar deficit. So for eight years, he very painfully, tried to get the unemployment rate down … so what Donald trump is experiencing now is simply a continuation of a trend that began during the Obama years,” Congressman Butterfield continued.

‘There’s no question the black unemployment rate is down. But what gets overlooked in that conversation is black under-employment. I know a lot of people who are employed, but are very unhappy, because they’re making minimum wage or near minimum wage. So we have to talk about black under-employment as well.”

Butterfield went on to say that that black unemployment was 6.8 percent, but the overall jobless rate was 4.1 percent, meaning it was still high compared to the national average.

That was Tuesday, Jan. 30, the night of President Trump’s SOTU address.

Three days later, black unemployment was reported at 7.7 percent, up almost a full point.

Tweeting a frowning face she had during the SOTU, Congresswoman Adams wrote, “That face you make when you learn that the Black unemployment rate has one of the largest increases in years to 7.7%.”

Adams ended the Feb. 2 tweet, “#ThingsTrumpWontTalkAbout #SOTU.”

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Cash Michaels

Cash Michaels

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