Trump hits back at Jay-Z after rapper dismissed his claims about black unemployment

Dylan Stableford
Senior Editor

President Trump hit back at Jay-Z on Sunday morning after the hip-hop star dismissed Trump taking credit for the record low African-American unemployment rate.

“Somebody please inform Jay-Z that because of my policies, Black Unemployment has just been reported to be at the LOWEST RATE EVER RECORDED!” the president tweeted, repeating a misleading claim he made earlier this month.

While it’s true African-American unemployment (6.9 percent in December) is now the lowest it has been since at least 1972, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking that figure, it had fallen precipitously during President Barack Obama’s second term (from 13.7 percent to 7.8 percent) — a drop that has continued during Trump’s first year in office.

“Trump taking credit for this is like a rooster thinking the sun came up because he crowed,” said Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler.

In an interview with CNN’s Van Jones that aired Saturday night, Jay-Z — whose birth name is Shawn Carter — said that the numbers don’t matter.

“It’s not about money at the end of the day,” said Carter, whose net worth is estimated to be $810 million. “Money doesn’t equate to happiness. It doesn’t. That’s missing the whole point. You treat people like human beings then — that’s the main point.”

Carter also criticized the disparaging remarks Trump reportedly made about African countries during an Oval Office meeting on immigration this month.

“It is disappointing and it’s hurtful,” Carter said. “It really is hurtful, more than so … everyone feels anger. But after the anger, it’s real hurtful. It’s looking down at a whole population of people, and it’s so misinformed because these places have beautiful people and beautiful everything. This is the leader of the free world speaking like this.”

Related: Eric Trump: ‘My father sees one color — green’

Carter then compared Trump’s comments during a closed-door meeting with lawmakers to the racist remarks made by Donald Sterling, the former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers NBA franchise. The NBA banned Sterling for life in 2014 after recordings of his comments were made public — a move Carter also criticized because he says it did not foster a discussion.

“You haven’t fixed anything,” Carter explained. “What you’ve done is spray perfume on the trashcan. What you do when you do that is the bugs come and you spray something and you create a superbug. Because you don’t take care of the problem; you don’t take the trash out. You just keep spraying whatever over it to make it acceptable. Then as those things grow, you create a superbug. And now we have Donald Trump, the superbug.”

Carter said he was making the “superbug” comparison in jest, but added that there must be a reason for Trump’s history of making racially insensitive remarks.

“Somewhere along his lineage, something happened to him,” Carter said. “Something happened to him, and he is expressing it in this sort of way.”

Also read: Trump is not racist ‘in the traditional sense,’ says MLK’s nephew

It’s not the first time Trump has referenced Jay-Z on Twitter.

In 2014, after a surveillance video showing an altercation between Jay-Z and Solange Knowles — the sister of his wife, Beyonce — surfaced, Trump expressed concern about the Grammy award-winning rapper’s marriage.

“I really like Jay Z but there is trouble in paradise,” Trump tweeted. “When his wife’s sister starts whacking him, not good! No help from B leads to a mess.”

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