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What Has Donald Done Now?

A Feeble Attempt at Keeping Track of Everything You Need To Know 

September 9, 2016 ~ By The Policy Geek    

Donald's Reach Around

Donald J. Trump's "reach out" to the African-American community began while delivering remarks to an auditorium of white suburbanites. 
(NPR, 2016)

TRUMP 2  point 0 - The Reachoning

Reaching Out

After winning the top of the ticket space for the GOP Party in 2016, Donald J. Trump set about making himself a candidate for everyone. His first order of business, as he saw it, was to "reach out" to the African-American community - and he decided to do so while delivering remarks in front of an auditorium packed with white suburbanites.

Our government has totally failed our African-American friends. Period. Poverty. Rejection. Horrible education. No housing, no homes, no ownership. Crime at levels that nobody has seen. You can go to war zones in countries that we are fighting and it's safer than living in some of our inner cities. Look at the schools, look at the 58 percent of young African Americans not working. And I ask you this, I ask you this — crime, all of the problems — to the African Americans, who I employ so many, so many people: What the hell do you have to lose? Give me a chance. I'll straighten it out. I'll straighten it out. What do you have to lose?"

White Out
The almost exclusively white crowd in front of the GOP candidate got all those messages loud and clear. Their new shiny candidate for 'Imperial Leader of the Free World' makes sense to them, and after their heir apparent President Donald delivered all of that as fact, the mob of Trumper followers started chanting: "Trump! Trump! Trump! Trump!"

The Breakdown

Let's see if we also heard him correctly. When it comes to "African Americans" in the United States, this is the list of "problems" that Trump perceives as needing his help:

Poverty = A lot


Rejection = A lot


Roof Over Your Head = None


Crime = Levels that nobody has seen, i.e. war zones


Unemployment = 58%


Education = Horrible


Home Ownership = None


Schools = No Good

His Gut is a Problem Solver

In its entirety, that is the sum of Trump's knowledge that any problem areas do exist within the communities of America's darker skinned electorate. And clearly whatever information he has gathered, he is proud to share with all of us. By pushing these stats into the world of public discourse while running for POTUS, we can only conclude that he must be saying that these problems could use some national intervention. Because, really, if he isn't saying the federal government could help with these perceived problems, then we aren't sure what he is talking about on the stump. More specifically, if he isn't saying the office of the President can make a difference, what is he saying? What message is he really trying to give when he paints millions of people with one color paint, with one all encompassing white wash brushstroke? Who is he really talking to and what does he really care about? 

Losing is for Losers

Just Put a Little Trump On It
Listening to Trump's recent "outreach" speeches, he definitely feels like he's the man for the job. He can fix all of those issues. He sees all of the important issues. He can feel them in his gut. And since these systemic problems haven't been remedied up to this point in American History, why not put Trump in charge? What do we have to lose?

What Have We Got To Lose? Everything

For those familiar with Trump's past, it could not be clearer how much African Americans have to lose under Donald Trump. Despite all his dog whistling and hoedown cow bell ringing, Trump’s perfidious rhetoric on "helping out" black communities belies a history of shunning them. Throughout his public life, he's doubled down on using the exact types of insults, fears and stereotypes that have systematically held back African-American communities for decades.

And you know, I say it, and I'm going to keep saying it. And some people say: 'Wow, that makes sense.' And then some people say: 'Well, that wasn't very nice.' Look, it is a disaster the way African Americans are living, and I say it with such a deep-felt feeling: What do you have to lose? I will straighten it out. I'll bring jobs back. We'll bring spirit back. We'll get rid of the crime. You'll be able to walk down the street without getting shot. Right now, you walk down the street, you get shot. 

Look at the statistics.

Donald J. Trump on the Stump

~ August 22, 2016

Analytics Can Be Fun

To hear Donald tell it, EVERY person who is black is poor, homeless, and jobless. Is that true? Is that even mostly true? Well, Trump suggested we 'look at the statistics,' so we did. 

Looking at Statistics

There's No Place Like Home

First let's talk about home ownership in the United States and the disparity that exists between those who own land who are white and those who own land who are not white. According to Census.gov, the percentage of Black Americans who own their own homes is only 42.5% - that's compared to non-Hispanic white home ownership that stands at 71.5%. As a frame of reference, Hispanics don't fare much better with stats that sit at 45.1%. So yeah, Black Americans are a smaller percentage of total home owners in the United States than White Americans. But here's the thing: for most of American History, black people could only rent a home - for lots of reasons - not just because they could not afford to buy. For hundreds of years in many parts of the United States, it was a crime to own a home while being black. You didn't have the option of buying a house. There was no such thing as buying a house. Long after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, in most cities, there was this little thing going on called segregation. 


Violent Neighborhoods 

Recently Trump brought up Chicago as an example of a place with there is low Black American home ownership statistics and where acts of violence are in the news daily. But Chicago is its very own thing. Chicago has always been about Turf Wars - so most of that headline grabbing meme that says Chicago is a war zone, well, that's only in 2 neighborhoods. Historically, because of redlining Blacks were only allowed to buy in certain neighborhoods - only offered home loans for certain neighborhoods - and were kept in segregated sections of Chicago until the 1960s - when the Jim Crow laws were repealed. That's right, the practice of segregation in the United States was legal until the 1970s. It hasn't even been 5 decades since the Civil Rights Act of 1968 was signed. And before that - with redlining - blacks were not allowed to just go buy a house wherever they wanted to, and in many areas that practice is still, well, in practice. Sure, many eventually left and bought elsewhere, where neighborhoods were a bit safer. 


GI Loans

Many babyboomers came into this world as children of WWII veteran's - those who returned home to a fresh start with access to plentiful GI loans to help them on their way. Many babyboomers, the largest generation of Americans ever, have now inherited those properties. It's been said that a great majority of white working class Americans - who weren’t heirs of family farms or homes - became home owners in that time. What isn't often mentioned in praising the GI Bill program, was that black folk were shut out of it until 1968


58 Percent and Rising!

Trump keeps repeating this talking point: the unemployment rate presented by the media and the government is just a big lie. He informs his audiences, in reality, when it comes to The Blacks in particular, the unemployment rate is more like 50%. We looked into that and, well, he's a little off on his numbers. Nationally, unemployment sits at around 5%, down from 10% in 2009 - when the economy was bleeding hundreds of thousands of jobs a month. Although it is true that the unemployment rate of African Americans is double that of whites - 8.8% compared to 4.3% nationally - that number is nowhere near the one Trump has been announcing during his rallies.

If you look at what’s going on in this country, African-American youth is an example: 59% unemployment rate; 59 percent.

Assume the Position

Maybe his highly inflated numbers are only referring to young people - like really young people. The latest figures from the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics pegged the unemployment rate for blacks - ages 16 to 19 - at 27.1%. Not sure what positions Donald expects young people of that age, with no college behind them, to hold, but he's right - African-American youth unemployment numbers are higher than the national average of everybody of all ages without a job. And those numbers are from May 2016 - so that's pretty recent. Of course, if the unemployment rate of high school kids is at 27.1%, then you can also say that 72.9% of black high school students are working while going to school. 


The 27.1% number for high school student employment in the black community is still nowhere near the 59% number he's hawking. In fact - according to a CNN Money piece from August, 2016 - the black unemployment rate overall has now fallen to its lowest rate in 7 years. 


Crime On the Rise
Trump has really been working to hammer this one home lately. The Donald says, "Crime at levels that nobody has seen. You can go to war zones in countries that we are fighting and it's safer than living in some of our inner cities." Again, looking at the statistics - from the Bureau of Justice Statistics - overall violent crime rates have been going down steadily for the last two decades and the numbers now sit, in most cities, at a lower rate than we had three decades ago (there was a bit of a spike when Bush Sr. was in office). Crime rates, by almost every metric, are going down, not up. The bottom line is that violent and property crime are at record lows for the country, while population levels have increased by 20% in the same time period. #AmericaGreatAgainAlready

If The Shoe Doesn't Fit, Send Out a False Meme

A White On Black Crime
Here's a recent meme Trump retweeted in an earnest attempt to add new statistical information to our national political conversation on race and crime in this country. The image shows a masked, dark-skinned man with a handgun and a set of points, ostensibly about deaths in 2015. This information was so new, in fact, that although the stats are from 2015, the meme was put on blast by the candidate before 2015 was even over.

Donald J. Trump's Famous Crime Statistic Tweet

Here's the problem with that meme. Almost every number in the image is wrong. And despite everything being wrong with it, Trump still retweeted this ridiculous and racist image without giving it any thought at all. The statistics on how white victims die are exaggerated five-fold. The figures on black-on-white homicides and white-on-white homicides are also wildly inaccurate and - as Politifact and many other news outlets quickly noted - the "Crime Statistics Bureau" doesn’t even exist. The latest reliable data on the subject - at the time Trump made this public service announcement - would have come from 2014 and would have been available on the FBI website.

FBI.gov Crime Statistics (2014)

Just The Facts Man

In Trump's late-night retweet he cast blacks as the primary killers of whites. Turns out the exact opposite is true. Seriously. The most glaring inaccuracies have to do with white homicide victims. By overwhelming percentages, whites tend to kill other whites. Similarly, blacks tend to kill other blacks. These trends have been observed for decades. Since the ravages of segregation have left many areas ethnically divided, it's no surprise. People who kill people tend to kill those that live near them. It's nothing to brag about, but the details seem to completely contradict everything Trump's been saying on the subject. Nonetheless, he not only stands behind its veracity, he doubles down on the type of information he's lying about to racist white voters who want to believe these statistics. What kind of a leader misleads with such impunity? 


Death by Police

The police-related death numbers in the meme are off as well. Thanks to the #BlackLivesMatter movement, it's now been widely reported over the last couple of years that statistics on deaths at the hands of law enforcement officers are not well-documented at all. However, according to the violent death database - kept by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - from 2009 to 2013 there tends to be a ratio of about 1.5 white deaths by police for each black death at the hands of peace officers. Drawing comparisons of deaths at the hands of police by dividing the information up by race, Trump arrives at the startling data that whites are killed more than blacks by a ratio of 3 to 1, instead of the more factual 1.5 to 1. That makes Donald's tweetfact off by about 100%. One other thing to note is that there are more than 5 white people for every black person in the country. So if you go by ratios alone - assuming everything else being equal - death by cops should theoretically happen to 5 white people for every 1 black person. Instead, its 1.5 to 1. So proportionately, cops take out members of the much smaller black communities in the United States at a much higher rate than whites. Period. 

Donald's History of Drive-By Racism

Here's the thing - this one tweet by the GOP candidate with a late-night twitter fetish is nothing new. It's part of a steady stream of racialist remarks the candidate has brought into public discourse his whole life. Trump's comments on race, taken in context, should be criminally punishable events and classified as white on black crime. This is a man who still questions the citizenship of the first African-American president, has a disturbing pattern of courting white supremacists, and has been sued for housing discrimination against communities of color.

Condemnation by Insinuation

What kind of a potential leader for the free world are we dealing with when fake facts are presented with so little forethought to the consequences, to the potential damage, to the idea that people could actually be hurt by his pushing of false rhetoric? 


If you would like to know more about Trump's referenced history of shutting out blacks from housing, and discriminatory remarks made in front of others and on camera, check out our piece Donald Trump's White Lies.

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