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President Donald Trump faced questions about his “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan during an ABC News town hall in Philadelphia this Tuesday.
Pastor Carl Day, a black man, complained that the MAGA slogan comes off as “tone deaf” to black Americans and asked the president to pinpoint the specific time when America has ever “been great for African Americans in the ghetto.”
Watch the back-and-forth exchange that ensued below:
In response, the president pointed to the economic health of the black community just prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
“You look just prior to this horrible situation coming in from China, when the virus came in, that was probably the highest point, homeownership for the black community, homeownership, lower crime, the best jobs they’ve ever had, highest income, the best employment numbers they’ve ever had,” he said.
“If you go back and you want to look over many years, you could just go back six or seven months from now, that was the best single moment in the history of the African-American people in this country.”
The president’s point was that he’d entered the White House with the mission of making life better (“great again”) for the American people and succeeded. But Clay failed to comprehend this point due to his focus on semantics.
“Your statement is ‘Make It Great Again.’ But historically, the African American experience, especially in these ghettos … these things have historically been happening for African Americans in these ghettos,” he complained.
“We have not been seeing a change, quite frankly, under your administration, under the Obama administration, under the Bush, under the Clinton, the very same thing happening, the very same system, the cycles continue to ensue.”
This isn’t true. Because of the president’s First Step Act, among many examples, black men who were formerly incarcerated for arguably victimless drug crimes have finally been allowed to return home and reunite with their families.
Trump shares heartwarming reunion thanks to prison reform. Sparks question, ‘If he was really racist…?’ https://t.co/VD6fpy3nuj
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) July 23, 2019
Clay continued by touting the Democrat talking point that the president’s MAGA slogan harkens back to the days of slavery and claiming that the president has “yet to address and acknowledge that there’s been a race problem in America.”
This is true, but only in the sense that — like most conservatives — the president believes racial equality has already been achieved in America. Or at least it had been achieved up until the Democrat Party began to embrace identity politics.
“Well, I hope there’s not a race problem. I can tell you, there’s none with me, because I have great respect for all races, for everybody,” the president noted.
He then again tried to highlight the economic achievements blacks have enjoyed under his administration, but Clay responded by arguing that income inequality is higher. But income inequality has always trended up, though according to numerous it has slowed “sharply” under the Trump administration.
This portion of the town hall concluded with the president again reminding Clay of the coronavirus’s negative affect on the economic achievements that had otherwise been readily apparent prior to the global pandemic taking hold in the spring.
Not too long after the town hall’s conclusion, CNN’s Don Lemon pounced by following Clay’s lead and again complaining about semantics.
“He did not answer the question. ‘When was it great, when was a greater time for African-Americans?’ He keeps saying ‘this was before the pandemic.’ That’s not the question. That’s not the question. He keeps saying ‘they,'” the CNN host lamented.
He also expressed exasperation at the president saying he hopes “there’s not a race problem.”
“Oh my gosh!” Lemon fumed before passing the mic to his guest, David Swerdlick of The Washington Post, who proceeded to toss out left-wing talking points.
“He did not answer the question … because he could not the answer the question. Trump has been able, the president has been able to skate by for almost four years whenever he is asked about race, throwing out the African-American unemployment rate,” Swerdlick said.
“He couldn’t answer the question about ‘Make America Great Again,’ because that slogan, which is an insult, either means that America was somehow ungreat under his predecessor, the first black president, or that he wants to take the country back to a point in time far enough back, where, at the same time black citizens in the country citizens of color in general, women, were not equal to white men.”
So according to Swerdlick, it’s racist for the president to correctly note that America was indeed un-great under the administration of former President Barack Hussein Obama.
Unfortunately for him, neither public sentiment nor the facts seem to back his Democrat-approved talking points:
This seems important — it’s not just that voters increasingly like how Trump is handling the economy, but also that they’re giving him more credit for it instead of treating it as having been inherited from Obama. https://t.co/jOxqhhtZBM pic.twitter.com/sipTpYkGAo
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) February 7, 2018
More @Gallup #MAGA: Record economic optimism under @realDonaldTrump, better than Reagan, Clinton, Obama, at a 44-year high — and economic gloom a record low — in the latest survey that shows Americans are cheering their best personal economy in decades. https://t.co/3SRUbeEnvn pic.twitter.com/HWo6dXZu1T
— Paul Bedard (@SecretsBedard) February 5, 2020
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