When rapper Jay-Z claimed during a CNN panel discussion on racism that President Donald Trump is a white supremacist and bad for the black community, it wasn’t unusual. After all, Jay-Z is a prominent Obama supporter and part of a hip-hop community not exactly known for skewing Republican.
What was unusual was when the president decided to respond to the “4:44” rapper, noting that African-American unemployment under his administration has “been reported to be at the LOWEST RATE EVER RECORDED!”
Jay-Z (real name Shaun Carter, husband of Beyoncé for those of you who have been living under rocks for the past few years) made the remarks on CNN when commentator Van Jones asked him about the president’s alleged “s***hole countries” remark.
The rapper likened it to when then-Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was embroiled in controversy over disparaging remarks about blacks he was recorded making in a phone conversation with his girlfriend in 2014.
“This is how people talk. This is how they talk behind closed doors. It was a moment when Donald Sterling had been exposed as this racist on a private phone conversation that he was having,” the former Shaun Carter said, according to Breitbart.
Sterling ended up losing the team over the matter.
“It’s like, OK, that’s one way to do it,” Jay-Z continued. “Another way would have been to have his team and let’s talk about it together and let’s — maybe some penalties because once you do that, all of the other closet racists just run back in the hole.
“You haven’t fixed anything. You have sprayed perfume on the trash can. 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 keep spraying whatever over it to make it acceptable. As those things grow, you create a superbug. And then now we have Donald Trump, the superbug.”
Jones, an Obama staffer who once called Trump’s victory a “whitelash,” did stick up for the president in a devil’s advocate sort of way: “To give him a little bit of credit too, he is somebody who is now saying, look, I’m growing — I’m dropping black unemployment. Black people are doing well under my administration,” Jones said.
“Does he have a point that maybe the Democrats have been giving us good lip service, but no jobs. He may say terrible things, but putting money in our pockets. Does that make him a good leader?”
The rapper was having none of it.
“No because it’s not about money at the end of the day. Money is not — 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,” Mr. Z responded. “You can’t treat someone like — it goes back to the whole thing, you going to treat me really bad and pay me well. It’s not going to lead to happiness. It’s going to lead to, again, the same thing.”
That’s an interesting take from someone whose lead single off his last album bragged “I bought some artwork for one million / Two years later, that s*** worth two million / Few years later, that s*** worth eight million / I can’t wait to give this s*** to my children.”
A few bars earlier during that financial advice-obsessed song, “The Story of O.J.,” Jay-Z noted, “You ever wonder why Jewish people own all the property in America? This how they did it.” And while the rest of Mr. Z’s oeuvre isn’t that overtly anti-Semitic, it is similarly money- and status-obsessed.
Trump took to his favorite medium, Twitter, to one-up the rapper in epic fashion.
Somebody please inform Jay-Z that because of my policies, Black Unemployment has just been reported to be at the LOWEST RATE EVER RECORDED!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 28, 2018
Indeed, under that “super-bug,” the black unemployment rate fell to 6.8 percent in December, the lowest number in the 45 years it’s been charted.
Yet, according to Jay-Z, this is all a sign of Trump’s emotional deficiencies.
“Somewhere along his lineage, something happened to him,” Jay-Z said. “Something happened to him and he is in pain and he is expressing it this sort of way.”
I’ll take Freudian projection for $200, Alex.
In the meantime, if Jay-Z is happy with the lip service paid to him by the Democrats, he’s wealthy enough to take it.
I think most Americans, much like the president, would take the lower black unemployment index. And lest Mr. Carter believe what he’s receiving isn’t lip service, I’d like to point out that the aforementioned Donald Sterling — the racist former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers — was a Democrat.
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