During a speech Tuesday commemorating Black History Month, President Donald Trump touted the the historically low unemployment rate the nation has seen under his administration.
While speaking at the White House, he also took the time to recognize a special attendee seated in the front row — Alveda King, who is the niece of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“We have made such incredible progress over the last year,” Trump said.
“It was just announced, and perhaps you heard me say it, we had the lowest African-American unemployment rate in the history of our country,” he added, garnering cheers from those in attendance.
The progress the country has made, Trump indicated, is in honor of MLK’s niece.
“Alveda, that’s in honor of you, Alveda,” he stated, having previously recognized her earlier in the address, according to The Daily Caller. “Lowest in the history of our country. We are very proud of that.”
“I want to thank you again all for being here, the president continued. “God bless you, and God bless America.”
King has been a vocal supporter of Trump, defending him against accusations of racism. Earlier this month, Trump nominated her to serve on the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission.
“I do not believe President Donald John Trump is a racist. The economy’s up. Jobs are up in the black community,” King said recently, according to The Atlanta Journal Constitution. “There is great promise to get a lot of people who have been unfairly incarcerated out.”
According to January numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the black unemployment rate is indeed low, at 7.7 percent. That’s down from a high of 16.8 percent in March 2010, at the height of the Great Recession.
Trump himself has taken credit for this statistic, saying that it’s because of his policies that the unemployment rate is so low.
According to African-American conservative commentator Brandon Tatum, Trump does indeed deserve a lot of credit for the jobs numbers among black Americans, even though the encouraging trend started during the administration of former President Barack Obama.
“Donald Trump has been in office for over a year now, and it has continued to drop,” Tatum told The Western Journal, adding that this “doesn’t happen by osmosis.”
Tatum cited the drop in illegal border crossings, the passage of the GOP-led tax reform bill and Trump’s “America first” rhetoric.
He went on to note that the good things happening in America for African-Americans clash with the belief that Trump “is supposed to be the most racist president in American history.”
Tatum explained that is why African-Americans like himself and King support the president.
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