Around the same time former President Donald Trump had a dinner date with loud and proud white supremacist Nick Fuentez—the guy who literally called for a “white uprising” in order to get Trump reelected—professional shucker and crowned king of jive Herschel Walker was resurrecting a thoroughly debunked claim that during his presidency, Trump had done more for Black people than most past presidents.
“It’s sad that our media have tried to say that this president didn’t do anything for the African American community when yet he did more for the African American community than the last four presidents put together,” Walker said during an appearance on conservative network Real America’s Voice. “He gave a lot of opportunities to a lot of the African American community, not just to the African American community but to the whole of the United States.”
Herschel has made a very bold claim here—that he can count up to four.
Nah, but seriously, Herschel Walker is just repeating the claim Trump repeatedly made while he was president that he had “done more for Black Americans than anybody, except for the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln,” which means he’s claiming to have done more than Lyndon B. Johnson, the president who signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965and the Civil Rights Act of 1968.
The real question is, what exactly did Trump do for Black people?
In 2019, Trump claimed he oversaw the “lowest unemployment in U.S. history” for Black Americans. Here’s what the Associated Press had to say about that claim:
It’s true that black unemployment did reach a record low during the Trump administration: 5.9 percent in May 2018. It currently stands at 6 percent.
But many economists view the continued economic growth since the middle of 2009, when Democratic President Barack Obama was in office, as the primary explanation for hiring. More important, there are multiple signs that the racial wealth gap is now worsening and the administration appears to have done little, if anything, to specifically address this challenge.
African Americans also had higher income prior to the Trump administration. A black household earned a median income of $40,258 in 2017, the latest data available. That’s below a 2000 peak of $42,348, according to the Census Bureau.
The most dramatic drop in black unemployment came under Obama, when it fell from a recession high of 16.8 percent in March 2010 to 7.8 percent in January 2017.
Trump absolutely inherited a post-recession economy that was on the rise, and almost immediately started claiming laurels he didn’t even remotely earn. And Black people, along with everyone else, were doing marginally better economically than they were before, so now Trump gets to be the Miss Millie of presidents and the Milli Vanilli of white saviors.
Of course, Trump carried this attitude into 2020 when he came up with the “Platinum Plan,” in which he claimed, among other things, that he would increase Black capital by $500 billion at a time when America was in an economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Again, he inherited a rising economy, yet he waited until he was up for reelection to offer billions of dollars to Black people during the height of the money-swallowing pandemic.)
Politico noted that Trump’s plan “is only two pages, a fraction of former Vice President Joe Biden’s “Lift Every Voice” plan.” Now, I’m not saying Biden is any kind of savior either, I’m just saying he’s not the one I imagine was in the Oval Office saying, “I’m just going to call it the ‘Platinum Plan.’ N****s love platinum!”
Then there’s Trump’s claim that he’s the Pumpkin Patch king of HBCU funding.
In January (2020), Trump baffled HBCU leaders when he claimed he saved their institutions by signing bipartisan legislation that included annual funding for historically Black colleges and universities.
The bill is a 10-year renewal of funding. During Obama’s eight years in office, mandatory HBCU funding ranged from almost $80 million to $85 million per year. The same has been true during Trump’s administration.
Other than that, all Trump has done is shout down Black Lives Matter, derail any and all attempts at criminal justice and police reform, and block businesses from including racial sensitivity training because he thought it was “racist” against white people.
Meanwhile, it’s doubtful that Herschel Walker can even name the last four presidents without a cheat sheet, let alone calculate their combined efforts to help Black people.