Is Trump Right? Are Things Worse Than “Ever, Ever, Ever” For African Americans?

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Donald Trump is going hard for the black vote, although his assertion that all African Americans are living in some sort of deprived, dystopian and violent world seems a bit of a stretch.

Speaking at an event in North Carolina this week, Trump asserted:

“Our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape that they’ve ever been in before, ever, ever, ever. You get no education, you get no jobs, you get shot walking down the street.”

Perhaps Donald’s view of black America is skewed from watching too many episodes of The Wire or listening to Trap?

While there are certainly inequalities between the races in America, the statistics certainly show that Trump’s views don’t add up…

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Education:

When it comes to education, statistics show that the number of black people over 25 with four or more years of high school was at 87.1% in 2015 – a rise from the 80% shown in 2003. There has been an increase in those with four years of college education too – up to 22.7% in 2015 from 2003’s 17.5%.

So, Trump was wrong about that, but how about black people having “no jobs?”

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Employment:

Actually, African American unemployment stands at 8.1%, which is disconcertingly twice that of white Americans at 4.4%.

However, black unemployment stood at 16.8% in 2010 and 21.2% in 1983 – so is certainly not the worst it has ever been.

Indeed, figures show that black unemployment is better than it has been for years, where it was in the double-digits right back to 1972! Employment figures also make a mockery of Trump’s claims, with 18 million African Americans having jobs, compared to just 7.6 million in 1972.

As for poverty, again the figures show a disparity between black and white Americans, with poverty among blacks at 24.1% as opposed to 9.1% for whites. Despite this disparity, the number of black people in poverty is still the lowest it has been in a decade – and much better than the 35.7% in 1983, 41.8% in 1966, or 55.1% in 1959.

And how about the violence that Trump says African Americans face?

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Crime:

There is no doubt that in the short term there has been a spike in murder rates in some cities this year (such as Chicago), but others have seen a decline. While these short term figures are hard to draw solid conclusions from, the longer term data actually shows a decline in violent crime. In fact, violent crimes are down by half over the last ten years, while last year’s murder rate was at a 33-year low.

OK, so things aren’t perfect but it seems, for Donald Trump at least, rhetoric is more important than facts – don’t believe the hype!

 

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Photo Credit: AP / GABC / Campuslately / YouTube

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