President Donald Trump has once again triggered a massive backlash for calling out Jay-Z on Twitter saying someone should tell the rapper that black unemployment is at the “lowest rate ever recorded”. The president’s post came after Jay-Z discussed politics, racism and black unemployment in America with CNN’s Van Jones on Saturday (27 January).
During the interview on The Van Jones Show, Jay-Z talked about Trump’s recent reported reference to Haiti and other African nations as “shithole countries” and called the president’s remarks “disappointing” and “really hurtful”.
“It really is hurtful,” Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, said. “Everyone feels anger but after the anger, it’s real hurtful. Because it’s looking down at a whole population of people, and it’s so misinformed because these places have beautiful people and beautiful everything. This is the leader of the free world speaking like this.
“But on the other side, this has been going on. This is how people talk. This is how they talk behind closed doors.”
Trump triggered extreme outrage and criticism over his reported remarks during a bipartisan meeting with lawmakers over immigration with many critics citing it as evidence that he is racist. The president has dismissed the claims saying he is the “least racist person”.
Discussing racism in the US, Jay-Z continued: “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.”
Later in the interview, Van Jones questioned Jay-Z if it is okay for Trump “to say terrible things but put money in our pockets” and keep improving the economy.
“No, because it’s not about money at the end of the day”, Jay-Z said. “Money doesn’t equate to happiness. It doesn’t. That’s missing the whole point. You treat people like human beings. That’s the main point.
“It goes back to the whole thing — ‘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. Everyone’s going to be sick.
The African-American unemployment rate of 6.8% has been the lowest on record since the US Bureau of Labour Statistics first began tracking it in 1972. However, experts say the trend started much before Trump took office in January 2017.
On Sunday, Trump took to Twitter to hit back at Jay-Z over his comments during the interview.
Social media users immediately slammed the president for taking credit for the low unemployment rates. Others questioned why Trump chose to immediately take on Jay-Z less than a day after his remarks but failed to call out Eminem over his own fiery, months-long criticism of the president.
In October last year, Eminem’s freestyle rap titled The Storm that directly and sharply criticised Trump immediately went viral. In a recent interview with Billboard, Eminem – whose real name is Marshall Mathers III – said “a f**king turd” would have been better as a president.”
Trump has yet to respond to Eminem’s comments.
“Trump ignores Eminem’s diss track, but responds immediately to Jay-Z’s criticism. Wonder what the difference is,” one Twitter user wrote.
Van Jones also shot back at the president saying: “Someone needs to inform @realdonaldtrump that I ALREADY asked Jay Z whether black employment figures redeem Trump’s presidency. And Jay’s answer last night on the #VanJonesShow was POWERFUL !!!”
“Black unemployment was cut in half during President Obama’s administration and has gone down for 6 years straight. Somehow, Trump wants credit for what he inherited,” one Twitter user added.