By Raoul Lowery Contreras

While President Donald J. Trump has been President (since January 20, 2017) American Black and Hispanic communities have grown into   39% (or more) of the total American population; the Hispanic percentage is increasing daily and is much younger than the rest of the country. 

In an interview with AXIOS’ Jonathan Swann, President Trump claimed to “Have done more for the Black community” than any other President;  he has made the same claim about what he has done for Hispanics.

What has he done for Blacks and Hispanics? 

June Black unemployment was 15.4%. White unemployment in June was 10.1%, 5.3% lower than the Black rate. Hispanic/Latino unemployment was 14.5%, 0.9% lower than the Black rate and 4.4% higher than white unemployment. These numbers are substantially higher than a year ago due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Much lower numbers were reported in October 2019 ; in fact, then Black and Hispanic/Latino unemployment reached all-time lows. 

Caveat: President Trump’s end zone celebration isn’t warranted, however. Black and Hispanic historical record lows for unemployment are higher than that of whites and had been consistently going down since the 2008-2009 recession ended in June 2009. President Trump cannot put his name on the ten-year decline in unemployment experienced by all American workers, not just among Blacks and Hispanics.

Black unemployment is always higher than that of Hispanics, always; white unemployment is also lower than of Hispanics; always.

Is President Trump correct in stating that he has “done more for the Black community than any other President?” Well…

• President Abraham Lincoln’s election platform called for no expansion of slavery outside the states where slavery was legal in 1860. He went further and freed Black slaves; he sponsored the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution that formerly ended slavery and gave the vote and citizenship to former slaves. He signed public college education into law (Morrill Act) as well as land ownership for the poor (Homestead Act).

• President Franklin D. Roosevelt created federal agencies that hired Black workers during the Great Depression into agencies like the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), the Work Progress Administration (WPA); he opened the U.S. Army to larger Black enlistments, initiated officer training for Blacks and opened the all-white U.S. Marine Corps to Black enlistments in 1942 and allowed them in combat in 1944.

• President Harry S. Truman’s  Executive Order in 1948, eliminated segregation of Blacks in the military.

• President Dwight D. Eisenhower  used the U.S. Army and federalized National Guardsmen in 1957 to physically integrate schools in Arkansas by escorting court-ordered Black children into classrooms.

• President Lyndon Baines Johnson supported and signed the 1964 Civil Rights bill into law with help from the majority of Republican U.S. Senators. Only seven Republican senators voted against the bill. 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson supported and signed into law the Voter Rights Act of 1975.

• President Richard Nixon  integrated southern K-12 public schools that weren’t by Presidents Kennedy and Johnson.

Examination of the Trump Presidency cannot produce any Trump-supported legislation that compares in impact, legal and/or social, to integrating the United States military. Presidents Truman and Eisenhower eliminated the segregated U.S. military — if Blacks were even allowed to join, in the Marines, for example, — since 1775.

President Trump’s three and-a-half-years show some actions that have helped Blacks (criminal justice reform, for example) but none of those bills, actions, or programs can compare to the aforementioned actions of Presidents Lincoln, Roosevelt (FDR), Truman, Eisenhower, Johnson and/or Nixon. 

Blacks still suffer from discrimination, poor economics, not-so-equal education, lack of business ownership. It does not help that they have a U.S. President who, at 27 years of age, was President of a company that was the largest landlord nailed by the U.S. Government for criminal housing discrimination against Blacks and Puerto Ricans. 

His father (Fred) named Donald the family company president just in time to be nailed by the Republican Richard Nixon/Gerald Ford Department of Justice for criminally discriminating against Blacks. Was he guilty? He settled the case costing the company millions and control of company rental applications for 14,000 apartments.