Good morning and welcome to another agonizing edition of “Who will Donald Trump scold on Twitter today?”
Rise and shine, Jay-Z! Yes, on the morning of the Grammy awards, one of the greatest rappers alive — also Beyoncé’s husband — is Trump’s next Twitter target.
Somebody please inform Jay-Z that because of my policies, Black Unemployment has just been reported to be at the LOWEST RATE EVER RECORDED!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 28, 2018
“Somebody please inform Jay-Z that because of my policies, Black Unemployment has just been reported to be at the LOWEST RATE EVER RECORDED!” Trump tweeted at the rapper Sunday morning after learning Jay-Z discussed his thoughts on politics and racism on CNN Saturday night.
You might want to have some coffee in hand to hear about this one. It’s a doozy.
On Saturday night, CNN aired Jay-Z’s interview with commentator Van Jones for the debut of his new program, The Van Jones Show. The rapper talked about everything from the #MeToo movement to Trump’s comments about “shithole countries.” Despite the president’s stated mistrust of and hatred for CNN, Trump clearly heard Jay’s powerful words.
(Fox News told him.)
“Everyone feels anger, but after the anger it’s really hurtful because he’s looking down on a whole population of people and he’s so misinformed because these places have beautiful people,” Jay-Z told Van Jones.
Jay-Z criticizes President Trump’s vulgar comment about African nations: “It’s really hurtful because he’s looking down on a whole population of people and he’s so misinformed because these places have beautiful people” https://t.co/CcD4iuVHAP pic.twitter.com/hFwaFRQZOM
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 27, 2018
Earlier this month The Washington Post reported that Trump allegedly asked lawmakers, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” during a White House discussion on America’s immigration deal.
Facing extreme backlash, Trump denied ever making the controversial comment. Then he singled out a black entertainer — something he’s totally never done before, right? — who couched his criticism of the comment in what was, overall, a positive message.
The rapper on Trump and racism today
The world’s got far more than “99 Problems,” but Jay-Z feels Trump’s a huge one.
The rapper went on to explain that Trump’s “shithole” comment reveals how prevalent racism is in today’s society, and exposes how public figures can change when talking behind closed doors.
“There was a moment when Donald Sterling had been exposed as this racist on a private phone conversation that he was having and they took his team from him,” Jay-Z said, recalling the actions of the former Los Angeles Clippers owner back in 2014 that got him banned from the NBA.
“And it’s like, OK, that’s one way to do it. But another way would have been, let him have his team and then let’s talk about it together. Maybe some penalties. Because once you do that, all the other closet racists just run back in the hole. You haven’t fixed anything. What you’ve done was spray perfume on a trash can,” Jay-Z went on, explaining that often what’s lacking in responses to racist actions is meaningful discussion.
Sticking with the smelly trash bag as a metaphor for racism, Jay said the more you spray it to make it acceptable rather than taking it out, the more bugs it attracts. “…Then you create a superbug. And then now we have Donald Trump, the superbug.”
“Donald Trump is a human being, too,” he added. “Somewhere along his lineage something happened to him … and he’s in pain and he’s expressing it in this sort of way.”
Trump has a nasty habit of singling out people of color
Trump doesn’t always publicly come for private citizens, but when he does, oftentimes they’re people of color.
To name a few, we’ve seen him insult black NFL stars like Colin Kaepernick for participating National Anthem protests, suggesting they should be fired, NBA star Steph Curry for not wanting to attend the White House, and ESPN anchor Jamele Hill who once called Trump a white supremacist.
Let’s also not forget LaVar Ball, who Trump labeled an “ungrateful fool.”
It wasn’t the White House, it wasn’t the State Department, it wasn’t father LaVar’s so-called people on the ground in China that got his son out of a long term prison sentence – IT WAS ME. Too bad! LaVar is just a poor man’s version of Don King, but without the hair. Just think..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2017
…LaVar, you could have spent the next 5 to 10 years during Thanksgiving with your son in China, but no NBA contract to support you. But remember LaVar, shoplifting is NOT a little thing. It’s a really big deal, especially in China. Ungrateful fool!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2017
Trump often says he’s the “least racist” person, but in the past has tweeted about a bunch of other things and people he thinks could truly be racists. On that list includes black men such as former president Barack Obama, TV journalist and sportscaster Bryant Gumbel, talk show host Tavis Smiley, and writer Touré.
Many were also quick to note that Trump responded to Jay-Z’s comments about him, but when Eminem, a white rapper, brutally dragged him in the bars of a four-minute freestyle rap, he said nothing.
Unemployment stats aren’t the solution, Trump
Van Jones went on to ask Jay-Z if it’s acceptable for Trump “to say terrible things but put money in our pockets,” in reference to Trump bragging that unemployment for African-Americans has dropped (which was only part of the truth).
“…it’s not about money at the end of the day. Money doesn’t equate to happiness. It doesn’t. That’s missing the whole point,” the rapper said.
“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.”