Updated 2:30 p.m. EDT, January 28, 2018
President Donald Trump fired back at Jay-Z on Sunday for the rapper’s criticism of his racist comments about Black immigrants from Africa and Haiti. The president didn’t deny his hateful words but again claimed credit for the declining African-American unemployment rate. However, as some economic analysts have noted, a combination of President Barack Obama‘s policies, which ended the recession, and low interest rates set the stage for the decline.
Jay-Z condemned President Donald Trump’s “sh-thole countries” remark about Africa and Haiti in an interview Saturday on CNN. Some people took to Twitter and criticized the music mogul as an inappropriate messenger, overlooking the message and influence of his voice.
“After the anger it’s really hurtful because he’s like looking down on a whole population of people, and you’re so misinformed because these places have beautiful people. This is the leader of the free world speaking like this,” Jay-Z said on the debut of Van Jones’ program, adding that “closet racists” speak in those terms “behind closed doors.”
The president was in a meeting with lawmakers earlier this month on U.S. immigration policies when he reportedly made the comment, adding that he would prefer immigrants from nations like Norway instead of Haiti and the African continent. It was another racist remark in a long list of the president’s offensive statements that are piling up and no one is seriously addressing.
“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. Then now we have Donald Trump, the superbug,” the rapper stated.
Some people missed the point of Jay-Z’s message and disparaged him on Twitter. They pointed to lyrics in the rapper’s songs in which he uses language that’s just as foul as the language Trump used. Others brought up his past involvement in drug dealing while growing up in one of the toughest neighborhoods in Brooklyn.
Those people missed the truth that Jay-Z spoke. While many others have delivered that same message, Jay-Z’s voice reaches an audience of young fans–Black and White–who have likely tuned out the president. As half of a Back power couple, the rapper’s rebuke of Trump carries weight.