Roland Martin held a “The Real State Of Our Union” event, in partnership with the NAACP, at the Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday night. Martin and guest speakers, including NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson and Rev. William Barber, recognized that Trump’s State Of the Union, also taking place in D.C. just down the street from Shiloh, would be filled with more “fake news.” Their “Real” SOTU was resistance at its finest. Check this out:
There were many highlights and important statements, but let’s take a look at a few moments where a few of the several rotating panelists directly confronted Trump’s racism and ill-fated policies. Here are our top 3 clapbacks from Martin and guests:
- Trump’s Black unemployment sales pitch: Ahead of the SOTU, there was much talk about Trump addressing the economy and continuing to tout that his policies had led to Black unemployment reaching its lowest level. Martin brought in Dr. William Spriggs, an Economics professor and former chair of that department at Howard University as well as a respected Black economist, to dispell this myth. Spriggs began by saying that the economy began expanding in 2010. “It started in 2010, not after election day in 2016,” Martin loudly announced to the audience to expose that lie. “So six years [this happened] when [Barack] Obama was president.” To be clear, Obama “left [Trump] with the lowest Black unemployment rate than any president had ever inherited,” Spriggs clarified in an eye-opening point.
- Trump’s Birther mess: “Somebody kept claiming he wasn’t president because he wasn’t born,” Spriggs said in reference to Obama being the nation’s former leader. Isn’t it obvious who that somebody is? “This would be the rooster claiming that made the sunrise because they were crowing,” Spriggs said to finish his clapback.
- Trump’s weapon of division: The president rambled to reporters during a luncheon on Tuesday ahead of the SOTU that he wanted to “unite” the country and stop a “divisiveness” that had been going on “for years,” Martin said. In response to that, Kristen Clarke, executive director for the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, gave an impassioned response on how the president has managed to completely divide folks across racial and more lines. “In every respect with President Trump, his words, his actions, his policies, his appointments, in every respect in the first year of the Trump administration, all we’ve seen is politics of division. I think there’s been no president in recent years that has done more to divide our country along lines of race, along lines of gender, LGBT status, you name it…” The administration has “taken our country back decades.” Didn’t Clarke hit the point on the head? Perhaps Trump forgot how he approved White supremacy when Charlottesville happened in August. “It’s hard not to chase the racial animus back to this White House,” Clarke added.
Barber, leader of the Moral Mondays Movement and Poor People’s Campaign, gave an inspiring speech that was right on the money and matched the tone for the night. One of his standout quotes was “Trump is a symptom of a moral malady.”
Martin also announced Tuesday the launch of his live daily show,
#RolandMartinUnfiltered, which will stream on several mobile platforms starting in April. His show most likely will be a huge vehicle in inspiring the Black voting bloc to show up and show out at the midterm election in November, a chance to bring the nation back from “lies and recrimination.”
Right now, Black folks can bask in the glory of resistance, thanking Martin for playing a part in that.