The president was apparently so desperate for support for his beloved border wall, he decided to try to appeal to two core demographics that he’s routinely disrespected: Blacks and Hispanics. It was a transparently sad attempt to make good on an undeliverable campaign promise that has resulted in about 800,000 federal workers being held for hostage going on three weeks now.
Trump took to the prime time airwaves Tuesday night to plead his feigned innocence over shutting down the government while also trying to prey on xenophobic fears that he called “a growing humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border.”
The nine-minute long speech had barely begun before he tried to falsely show how even Black and brown folks were concerned about immigration partly because they were losing out on earning money.
“[A]ll Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal migration. It strains public resources and drives down jobs and wages,” he said from behind his desk. “Among those hardest hit are African-Americans and Hispanic Americans.”
Regardless of the accuracy (or lack thereof) of that statement, “African-Americans and Hispanic Americans” are precisely the same people who Trump has routinely tried to criminalize in order to stoke the flames of xenophobic fear. That same fire was raging when Trump referred to white nationalist Nazis who assaulted Black people in Charlottesville as “fine people.” And it was all but kindled when he declared his candidacy for president by falsely accusing Mexicans of “bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists and some, I assume, are good people.”
And so it would follow that to absolutely no one’s surprise, the president during his speech Tuesday night exaggerated the threat of illegal immigration driving down jobs and wages, according to NPR, which fact-checked Trump’s speech.
“As for the president’s claim that illegal immigrants drain public resources,” NPR wrote in part, “many studies have concluded that while illegal immigrants may also drive up the cost of government services in some places, they also make up for it by paying taxes.”
To be completely clear, Black people aren’t worried as much about undocumented immigrants as they are worried about the growing white nationalism that has been fueling the spate of rising hate crimes. That trend that can be traced directly back to the election and presidency of Trump, who had a lot of nerve trying to use Black and brown communities to justify his false data points.
In short, Black folks have bigger fish to fry.
What “TelePromopter Trump” conveniently left out of his speech was how there were also Black immigrants legally in America who were suffering because of the president’s irrational immigration policies that could send tens of thousands of Haitians back to a country ill-equipped to handle such an influx of people after by a series of devastating earthquakes and consequent disease.
Watch the full speech below.
While Trump’s speech was brief, the social media reactions were anything but that after Trump used “African-Americans and Hispanic Americans” in a futile attempt to secure taxpayer funding to build a wall he always said Mexico would foot the bill for.
Oval Office #PresidentialAddress #TrumpAddress Schumer Nancy #TrumpAddress #cnn #msnbc #Foxnews— @ Black Jesus com (@BlackJesuscom) January 9, 2019
Never a honest discussion about who the real threat is.
"Crickets from Trump Republicans." pic.twitter.com/CXFK37gSxW
Shoutout to all the Black/DoS & Latinx people who didn't fall for the Trump (via Stephen Miller) hateful attempt to racebait our communities against one another in the #TrumpAddress. We are not communities to be pitted as the scapegoats to the other like we are a band of fools. pic.twitter.com/1ZwNBecqvO— Ash1a A (@Ashia86) January 9, 2019
@realDonaldTrump #PresidentialAddress he said that the migration is driving down jobs for Black and Hispanic American. What, huh, what jobs are they taking away! Oh that’s right sir’ we ought to get back in them ther fields and shuffle our feet. 🤡💩seat yo a$$ down pic.twitter.com/8Z70Oixvkj— Ha Dugan to ur face (@Fuzzybd2O) January 9, 2019