Donald Trump has been spreading lies about the current condition of black Americans. In several recent campaign speeches, Trump has described the lives of American blacks as horrific and “in the worst shape they’ve ever been in before.” Recent data, however, shows that Trump’s claim is a flat out lie.
A recent example of Trump’s hyperbole about the lives of American blacks came Tuesday evening at a campaign event in North Carolina. “Our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape that they’ve ever been in before, ever, ever, ever,” he said. “You get no education, you get no jobs, you get shot walking down the street.”
It is absolutely true that black Americans have to deal with ingrained social and cultural racism in the US (as reflected in higher unemployment, lower incomes, higher arrest and incarceration rates, etc.). But the truth is that things are actually slowly getting better for blacks, not worse as Trump claims.
Take education, for example. Based on recent US Census data, 87.1% of black Americans over the age of 25 had four years of high school in 2015, a big increase from 2003 when the percentage was 80%. The same trend can be seen with college education: 22.7% of black Americans had a college education in 2015, up from 17.5% in 2003.
Incomes for black Americans have also improved over the last couple of decades. Moreover, even though they are still way too high relative to percent of population, arrest and incarceration rates for blacks in the US have dipped slightly over the last seven or eight years.
Source: Think Progress
Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr