Millions of Americans tuned in to the first State of the Union address of the decade last night. And to no one’s surprise, it was all over the place despite the fact that the address took place one day before President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial hearing. During the address, President Trump emphasized the importance of the 2020 presidential election — and of course, his re-election — unemployment rates, healthcare, and displayed blatant disregard to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
The SOTU was also full of surprises-–sort of like a variety show—where he gave Rush Limbaugh a medal, reunited a military family, recognized a Tuskegee Airman and inducted his great-grandson into the space force, and gave a fourth-grader from Philadelphia an educational scholarship to the school of her choice.
And when it came down to business, a number of facts and figures that he shared from the podium were incorrect.
Here are some of the key takeaways, myths, and facts that have been corrected from the State of the Union.
The unemployment rate doesn’t reflect access to the workforce for blacks in America.
Trump: President Trump claimed that the economy is progressively moving forward. What he failed to mention and realize is that the U.S. economy grew 2.3% last year, matching the average rate over the last 10 years — which falls short of the 3% growth target set by Trump and his advisers. He also missed the mark when he said, “The unemployment rate for African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans has reached the lowest levels in history.”
Fact: According to a study conducted by the Economic Policy Institute, “Even with a historically low average annual black unemployment rate of 6.1% in 2019, black workers are twice as likely to be unemployed as white workers overall and are more likely to be unemployed than white workers at every education level. Only black workers with some college or more education have an unemployment rate lower than the overall unemployment rate of white workers.”
Degrees aren’t created equally.
Trump: “The next step forward in building an inclusive society is making sure that every young American gets a great education and the opportunity to achieve the American dream.”
Fact: Black college graduates are underemployed despite their skillsets and their college degrees.
Trump: “Over 130 legislators in this chamber have endorsed legislation that would bankrupt our nation by providing free taxpayer-funded health care to millions of illegal aliens, forcing taxpayers to subsidize free care for anyone in the world who unlawfully crosses our borders. These proposals would raid the Medicare benefits of our seniors and that our seniors depend on, while acting as a powerful lure for illegal immigration. That is what is happening in California and other states. Their systems are totally out of control, costing taxpayers vast and unaffordable amounts of money. If forcing American taxpayers to provide free unlimited health care to illegal aliens sounds fair to you, then stand with the radical left, but if you believe we should defend American patients and American seniors, then stand with me and pass legislation to prohibit free government health care for illegal aliens.”
Fact: Immigrants are humans who have medical needs. There are many undocumented immigrants who are uninsured.
Take a look at some of the reactions from last night’s address:
Speaker Pelosi ripped #SOTU address when it ended 👀
I’m Just Nancy Ripper from the Block
The Notorious R.I.P.
N Rippy#NancytheRipper #ImpeachmentDay #MadamSpeaker pic.twitter.com/oEWjliuT68
— CLEO TV (@mycleotv) February 5, 2020
“As a speechwriter, I’m in mourning for what I saw tonight,” Cody Keenan, chief speechwriter for fmr. President Obama, says of President Trump’s #SOTU address. “There was no story to it… no sense of where we are in the broader sweep of American history.” https://t.co/5hebFVd2bj
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) February 5, 2020
Trump: READ THE TRANSCRIPT!
Pelosi: RIP THE TRANSCRIPT!
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) February 5, 2020
Just so utterly disgraceful. https://t.co/5R5pwyFygQ
— Sherrilyn Ifill (@Sifill_LDF) February 5, 2020
During a post #SOTU segment on CNN, @Bakari_Sellers said he believes’ @realDonaldTrump‘s Super Bowl ad about criminal justice reform featuring Alice Johnson was the “I freed a negro ad.” pic.twitter.com/8L0bqgJZ3V
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) February 5, 2020
— Jimmy Kimmel Live (@JimmyKimmelLive) February 5, 2020
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The ideas and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author’s and not necessarily the opinion of Black Enterprise.