How Obama Coulda Helped Black People Better, As Told By Trump Supporters

According to many conservatives, President Obama was an absolute disaster for black people. Curiously, the vast majority of the people saying this also happen to be not black. However, they rarely get into the specifics of this -- usually noting that they totally never even heard about racism existing until Obama became president, and that he basically forced white people to become racist, somehow, by acknowledging that racism exists.

Conveniently, someone on the AskTrumpSupporters subreddit asked the question "I hear Trump supporters often say that Obama did nothing for black people. What should he have done?" and the answers were pretty interesting! Boy, have they ever have got some ideas over there! Let's check them out!

He could have lowered the minimum wage so they'd be free to work for less!

Obama could have lowered minimum wage / prevented it from rising, in order to help people (not just blacks). You may not be happy about this answer or the statistics that are implied, but you need a first job in order to get a higher paying second job.

Minimum wage in the US was first introduced after the civil war. Blacks were willing to work for less. Minimum wage laws were advocated to prevent blacks from getting jobs. If you had to pay double for a worker, you might as well get someone who had more skills, like the ability to read. (Blacks were not allowed to learn to read at that time.)

It's similar today as well. With 30% of black men having been / will be in jail in their lifetime, you might as well hire someone else if you're forced to pay more.

Trump wants to prevent the federal minimum wage laws from rising. It would be politically damaging for him to say he wants to remove them, but it's something I think he would do if there was no backlash. This will help many teenagers and first time workers get their first job.

Yes, that is definitely some real good history right there. 1938 -- the first year there was a national minimum wage -- was indeed right after the Civil War, and it was totally illegal for black people to learn to read at this time.

The theory promoted by Trump supporters in this thread is largely that if the minimum wage is lowered, then employers will be more willing to "take a chance" on people if they only have to pay them a dollar an hour, at which point the person will learn skills and then get a better paying job from that. Like magic! Why doesn't this happen with the current minimum wage? No one knows! It is a mystery! It's almost like in order to survive on even the current minimum wage, people would have to work two full time jobs, which really doesn't leave a lot of time for interviewing at all those places looking to hire people whose primary work experience is working at a fast food restaurant.

This also assumes that all people who are unemployed are willing to take a job for a dollar an hour, that all employers are hiring fewer people than they need, that it would even be possible for someone to get to and from work if they were only paid a dollar an hour, and that our economy could function with people making $40 a week. If my only option was a job that paid $40 a week, I would turn to a life of crime and have no moral quandaries about it whatsoever. We don't actually have a dearth of minimum wage jobs in this country so much as we have a dearth of jobs that pay wages that people can actually survive on. Duh.

Would this help black people? No, I'm pretty sure it would not help anyone. Literally no one is out there going "Gee, if only an employer was allowed to hire me for less than $7.25 an hour, then I would be able to get a job and get my life on track." Black people are not trying to work for a dollar an hour anymore than white people are.

Get rid of the social safety net, and have more guns!

First of all, Its not just about helping just blacks, its about helping AMERICANS as a whole, wether you are black white hispanic whatever. Anyway, I live in an area where there is a LOT of blacks so i know from my observations of my community that hardly anything has changed for the good since obama has been in office. There is still hardly any jobs, drugs are still rampant, its the same old shit. What Obama should have done was cut government assistance and focused more on the schools and jobs. The schools here are a failure and there is hardly any jobs. From my observations government assistance has made a majority of the blacks in my community reliant on the government for most of their needs. Its an endless cycle that goes nowhere and if there was more jobs around and government assistance was cut they would be given the chance to be able to climb out of the hole. As for crime, i can say that gun free zones is a total failure. Cities that are gun free have more crime and homicides then cities that are pro gun. I know this from personal experience.

As for what trump can do for blacks? He has not said much about how he can help the black community, But he can create jobs and hopefully get gun free zones to go bye bye so blacks living in poor crime ridden communities can arm themselves and actually protect themselves from criminals. I can promise you that getting rid of gun free zones will reduce crime in these communities. As far as things besides that like schooling ect it comes down to a county and city level officials choice.

You've gotta love the theory that if we just get rid of the social safety net, all the people who don't have jobs will go and get jobs. Of course, most people receiving government benefits have jobs, they just don't have jobs that pay well enough to live on.

Oh! And the gun thing! Not actually true! Like, it is factually incorrect. Gun death rates are actually higher, when adjusted for population, in areas with less gun control.

For 2013, the 10 states with the highest firearm age-adjusted death rates were: Alaska (19.8), Louisiana (19.3), Mississippi (17.8), Alabama (17.6), Arkansas (16.8), Wyoming (16.7), Montana (16.7), Oklahoma (16.5), New Mexico (15.5) and Tennessee (15.4).

The 10 states with the lowest firearm age-adjusted death rates were, starting with the lowest: Hawaii (2.6), Massachusetts (3.1), New York (4.2), Connecticut (4.4), Rhode Island (5.3), New Jersey (5.7), New Hampshire (6.4), Minnesota (7.6), California (7.7) and Iowa (8.0).

And, just since they always love to cite Chicago in these things, since we have a lot of murders and gun laws, allow me to point out that we do not actually have anywhere near the highest murder rate in the country. In fact, we're 21st on the list. Far after many cities with far less strict gun control than we have.

According to the FBI figures, Flint, Mich., had the highest murder rate of any sizeable U.S. city in 2012, the most recent year available. There were 62 murders per 100,000 population (which, coincidentally, was just about Flint’s estimated population that year). Trailing Flint were Detroit (54.6 murders per 100,000), New Orleans (53.2 per 100,000) and Jackson, Miss., (35.8 per 100,000). Chicago, whose population is several times bigger than any of those cities, came in 21st, with 18.5 murders per 100,000 — nearly quadruple the national average, true, but still nowhere near the highest in the country. (It’s worth noting that New Orleans didn’t report data in 2005, the year Hurricane Katrina struck.)

WHOOPS. We're also 24th in violent crime.

So, yeah, I guess it "feels" like having fewer gun control laws might work, just so long as you only rely on your gut and not actual statistics.

He could have supported police instead of Black Lives Matter!

Support the police and help them crack down on inner city crime, rather than supporting the "fuck tha police" rhetoric of BLM. Innocent black people are much more likely to be killed by criminals (who may or may not be black) than by police. And when a criminal like Mike Brown gets shot by the cops, this is cause for celebration, not rioting.

Yes, surely this would be helpful! Police brutality is totally not a problem at all, so let's just ignore it because there are criminals out there who aren't even police officers! And as long as those criminals exist, you can't complain about police officers killing unarmed black people!

And yeah, President Obama really should not have been going around saying "Fuck the police" as he did so often. That was definitely a real thing that happened regularly throughout his administration.

In conclusion...

If Obama really cared about black people, he would have let them work for a dollar an hour as they so clearly want to do, he would have taken away the social safety net that prevents them from getting jobs somehow, and also he would have pretended that police brutality wasn't real. Which, weirdly, perfectly dovetails with the interests of people who would like to be able to pay people a dollar an hour to work, not pay taxes that help the poor, and would prefer to not have to hear about police brutality ever. So weird how that works!


Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse


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