HomeAsian AmericansWhite House denies systemic racism while Trump calls COVID-19 "China plague"

White House denies systemic racism while Trump calls COVID-19 “China plague”

Numerous Trump administration officials Sunday denied the existence of systemic racism despite the death of George Floyd, reports Newsweek.

“I do not think that we have a systemic racism problem with law enforcement officers across this country,” acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said on ABC News’ This Week. “Do I acknowledge that there are some law enforcement officers who abuse their job? Yes. And again, we need to hold those accountable.”

Attorney General William Barr says he understands the distrust many African Americans feel on CBS’s Face the Nation, but says progress has been made.

“I think there’s racism in the United States still, but I don’t think that the law enforcement system is systemically racist,” Barr said.

On Friday, Trump said a stronger economy would be the greatest cure for racism in this country.

“What’s happened to our country, and what you now see — what’s been happening — is the greatest thing that can happen toward race relations, toward the African American community, the Asian American, the Hispanic American community, for women, for everything,” Trump said.

He also fell back on bad habits, calling the coronavirus the “China plague,” according to NBC News.

“When we had our tremendous numbers … just prior to the China plague that floated in, we had numbers, the best in history, for African American, for Hispanic American, for Asian American, and for everybody,” he said.

His administration’s use of the terms China virus, the Chinese virus, the Wuhan Plague and even kung flu have been blamed for the spike of anti-Asian violence and xenophobia sweeping the country.

Trump raised the victory flag Friday pointing to numbers which showed unemployment nationwide had dropped to 13.3 percent in May from 14.7 percent in April. What he didn’t mention was that unemployment among Asian American spiked half a percent to 15 percent in May while Black unemployment ticked up 0.1 percent to 16.7 percent.

Also today, Newsweek reported an error in calculating those numbers. Our overall unemployment numbers would have been 3 percent higher if furloughed workers were not mistakenly classified as employed but not at work. The same mistake also happened in April. No word on what caused the mistake.

Trump has so far not addressed the nation about the current unrest in the country, but The Hill reports he is now considering a speech on race and unity. The speech would be a response to criticism Trump received when he said “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” a racist phrase used during the civil rights protests of the 60’s.

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