There is no systemic racism in the United States according to Trump's top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, a man who should know better than most people that our entire economy is fundamentally and structurally racist.
Kudlow spoke to reporters outside the White House yesterday where he made the declaration.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow says there is no systemic racism in the U.S. pic.twitter.com/MvrkBdiO7c
— Reuters (@Reuters) June 11, 2020
I'm not just here to say that Kudlow is obviously wrong.
It matters that Trump's top economic adviser does not acknowledge the existence of systemic racism because that means his solutions to our problems will likely reinforce racist systems. It means Kudlow will give bad advice with clear blind spots to the "president" of the United States.
This isn't theoretical and, in fact, we can see this playing out in practice right now.
Trump and his advisers at the White House including Kudlow have said a spattering of better than expected headlines is proof that we don't need another stimulus bill and they've loudly opposed helping cities and states plug holes in the budgets, but the latter is leading directly to racial economic disparity.
The Labor Department's latest jobs report -- the one that Kudlow himself lit his hair on fire for -- shows that white unemployment declined while black unemployment increased. That's primarily because local governments, which employ a higher percentage of black Americans, have cut 1.5 million jobs since the pandemic began and they're not done cutting.
States are going to start hitting hard budget caps in the coming weeks and that could lead to even more layoffs for black workers.
“The last thing we need right now is for unemployment to go any higher,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said during a POLITICO Playbook event on Tuesday. Absent cash assistance from the federal government, which the state will need as early as next month, educators, firefighters and EMS workers might be laid off, he said.
“These layoffs are happening as we speak,” Murphy said. “It’s not theoretical.”
Many of these municipal and state layoffs are disproportionately affecting black Americans, adding pressure on Congress to act as protests over racism and police brutality roil the country. The public sector employs a higher proportion of black workers than other U.S. industries do, and its decline explains in part Friday’s jobs report, which showed that while the unemployment rate declined overall, it continued to tick upward for black workers.
I say that Larry Kudlow 'should know better than most people' that systemic racism exists because he is ostensibly an economist.
Systemic racism is at its most visible in the hard numbers of economics and the numbers tell us that wide, cavernous disparities in disposable income, net worth, liquidity, ownership -- and everything in between -- exist along racial lines.
An economic adviser who doesn't see racism is an adviser who would tell you that everything is fine now because stocks are up.
Few Americans directly own stock and even fewer black Americans do.