MSNBC host Rev. Al Sharpton grilled conservative commentator Carrie Sheffield over her claims that President Donald Trump’s policies are bettering the Black American community in a debate that quickly went downhill.
During a recent appearance on Sharpton’s show, Sheffield argued it was Trump’s tax bill and regulatory reforms that resulted in record-low unemployment among blacks. Although she acknowledged the downward trend began under ex-POTUS Barack Obama, Sheffield insisted Trump’s policies deserved the credit.
Sharpton quickly butted in, pointing out that neither regulatory laws nor the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act were specifically geared toward helping African-Americans. He proceeded to press his guest on the specific steps Trump has taken to aid the Black community.
“You’ve got to tell me how he deals concretely, what he has done in terms of fanning the flames,” Sharpton said. “That was the question. I’d like you to address the question, not who he invited to the White House.”
Sheffield proceeded to rattle off a list of ways the president has reportedly helped the Black community, pointing to his recent Black History Month speech and how Black Americans are are better off now thanks to Trump’s “landmark” criminal justice reform bill.
Comedian Pete Dominick, who was also on the panel, highlighted that the bill was previously attempted by Obama but the Republicans refused to pass it.
“The Republicans wouldn’t pass it when Obama was there,” Dominick chimed in. “I mean, he’s a white supremacist. The president of the United States is by his own words and policies.”
Sheffield disagreed, but Dominick wouldn’t let up.
He added: “How can you go up against the vast majority of Black folks in polls, in public opinion? You sit here and talk about this man. But then you deny the voice of black opinion. His policies don’t apply to black people, why don’t they?”
Sheffield then argued that Trump’s approval rating among Black Americans is on the rise, citing research by a Wall Street Journal reporter that allegedly quoted the NAACP putting Trump’s approval rating among Black voters at 21 percent. However, Sharpton wasn’t buying it.
“The NAACP doesn’t do polling like that,” he said, cutting her off. “Let’s deal with the issues. Where is [Trump’s] specific policy — not that if the rest of the country moves up you just happen to move up with everybody else — what is the specific policies he will deal with in terms of racial inequality?”
An intense debate took place from there.