Following President Donald Trump’s MLK Day tweet boasting about his economic record, the eldest son of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. responded saying “someone is being killed” every day in communities of color and poor areas.
Martin Luther King III told CNN on Martin Luther King Jr. Day that he questioned whether President Trump’s claims about his economic achievements were “documented and true.”
The human rights activist also argued that America would see “violence decrease” and the African American community living in “a different way” if it was as well off as the president suggested.
In an MLK Day message to his 71 million followers, President Trump tweeted: “It was exactly three years ago today, January 20, 2017, that I was sworn into office. So appropriate that today is also MLK jr DAY.
“African-American Unemployment is the LOWEST in the history of our Country, by far. Also, best Poverty, Youth, and Employment numbers, ever. Great!”
Asked for his reaction to the tweet on CNN, King III said: “I think they’re always good words, but the question is: Is it actually documented and true?
“When I travel around the country, between the ages of 18 and 30 years old, African American unemployment rates are 40, 50 and 60 percent in some communities.
“If we were as well-off as being stated, you would see violence decreased. You would see a community exist in more of a different way.
“But every day, somewhere around this nation, particularly in communities of color, someone is being killed. In poor communities someone is being killed.
“More and more people are living on the streets in a trillion-dollar economy. A nation with trillions of dollars of economy, we have the audacity to have homeless people. That is unacceptable.”
Speaking about President Trump’s tweet again, King III added: “I think it’s great to say that, but I don’t know that it is accurate.”
Newsweek has contacted the White House for comment and will update this article with any response.
President Trump has overseen a fall in unemployment since taking office, with U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures showing just 3.5 percent of the population was jobless in December 2019—the lowest unemployment rate since 1969.
Unemployment among black Americans also fell to a record low in August last year, CNN Business reported, noting that the African American joblessness rate was at 5.5 percent.
The overall poverty rate in the U.S. has also fallen by 0.9 points since President Trump took office, according to FactCheck.org numbers.
National Alliance to End Homelessness research using Department of Housing and Urban Development data found that more than half a million people experienced homelessness on a single night in 2018, with the overall number increasing marginally under the Trump administration.
The non-profit also said 40 percent of the U.S. homeless population were African Americans in 2018, despite making up 13 percent of the overall population.