Hyper-partisanship can be blamed for the success of fake news, some ruined relationships after Thanksgiving and chaotic election cycles.
Apparently, it also literally clouds the vision.
Newsmax TV host Wayne Allyn Root has called Donald J. Trump the first Black President of the United States.
And now for a relevant visual aid.
Ethan Miller via Getty Images; Leon Neal via Getty Images
Root made the now-controversial statement in the midst of an economic argument.
The host was attempting to point out that the Trump Administration's policies have benefited Black Americans more than any other administration ever has.
Newsmax host calls Donald Trump "the greatest Black president ever" and "the first Black president" https://t.co/brjDsvXfMU— Jason Campbell (@Jason Campbell)1582242456.0
His argument is anchored in one statistic: the low unemployment rate of Black people.
"The unemployment rate of black people 16 and older was 5.4% in August of 2019, the lowest rate in recorded history."
It's important to place that figure in context.
First, the "recorded history" Root boasts is less than 50 years. The unemployment rate only began to be monitored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 1972.
Also, the unemployment rate for all Americans during that same month (August 2019) was 3.9%. Black Americans were unemployed at a disproportionately higher rate than all other races.
And last, a single month of measured unemployment does not necessarily reflect the average.
For the entire 2019 year, the unemployment rate of Black people in the U.S. was 6.1%, quite a bit higher than every other race monitored, and quite a bit higher than the August figure Root selected.
That didn't stop Root from powering through, riding on the winds of his convenient stat.
He began with a third-person "told-you-so."
"I know only one person, Wayne Root, who wrote a column for Fox News in 2015 that said Trump would be 'the greatest black president ever.'
"You're gonna say I'm crazy, we know he's not black but you remember Bill Clinton was white and they called him 'the first black president.'"
She later partially walked that claim back when Barack Obama became the 44th President in 2008.
Wayne Allyn Root, though, was full steam ahead after noting his inspiration for the turn of phrase.
"So, I'm calling Trump 'the first Black president' because he's so good with money, he so good with the economy, he's so good with jobs and I think you'll find that once he is elected he will be the greatest president for Black Americans ever.
"So, Black people will come to love him and I said Latinos too and I've turned out to be the only person that was correct about that."
Right on cue, Twitter ignited into a hive of loudly vengeful responses, illustrating a simple and important standard held by the community: a statement does not get any better just because it references something from the past.
And that's especially true when the statement was problematic the first time around.
@JasonSCampbell https://t.co/fTLRZNPjD5— lilJimmy (Trump is still guilty) (@lilJimmy (Trump is still guilty))1582250383.0
@JasonSCampbell https://t.co/QU1Vh5RehV— MZ3 (@MZ3)1582313287.0
@JasonSCampbell “I’ll take, Something only a white man could say, for $500 Alex.”— Kenton Campbell, Jr. (@Kenton Campbell, Jr.)1582252691.0
@JasonSCampbell I guess orange really is the new black— Luke (@Luke)1582243440.0
A few came armed with history.
@JasonSCampbell I'm concerned about your lack of knowledge of US history. Lemme help. Here's a starting point for d… https://t.co/EC13iw13OY— Mike Green (@Mike Green)1582243419.0
@JasonSCampbell Everything is just full blown gaslighting now. FFS, Trump used to label apartment applications wit… https://t.co/yFYbPHaYrp— Speculawyer 🇳🇴-American (@Speculawyer 🇳🇴-American)1582245201.0
The unemployment rate for Black Americans in January 2020 was 6%, the highest of all monitored race groups in the United States.