White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow doubled down on his denial that systemic racism exists by mentioning former President Barack Obama’s two-term presidency, during an interview on CNBC Monday.
Last week, Kudlow told reporters at the White House that he “does not believe there is systemic racism in the U.S.” when asked about the country’s black unemployment rate. According to the Labor Department, black unemployment in the U.S. went from a record low of 5.8% in February to 16.8% in May amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kudlow’s denial of systemic racism came on the heels of several Trump administration officials — which include White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, acting Homeland Security Sec. Chad Wolf, Attorney General Bill Barr, and Housing and Urban Development Sec. Ben Carson — expressing the same view recently as protests against police brutality mounted in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
On Monday afternoon, Kudlow echoed his denial on CNBC when pressed on economic data showing how racial inequality has been exacerbated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Well I don’t believe in systemic racism,” Kudlow said. “I think the American system is the best system ever devised for mankind, for history. We are liberty, we are equality, we are fairness, we have come a long way in this country.”
Kudlow said that although “there are some people who may be racist” and that there are “some bad apples” in police forces, he believes that “folks have good hearts in this country” and that they “do not work in the basis of discrimination.”
Kudlow then attempted to bolster his argument by mentioning how Obama gained the support of white voters.
“Here’s a thought: President Obama, the first black president, was elected twice, and he got 79 million white votes — 79 million in two elections,” Kudlow said. “Now therefore I find it hard to understand something called ‘systemic racism.’”
Kudlow added that he “absolutely” thinks that changes can be made and that the President will issue an executive order “soon” on police reform.
Watch Kudlow’s remarks below:
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