WASHINGTON—In a speech to young black supporters, President Donald Trump slammed Democrats, accusing them of doing nothing for African American communities for a hundred years.
Almost 300 young African American conservative activists from across the country gathered Oct. 4 in the East Room of the White House to hear Trump speak in a rally-style atmosphere.
During his speech, Trump blasted Democrats and media, calling them “corrupt forces in Washington.”
“No one in America has been hurt more as a result of the Democrats’ corrupt leadership and socialist policies than our nation’s African American communities,” Trump said. “For a hundred years, African Americans have gone with the Democrats. Has it worked?”
Trump said that together they would expose corruption, defeat socialists, and end fraud. “And, yes, we will drain the swamp.”
Trump praised his young conservative supporters, calling them “champions for free thought and free speech.”
“You stand up to the oppressive forces,” he said. “You stand right up to those forces in our country that demand conformity and control. You refuse to be censored, you refuse to be silenced, and you will never back down.”
The young Trump supporters who gathered in Washington for the Black Leadership Summit were organized by Turning Point USA, a conservative youth organization. The three-day summit, held Oct. 3–5, offered professional development and leadership training, as well as networking opportunities for young conservative blacks between the ages of 15 and 28.
During his speech, Trump praised his young supporters, who turned the East Room into a rally site with cheers and chants.
“I’ve been doing this for a long time. That is the loudest I’ve ever heard anything in this room. You just broke the record,” Trump said.
Trump also thanked conservative commentator and activist Candace Owens, Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk, and comedian Terrence Williams.
Speaking at the event, Owens criticized media, saying impeachment “is absolutely not happening. Not under our watch. We need to make sure we fight for this man.”
Multiple times, Trump and other attendees mentioned his famous pitch to black voters during the 2016 election campaign: “What do you have to lose?”
“Thanks to our pro-American agenda, the economy is booming, wages are rising, and poverty is plummeting. We have the best economy we’ve ever had, and believe me, we’re just getting started,” Trump said.
He mentioned his policies, including criminal justice reform and Opportunity Zones, a tax incentive provided by tax reform to boost investment in economically deprived communities. He also pointed to the “booming” economy, along with record-level unemployment and poverty rates for African Americans.
“African Americans built this nation—you built this nation. You know, you’re just starting to get real credit for that,” Trump said.
Black household income across the United States has been on the rise since 2013. Last year, black median household income reached $41,511, exceeding 2007’s pre-recession peak, according to a Brookings study published on Oct. 3.
Of the 50 metropolitan areas with the largest black populations, the report said that 18 recorded a significant jump in median income between 2013 and 2018, with San Francisco–Oakland–San Jose and Seattle topping the list.