BET Founder and America’s first black billionaire Robert Johnson recently appeared on CNBC to talk about the economy. He was quick to credit President Trump for great economic conditions. He also credited him with black unemployment levels reaching its lowest levels in history.
Johnson is the son of a farmer who grew up with segregation in the South. That did not stop him from earning a graduate degree from Princeton and launching an incredibly successful business career. He went on to found BET and a number of other companies. He is also a Democrat who has been involved with the Clinton Foundation. Yet he is still able to see beyond a partisan lens and credit President Trump for his economic policies.
In the interview, he was quick to point out that black unemployment is at a historic low and the Trump tax cuts are spurring economic growth. He said the tax cuts are resulting in companies “soliciting employees who have been out of the labor force.” In 2016 he met with then President-elect Trump and came away impressed saying, “I came away from the meeting understanding that he is committed to reaching out to African-Americans.”
Here’s part of the transcript:
“But when you put all of that together, I believe that the economy is on a strong growth pass and in our business, you know, car business is growing. We’re about the 21st largest car dealership group in the country. People are still buying cars as interest rates are favorable. Hotels seem to be coming back, business travelers are going back on airplanes and traveling and staying in hotels. That works for us. And there’s still capital out there to raise in the private equity field. So when you put all that together, and particularly from our vantage point of the focus on urban markets and African-American community, when you got about — African-Americans are down around 4, 5, something like that, you know, that’s a pretty good testament to the fact that there are a lot of jobs out there looking for people who are traditionally underemployed. And that only comes when the economy is growing.”