About a decade ago, I arrived at a Boca Raton deli to interview someone for the Palm Beach Post, only to realize that I was probably at the wrong place. I went to the hostess stand to see if who I was meeting had arrived when I apparently caught the attention of an older woman waiting for takeout.

“Are you looking for a job application?” she asked after realizing I wanted to talk to the hostess.

“No,” I answered curtly. “Why would I be?”

But I knew the answer. I was the lone face of color that wasn’t either seating diners, serving them or making their food. I didn’t make sense to this woman in this space, so I must want to work there. There’s nothing wrong with being a restaurant worker, but she didn’t register the reporter’s pad in my hand or the press badge around my neck, because a Black person couldn’t possibly be a journalist or there simply for a meal.

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Which brings me to Thursday night’s first presidential debate.

Between President Joe Biden’s word stumbles and raspy voice from a reported cold, former President Donald Trump’s blatant lies and the failure of the CNN moderators to do anything to correct the misinformation, it was a rough night.

But out of all the “Wow, did that just happen?” moments, the one that most smacked me in the face was when Trump, on a typical anti-immigrant rant, declared that these newcomers, coming unfettered over the border, are “taking Black jobs now.”

Hold up, man.

Why is something about the Black community constantly in Trump’s mouth? It’s because he needs as many people as possible to vote for him. A Pew Research study released in April found that an overwhelming 83% of African Americans lean towards the Democratic party, so the easiest way to get those voters to change their minds is to convince them that their lives were better off when he was in charge. And if that’s not possible, he’ll just scare them into believing that hordes of marauding immigrants are specifically taking food out of the mouths of Black families.

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It seems he hopes to establish himself as a protector specifically of Black and native-born Latino communities in a way he’s saying that Biden is not. But what he actually said was that the jobs that undocumented immigrants take — often lower-paying, entry-level positions in industries like agriculture, construction and the service industry — are specifically and exclusively Black jobs.

He didn’t say they’re taking jobs from all Americans because he doesn’t think of those jobs as ones held by typical Americans — white people like him. Lawyer, doctor, administrator, teacher, manager, journalist? These are not inherently Black jobs in Trump’s mind, which is to say they are white ones. So it’s just those Black and native-born brown people fighting for the jobs on the bottom, and aren’t we lucky to have him looking out for us?

I have fought all my life against the idea that I am somehow not authentically Black or leading an authentically Black experience because I am a college graduate with a professional job. People who look like me can be anything from plumber to president, but there are still people who believe that we are only meant to be in lower level positions.

Trump recently talked about his mugshot making him popular with Black people, as if we are all criminals. And last night, he called immigration the “big kill on the Black people” as if we are a monolith, a different species, either a useful tool or an obstacle, depending on the day.

Let me throw a few facts at you. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, African Americans did indeed historically occupy jobs in agriculture and domestic and personal service, perhaps because of the legacy of enslavement and Jim Crow made those the only ones available to us.

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But things have changed. More Black people, 34%, were employed in professional, managerial, business and financial operations positions, as compared to 27% in service, construction and natural resources. About 40% of Latino or Hispanic people were in those service and construction positions (the study didn’t specify between immigrant and native populations.)

Among white employed people, professional jobs accounted for 42.8% of positions and service or agricultural jobs were 25%. Those numbers aren’t all that different between Black and white people. Both groups find most people employed in those white-collar jobs, which means those should statistically be seen as Black jobs as much as they are white jobs.

But you know they aren’t.

Look, things are not great everywhere. In May, the Black unemployment rate was 5.7%, more than whites at 3.3% or Hispanics or Latinos at 4.1%. (Contrary to Trump’s statements during Thursday’s debate, the lowest Black unemployment numbers ever were achieved under Biden, not him.)

The problems we are facing as a country are across racial and cultural lines, and yes, some of those factors seem to affect the Black community more than others. But this characterization of lower-paying jobs as typically Black jobs is not only to misstate facts, but to be blatantly clear about what you think about Black people. Which is, apparently, not the same as white people.

And we heard you.