A Response to Trump’s “New Deal for Black Americans”
According to published reports the Trump-Pence Campaign issued a document titled: “Trump’s New Deal for Black Americans;” sub-titled: “With a Plan for Urban Renewal.” On October 26, 2016 Donald Trump announced “ten promises” that will reportedly “…define a new deal for Black America.” The document itself is readily available across the Internet, including on our One Million web site (www.iamoneofthemillion.com) for those interested enough to study its contents. For this paper I will reference the heading for each “promise,” and give my response to each in turn.
Great Education Through School Choice
Trump’s first promise as it is written reads like “motherhood-and-apple-pie;” there is little in it to disagree or find fault with. However, as usual, “the devil is in the details,” and it remains to be seen how much of what is promised is likely to be delivered after Mr. Trump is actually in office. The main proponents of “school choice” are no friends or supporters of an effective education for children of African descent, so if his promises in that regard are to have substance, he must assure that blacks receive our proportionate share of both charters to operate public schools, and the full-scale vouchers which will be the means used to adequately finance them. Furthermore, unless an African-centered education for children of African descent is accepted as foundational for educating Black children, it will all be a waste of time and money. Black children are not imitation white people in miniature, and what’s good for the goose, is not necessarily good for the gander. We are a unique people with a unique historical experience, and the proper education of our children must take that fact into account. As for funding Historic Black Colleges and Universities, will the formula for such funding be proportionate and comparable to funding provided to historically white colleges and universities? And what is meant by “more affordable” 2 and 4 year colleges? How will affordability be determined and measured? What role will Blacks have in making such determinations?
Mr. Trump’s people who crafted the wording for this promise obviously did not confer with any conscious or conscientious Blacks who have the best interests of African-American citizens at heart. Safety should be a human right, one endowed by our Creator as inalienable, not a civil right that can be taken away at the whimsy of whichever group manages to seize control of the government at any given time. No conscious or conscientious Black person in America will claim that what is most needed to assure safety in Black neighborhoods is for the federal government to provide even more funding and training for increased militarization of the police establishment which is neither friend to or protector of Black people. “Gangs” exist because of the absence of lawful means for able-bodied citizens to earn a meaningful living by which to care for their loved ones. To strengthen police as an occupying force in black neighborhoods would be pouring gasoline on red-hot embers! Crime in black neighborhoods is an expedient, not an inherent way of life. The way to reduce crime is to offer viable alternatives to engaging in criminality as a means of making a living.
Equal Justice Under the Law
“Equal justice under the law” must be more than just a sound-bite or catch-phrase. In America, the law has never been applied fairly, equally, or without prejudice, nor has there ever been only one set of rules. During the recent presidential election campaign, both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton exposed things about each other that should have disqualified both from serious consideration for “leader of the free world;” both were accused of criminal activities which should have landed them in jail. Trump had to pay a $25 million fine for running a scam with his “Trump University;” and Hillary Clinton broke the law in her handling of classified information; yet neither faces the prospect of being brought before the bar of justice. Donald Trump supports a police establishment that regularly murders black citizens in particular, and offers no solace to families of victims of homicides committed by police. How then can he be trusted to assure equal justice under the law?
If President-elect Trump were sincere in wanting to apply the law fairly, he should endorse and support those planks in our OMCCBCV public policy platform that would reign in misbehavior by law enforcement, and punish states that pass laws in opposition to rights assured to citizens in the U.S. Constitution, supposedly the “Supreme Law of the Land!”
Tax Reforms to Create Jobs and Lift up People and Communities
Trump’s proposals in this ‘promise’ are clearly intended to benefit corporations such as his own, and will in no way serve or advance the interests of people of African descent in America. Nowhere in this promise does he mention providing access to capital for black businesspersons and entrepreneurs so they can play a meaningful role in rebuilding vital infrastructure and demolition of abandoned properties in their own communities. Trump’s scheme would accelerate the pace at which predominantly black neighborhoods would be gentrified and black residents removed and relocated. And how would black people benefit from foreign companies being given tax incentives to relocate into “blighted American neighborhoods?” Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles could ‘see’ through that scam! To add insult-to-injury, who is intended to benefit from the “increased presence of law enforcement” in such neighborhoods as they are being made new-and-improved by foreign companies? I submit the increased police presence will be to protect foreign companies and other interlopers from possible retaliation by African-Americans as they begin to realize the ‘game’ that Trump will have run on them. This ‘promise’ is bogus to the max!!
Financial Reforms to Expand Credit to Support New Job Creation
This ‘promise’ is contradicted by the previous one. Why does Trump not offer the same tax reforms to black-owned businesses and companies that he is promising to major corporations and foreign enterprises in the previous paragraph? This could be an appropriate context in which to devise a viable, practical approach to reparations for slavery within a business context. Florida A&M University has one of the most highly regarded business schools in the nation, and Tuskegee University has the illustrious legacy of Booker T. Washington as a frame of reference: Why not ask those two institutions to join forces to develop a comprehensive plan for re-development of inner-cities throughout America? They would have access to the tremendous pool of talented, experienced, eminently qualified blacks to comprise their brain-trust for such an undertaking! There is talent and ability within the black race to match anything Mr. Trump thinks he may find among the major corporations and foreign companies he has a clear preference for. Perhaps he is not aware of that fact.
Trade That Works for American Workers
We have already seen evidence that Mr. Trump will not in any way take punitive action against his fellow corporatists whose philosophy of doing business is the same as his own – maximize profits by any means available. If American jobs have been “stolen,” who did the stealing? If companies have been ‘offshored’ to low-wage countries, who offshored them there? Instead of making idle threats to executives about taxing their foreign made products when they are shipped back to this country, why not provide incentives for black businesses to step into the vacuum created by companies moving their operations offshore, and thus solve that problem proactively? Using this approach, we could eradicate unemployment and reduce crime in one fell swoop!
Protection from Illegal Immigration
It is not only illegal immigration that hurts African-Americans economically, ‘legal’ immigration does us as much harm or more. Illegal immigrants hurt blacks at the lower socio-economic level, but immigrants coming to the to the U.S. legally from Canada, Europe, Australia, India and other preferred countries do inestimable harm economically to the black middle-class! An approach to reparations for slavery such as that proposed by the OMCCBCV is the best way to realistically offset competition faced by blacks of all economic classes from unfair, government-induced competition with foreign immigrants. With sufficient latitude and adequate resources, HBCUs and African-American entrepreneurs could do for Americans of African descent what the leadership in Tulsa, Oklahoma did with “Black Wall Street” generations ago: Build self-sustaining business and economic institutions capable of providing gainful employment for our own people! We would therefore not have to compete with immigrants for jobs produced by or for other people.
New Infrastructure Investment
This ‘promise’ sounds like quicksand. Who will comprise the ‘private’ in Mr. Trump’s proposed “public-private partnerships?” Who would benefit from his tax incentives; and what percentage of his proposed $1 trillion in infrastructure investment would accrue to black companies and contractors? By using the ‘carrot’ of infrastructure spending on inner cities as a justification for scuttling climate change spending and global warming payments, will the ‘stick’ be applied to black folks when we are blamed for the demise of popular global warning and climate change initiatives? How much of the $100 billion to be saved over 8 years can black companies and professionals expect to receive?
Protect the African-American Church
How can Mr. Trump protect religious liberty while declaring “radical Islam” as the greatest threat to democracy, freedom, and American interests throughout the world? How does he view the fact that Islam is second only to Christianity in the number of American blacks who profess religious faith? Does this mean that black Americans will increasingly become the face of supposed terrorism in America? Insofar as the “African-American church” is not a monolith, which of them can expect to be supported by Mr. Trump’s administration? What has Mr. Trump or any of his supporters done in the past, or are doing in the present, that indicates they have any supportive intent toward the black church? With friends like Donald Trump and the ilk he is choosing for key positions in his administration, the black church will not need any enemies! Black worshippers better get in the habit of praying with their heads un-bowed and their eyes wide open!! There are Dylann Roofs everywhere there is a black church.
America First Foreign Policy
If you believe Donald Trump will stop trying to build democracies overseas, wasting trillions in the process, I have a bridge up in Brooklyn I will sell you real cheap! If he is not going to continue that and related practices, how does he intend to defeat terrorists, which is supposedly the reason why our government is so determined to spread democracy around the globe in the first place? If, as we have been told, America is the world’s “only remaining superpower,” does that not mean that we are already ‘first?’ If not, what is the basis of our claim to be in that position? If we are not already first, who is ahead or above us, and how did they get there? How does Mr. Trump propose to wrest the ‘first’ position back from whoever the current interloper is? What will be the cost of doing so? As we Race activists used to say back in the day: “What’s the (Trump) plan, man?”