Now that Mr. Trump has been elected President of the United States we have seen him making a great many unpopular decisions. I am not here to add to that discourse as there already have been millions of other Americans of all backgrounds who have taken on that rhetoric. I would like to try to redirect some of the conversation to one area where we might be able to get Mr. Trump to follow through and take action on some (possibly) positive items he has put down in writing.
I am including Mr. Trump’s 10 Point Plan for Black America. This document probably marks the first time ANY President has presented a strategy designed to uplift the Black Community on a national level. I feel this would be a good opportunity to initiate a discussion about something that can achieve some good in an environment where there is a lot of despair and fear being brought forth.
I am going to add my own thoughts to his plan. Some of the points I see as not being much good while others could offer some badly needed assistance to the Black Community. At the very least we should try to work with Mr. Trump and hold him to those points that have the best possibility of helping a much neglected Black Community.
1. Great Education Through School Choice. We will allow every disadvantaged child in America to attend the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school of their choice. School choice is the great civil rights issue of our time, and Donald Trump will be the nation’s biggest cheerleader for school choice in all 50 states. We will also ensure funding for Historic Black Colleges and Universities, more affordable 2 and 4-year college, and support for trade and vocational education.
Who could ever be against great education? My difficulty with the school choice issue is that in the presented form there is actually less accountability and less choice for educational improvement. He proposes to take public tax dollars away from a public institution that was created to provide a quality education to all children in the community. Since the ordering of the end of school segregation, there has been a push to take the more affluent White children out of public schools and put them in private schools.
Before the Brown vs. Board of Education decision we had a system called “Separate but Equal”, in which discrimination was legal as long as the services were provided equally. It was well documented that the Black Schools were grossly underfunded compared to the White Schools. This was called “equal” in white minds, but it was the starkly different reality that finally forced the ruling that removed “Separate but Equal” from the law of the land.
Granted, school systems are severely stressed due to lack of financial resources, but the answer is not to decrease those resources and dole them out to those who wish to profit financially from a school system that is being strangled financially. Instead we should return our public school to an institution
system working to improv instead of sabotaging it and under funding it more than it already is. We need to stop punishing our schools because they have Black children in them.
2. Safe Communities. We will make our communities safe again. Every poor African-American child must be able to walk down the street in peace. Safety is a civil right. We will invest in training and funding both local and federal law enforcement operations to remove the gang members, drug dealers, and criminal cartels from our neighborhoods. The reduction of crime is not merely a goal – but a necessity.
Yes, we all want safe communities, but increasing law enforcement presence will not make neighborhoods any safer; we must address the root causes of why the communities have degenerated to such a level. Poverty, lack of a quality education, and lack of opportunity create desperation, the major factor that generates a culture of violent crime. Our strategies over the last 40 years have been to lock up Black People, to deny rights to people who have been locked up, to brutalize a marginalized community, to remove resources that would allow a community to heal and repair itself.
With the proliferation of smartphones we see evidence of violent treatment at the hands of those who are supposed to be the protectors of the communities. The Black Community has problems, we have crime, and we have violence. We also have people who care, who love and who want to help, but we live in what some have called a War Zone. Municipalities have gone the route of funding law enforcement and it hasn’t worked. The traditional “style” of policing in Black communities is a contributor to the violence. It’s time to invest in the Black Community, to invest in the people, and to invest in the future, our children.
3. Equal Justice Under the Law. We will apply the law fairly, equally and without prejudice. There will be only one set of rules – not a two-tiered system of justice. Equal justice also means the same rules for Wall Street.
I will welcome having a president that would take this stand. This is something Black People have wanted all along, even during slavery when we were not considered fully human in the eyes of the law. For many years Black People could not bring suit, could not hold patents, and could not own property. This should have changed after the Civil War (after we received citizenship) but here we are in 2017 and the law is still setup to punish Black People much more harshly than it does White People.
4. Tax Reforms to Create Jobs and Lift up People and Communities. We will lower the business tax from 35 percent to 15 percent and bring thousands of new companies to our shores. We will also have a massive middle-class tax cut, tax-free childcare savings accounts, and childcare tax deductions and credits.
We will also have tax holidays for inner-city investment, and new tax incentives to get foreign companies to relocate in blighted American neighborhoods. We will empower cities and states to seek a federal disaster designation for blighted communities in order to initiate the rebuilding of vital infrastructure, the demolition of abandoned properties, and the increased presence of law enforcement.
This point is not specific to the Black Community; this point is what he has proposed to White America. There is no mention of African Americans in this point. We need to push him on what economic programs he proposes for Black people. We as Black people got the “shaft” with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when the wording got changed from “Black People” to “minorities”. What this did was allow every other minority under the sun to get in line ahead of Black People and benefit in ways we (Black Community) are still waiting for.
5. Financial Reforms to Expand Credit to Support New Job Creation. We will have financial reforms to make it easier for young African-Americans to get credit to pursue their dreams in business and create jobs in their communities. Dodd-Frank has been a disaster, making it harder for small businesses to get the credit they need.
The policies of the Clintons brought us the financial recession – through lifting Glass-Steagall, pushing subprime lending, and blocking reforms to Fannie and Freddie. It’s time for a 21st century Glass-Steagall and, as part of that, a priority on helping African-American businesses get the credit they need. We will also encourage small-business creation by allowing social welfare workers to convert poverty assistance into repayable but forgivable micro-loans.
This does not go nearly far enough. Besides expanding credit there need to be safeguards put in place to protect the Black Community against practices that historically have always been present in the Black Community. Policies that prey on underprivileged communities have always been around and have been the norm. Predatory lending has gone on against the Black community since the days of sharecroppers. It is time to go beyond lip service. We must insist that there be protections for the Black Community. We have been victim to these illegal practices for too long and we are done with the “free market loophole” for cheating and taking advantage of the Black Community.
6. Trade That Works for American Workers. We will stop the massive, chronic trade deficits that have emptied out our jobs. We won’t let our jobs be stolen from us anymore. We will stop the offshoring of companies to low-wage countries and raise wages at home – meaning rent and bills become instantly more affordable. We will tell executives that if they move their factories to Mexico or other countries, we will put a 35% tax on their product before they ship it back into the United States.
I feel this is a pipe dream. Globalization is here to stay. The emphasis should be to put pressure on businesses to work on a universal standard, to level the playing field internationally so we do not lose American jobs because a country has lower standards (pay scale, safety, environmental, tax, ethics, etc.). It would be in our best interest to work with other nations to bring this about rather than to alienate ourselves (which seems to be the current strategy).
7. Protection from Illegal Immigration. We will restore the civil rights of African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and all Americans, by ending illegal immigration. No group has been more economically harmed by decades of illegal immigration than low-income African-American workers.
Hillary’s pledge to enact “open borders,” – made in secret to a foreign bank – would destroy the African-American middle class. We will reform visa rules to give American workers preference for jobs, and we will suspend reckless refugee admissions from terror-prone regions that cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. We will use a portion of the money saved by enforcing our laws, and suspending refugees, to be re-invested in our inner cities.
This is something I have mixed feelings about. On one hand I have sympathy for people coming to this country to find a better life. Every group who came here has done that except Black People (who in reality were abducted from our homelands and brought here to serve as slaves). I can also understand those that see people coming here from elsewhere as being a threat to their jobs but the one thing I never could understand is, when Immigration would raid a business for employing illegal immigrants, why was there never any legal action taken against the employers who were taking advantage of these desperate people? In all fairness, if the victim (the illegal immigrant) is being treated as a criminal, why is the person taking financial advantage not being charged as well? In my mind it equates to the prostitute always being charged while the “john” goes scott free. If you wish to end prostitution jail the john and in turn there will be less “demand” for prostitutes.
This also brings me to a discussion I was heard. The speaker was discussion about other fall out from the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 where he was explaining how immigration as a whole has increased more than 400% since it was passed and that the thought is that the increase of immigrants is an attempt to replace Black People in the low wage jobs. The speaker was making some good points. Whether true or not it does get a Black Man to thinking.
8. New Infrastructure Investment. We will leverage public-private partnerships, and private investments through tax incentives, to spur $1 trillion in infrastructure investment over 10 years, of which the inner cities will be a major beneficiary. We will cancel all wasteful climate change spending from Obama-Clinton, including all global warming payments to the United Nations. This will save $100 billion over 8 years. We will use these to help rebuild the vital infrastructure, including water systems, in America’s inner cities.
With this point again, I do not dee the words African-American so we need to press him harder as to what is in it for the Black Community. Will there be “set asides” to guarantee that the Black Community will get to participate in the apparent wind fall, or will it be business as usual and the Black Community will be locked out of this opportunity for self-improvement.
I also feel we need to get him to look at the climate-change funding and I feel it is in the Black Community’s interest to stand behind working against Global Warming and put pressure on Mr. Trump to work to protect the future of our children.
9. Protect the African-American Church. We will protect religious liberty, promote strong families, and support the African-American church.
I’m wondering what Mr. Trump means by that. My feelings are the church is trying to exert to much control over business of the government by pressing secular things on the general population (my own opinion)
10. America First Foreign Policy. We will stop trying to build democracies overseas, wasting trillions, but focus on defeating terrorists and putting America First.
This point is so vague. I would again press for more detail as to what’s in it for Black People because in it’s present state I see/hear nothing for Black People in this at all. I would also press him on this “Make America Great Again” B.S. When is comes right down to it America was not that great fro Black people. This is the country that brought Black People slavery, Jim Crow, Lynching, discrimination, separate but equal, sunset towns, second-class citizenry, having German POWs treated with more respect than out own Black soldiers, dehumanization, voter suppression, the list is to long to list. I would press Mr. Trump the reason American IS GREAT is because of it’s diversity and BLACK PEOPLE, because it was US who built this country and it’s time for America to pay the bill.