You all remember when candidate Trump said to African-Americans; “You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58% of your youth are unemployed, what the (expletive) do you have to lose?” Candidate Hillary Clinton tweeted in response to Trump’s statement, “This is so ignorant it’s staggering.”
After nine months of the Trump’s Presidency, I thought it was time to let him know how his policies are working for Black America.
What do we have to Lose, let me count the ways!
- His Department of Justice is doing a complete reversal on Civil Rights, especially when it comes to voting rights.
- The DOJ is considering rescinding consent decrees established in Ferguson, Chicago and Baltimore that was designed to remediate illegal discrimination by police departments against African-Americans.
- The DOJ reversed an Executive Order signed by President Obama phasing out private federal prisons.
- The DOJ is considering prosecutions of marijuana usage, in states that have legal medical and/or recreational marijuana. African-Americans are 3x more likely to be arrested than whites for marijuana crimes, although the usage is virtually the same.
- Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education, goal is to move public school dollars to charter and private schools. This will have a negative effect on inner city schools, and the students, who are predominately black children.
- Trump’s proposed budget is slated to cut $6 billion from The Housing & Urban Development budget. These cuts will have a profound effect on the housing voucher program.
- Increasing the federal minimum wage is dead under this administration. According to the Economic Policy Institute, 35% of the African-American population would benefit from a minimum wage increase.
- Trump’s proposed budget will cut or eliminate:
- Meals on Wheels
- Heating and Energy Assistance
- Community Block Grants & Home Programs
- The Minority Business Development Agency
- A leaked memo, of Jeff Sessions, revealed his plans to sue colleges for race-based discrimination. In other words, he plans to dismantle Affirmative-Action policies in college enrollment.
- The president is threatening to stop ACA subsidy payments to insurance companies, which will destabilize the healthcare market, and will affect millions of poor people on Medicaid.
Urban League’s CEO Marc Morial, in an interview with the USA Today, regarding the 2017 State of Black America Report said, “it is important to understand that the improvements, in this report, took place during the Obama’s administration and not the Trump’s administration. The data side of this report covers the Obama years.”
Morial went on to say, “things improved economically and from an educational standpoint and in terms of health disparities, not in the fashion that we would have liked but certainly in a very important way.”
He stated that the Urban League will resist any efforts to “roll back” any of the progress reflected in the report. They are paying close attention to how the Trump’s administration and lawmakers navigate when it comes to police-involved shootings, maintaining the federal role in public education and how many cuts are made to the federal budget when it comes to domestic spending or human needs, housing and community development; the things that benefit urban communities.
Morial’s greatest concern is voter suppression, which the Trump Administration is clearly planning to participate in.
Last year, the ACLU and their co-counsel Demos challenged a process used by Ohio that marked voters for removal, if they had failed to vote in two years.
The idea is that failing to participate even in a single midterm election, which more than half of registered voters typically fail to do, constitutes evidence that a voter may have moved.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit disagreed and halted the practice, which prevented the state from throwing away 7,500 ballots in the 2016 election. The Supreme Court is scheduled to review this case in the fall.
For more than 20 years, the Department of Justice has consistently argued that such purges based on non-voting are illegal, and has threatened legal action against states that do not follow the law.
Because of Trump’s persistent lie that millions of unauthorized immigrants voted for Hillary Clinton and caused him to lose the popular vote, he has created an “Advisory Commission on Election Integrity”. He appointed Vice-President Pence to chair the commission and the Secretary of State from Kansas, Kris Kobach, as vice-chair.
The commission has asked states to supply voter information, including partial Social Security numbers, addresses, military statuses, political party registrations and felony records. For the most part, election officials around the country have refused to comply with Kobach request for information on the 200 million registered voters.
Kobach has been sued 4-times by the ACLU since being elected in 2010. All the lawsuits involved the Secure and Fair Elections Act, or SAFE Act, a 2011 Kansas state law that requires people to show a birth certificate, passport or naturalization papers to register to vote.
There are so many policies on the chopping block that will negatively affect the Black community. If I had to give a grade to the Trump Administration on making “America Great Again” for black America, it would be a “F”.
The latest offense Trump has leveraged against the African-American community is calling the mothers of Black NFL players a derogatory name.
So, in answer to his question, what do we have to lose; everything, “Your presidency Ain’t working for us!”