BLACK REPUBLICAN BLOG -
The Republican Party is the party of civil rights and the four F’s: faith, family, freedom and fairness.
The Democratic Party is the party of the four S’s: slavery, secession, segregation and socialism (Quote By Author Michael Scheuer).
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
What African-Americans Have to Gain From a Trump Presidency
Kay Coles James
lot of strong words were thrown about in this year’s presidential campaign, but
few packed as powerful a punch as a single question that Donald Trump asked
black voters in August.
do you have to lose?”
pundits didn’t seem to understand, but many of us knew exactly what he meant.
While the black community has much to celebrate, including its rich culture,
spirit of strength, accomplishments, and progress in some areas, many
African-Americans are suffering.
who should be thriving are instead living in broken homes. Poverty that should
be shrinking is instead rising. Streets that should be peaceful are instead
rocked by violence. Schools that should be nurturing excellence are instead
factories of failure. And seniors who deserve security instead fear what tomorrow
wasn’t always this way. In the mid-1900s, for example, poverty in the black
community dropped by nearly 50 percent, and skilled tradesmen saw their income
more than double relative to whites.
unemployment and poverty rates among African-Americans are nearly twice the
national average, and 12 million blacks—including 4 million of our
children—live in poverty.
are bad on the education front as well. Today, fewer than half of all black
students in many large U.S. cities graduate from high school. Just as shocking,
the math achievement gap between black and white students has not changed in
decades and has actually widened in reading.
consider what’s happened to our families. As hard as it may be to believe, the
marriage rate among blacks used to be higher than it was among whites.
recently as 1960, more than 7 of every 10 black kids were being raised by both
their mother and father. Today, fewer than half of them are.In fact, nearly 5 million black children
today live in homes without one or both of their parents.
I realize a lot of professional politicians choose to ignore these facts, but,
within the black community, we don’t. Because we can’t.
why many of us understood what Trump was asking.
truly believe that there is broad agreement on the need for change. Republicans
and Democrats alike want to see our education system fixed so all children can
achieve their full potential.
want to see health care disparities eliminated so all babies are born healthy
and no senior dies for lack of access to quality health care. They want to see
jobs created, poverty defeated, and our economy flourish. And they want to see
our streets safe, our families strong, and our future bright.
said, Republicans and Democrats have some very different ideas about how to
make those things happen.
since President Lyndon Johnson waged his “War on Poverty” over half a century
ago, the Democrats’ approach has been to spend trillions of dollars on nearly
100 government programs. Fifty years later, we’re now worse off in many
respects than we were before the War on Poverty began.
so Trump appealed to the black community to try a different approach.
won’t be easy, of course. Some will disparage Trump’s message and intent right
out of the gate because they’ve been told they can only trust Democrats. Others
will accuse Trump and his agenda of being “racist” or “bigoted” just because
they know those words have an incendiary effect.
I find it striking that no one disagrees that America’s course must be changed.
Because, nasty politics and fiery rhetoric aside, even Trump’s most panicked
critics know deep down what most Americans have been consistently telling
pollsters: Our nation has been on the wrong track.
the old saying goes, insanity means doing the same thing over and over again,
each time expecting different results. Well, we’ve tried one government program
after another and we’ve thrown piles of money and mountains of regulations at
the problems plaguing our community. But the problems just keep getting worse.
a lot of new talent is coming to Washington, D.C. People with deep compassion,
vast experience, and a willingness to put their lives on hold while they help
America get back on track. I’ve met many of these people, and each time I do, I
feel a renewed sense of optimism about our country’s future.
me, they are driven by a desire to eliminate poverty, create jobs, fix broken
schools, improve our health, and heal our families. Their focus isn’t solely on
the black community, but every policy that is good for all Americans has the potential
to be especially positive for African-Americans because of how far we’ve
stage has been set with new players and bold ideas. Their sleeves are rolled up
and their purpose is clear.
it’s up to us. We can criticize and attack, as some are already doing even
before Trump takes the oath of office. We can hurl ugly insults and take to the
streets, as many have been doing. Or we can keep our hearts and minds open,
lend a hand whenever needed, give good people time to do the good we need done,
and join hands and forces to realize something Dr. Martin Luther King said long
ago: “We have an opportunity to make America a better nation,” he told us, “to
make America what it ought to be.”
was right.We do have that
opportunity—right now. And understanding both what we have to lose as well as
all that we have to gain is a great place to start.
Kay Coles James, a
trustee of The Heritage Foundation, formerly served as director of the U.S.
Office of Personnel Management and as Virginia's secretary of health and human
resources. She is currently serving on President-elect Donald Trump's
transition team as the co-chair of the Management and Budget teams.