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Black Voices Column Commentary Top Stories

Black Voices Column – 2020 Presidential Election

On Friday, Sept. 25, ahead of the first presidential debate, President Trump unveiled the Black Economic Empowerment Platinum Plan. This plan includes a total of 500-billion-dollars’ worth of investment into the Black community. The President’s plan would increase research into health issues that disproportionately affect the Black community, such as diabetes, sickle cell disease, and maternal mortality. The BEEPP includes investments in infrastructure such as schools in primarily black communities and expansion in opportunity zones for Black businesses. This plan would also promote “accountable models of policing” that include diversity training and accreditation standards for law enforcement. The Trump administration plans designate the KKK and Antifa as terrorist organizations and make lynching a “national hate crime.” The plan also includes making Juneteenth a national holiday.

Other topics included in the Trump administration plan are credit building opportunities, school choice, broadband internet expansion, HBCU investments, and a National Clemency program. This plan offers outstanding opportunities for African Americans if it’s more than the typical political move. President Trump is polling extremely low among Black voters in comparison to former Vice President Joseph Biden. This plan was released just four days before the first presidential debate for President Trump’s reelection campaign. Unfortunately, the President’s plan appears to match the politics of campaigning. The African American community is typically an afterthought for most politicians. We’ve rarely had the privilege of being proud of the votes we cast, and this year is no different. 

We are approaching an election where our vote appears to be nothing more than a gift to the highest bidder. Although neither bidder is doing very much to make Black American’s lives better. During the first of a series of presidential debates, Donald Trump was asked to condemn racist groups, specifically the “Proud Boys.” The President was given two minutes to condemn these dangerous groups and chose to respond by telling the Proud Boys to “Stand back and Standby.” The debate continued. What does this mean? The President just released a plan to increase economic prosperity in the black community but told the black community’s biggest enemies to “standby”? Black Americans weren’t surprised. 

We’ve long watched politicians play political cards in hopes of getting another vote in their favor, as they do nothing to strengthen, uplift, or protect the Black Community. We’re left with the option of voting for the lesser of two evils. We still vote. Our ancestors fought and died for a right that we often practice with reluctance because there haven’t been many politicians who cared. Our civic duties oppress us more often than they’ve protected us. Systemic racism, historical injustice, unprecedented evils have been the experience of Black American’s as politicians, both Democrat and Republican, use us for nothing more than a means to an end. When will this end? The next generation of leaders will not make the mistakes of the past. The demand for equality, justice, and equity will be answered. Be a part of the answer.

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