Black Lives Matter – Part 1
The US owes black Americans, who are descendants of those enslaved, a debt. From their emancipation, black Americans have suffered open discrimination, without resource, until the late 1960s.
Black Americans tend to be given the scraps in education and jobs. Other groups easily push them aside as they get US politicians to address their concerns.
Europeans, Asians, Latinos, Muslims, and those who practise homosexuality, bisexuality, and gender-change, have gotten politicians to address their wants. But the critical needs of black Americans are ignored.
The recent protests are an opportunity for black Americans to receive what is owed. The US has tried to pay it since emancipation, from giving 40 acres and a mule, to desegregating schools, to outlawing colour discrimination, to instituting affirmative action. Most Blacks should be much further ahead, but they are being kept back.
Welfare programs have forced generations of black Americans to live in the worst, and least healthy housing. That forced their children to attend the worst, and lowest achieving public schools. That deprived their children from qualifying for the affirmative-action places at colleges and work.
The curse for many urban black Americans, is to become just another generation on welfare, with the hope that their children will do better. The trend over the past 50 years is that most of them will not.
Stuck in depressed areas, can make crime appear to be a viable option to making money. Statistically, black Americans in depressed high-crime areas, will likely have more conflicting interactions with the police.
The US prisons have a disproportionate number of black Americans, who will likely spend most of their lives there. This is because the US passed three-strikes laws, where the conviction for a third offence is a mandatory life sentence. So, what is the solution?
First, the US should fund the education of all black Americans, to the fourth generation. Second, black Americans should be allowed to send their children to higher performing primary and secondary schools. Third, the three-strikes law should be abolished, or limited to serial murderers and rapists. Fourth, those serving mandatory 3-strike life-sentences should be resentenced.
Black Americans can only benefit from the debt payments if they receive them. Black Americans have been blocked from receiving their payment. Fortunately, removing this blockage is within their control.
Black Americans should not vote for the party that: passed the unjust three-strikes law, forced them to attend the worst public schools, blocked their children from attending better charter schools, and enabled generational welfare.
Donald Trump can be crude. Many of his supporters are left in dismayed frustration at some of his insensitive cringe-worthy statements. Trump provides the media with a consistent stream of appalling statements, which they publish almost every hour of every day. This steady negative diet has pushed his opponents into an emotional realm beyond anger.
Jesus said that we may know people, not by what they say, but by what they do. So, what has Trump done to repay the debt? The intuitive answer is that, compared with the actions of Presidents Clinton and Obama, Trump has only added to the amount owed. But what is the truth?
Trump signed the most comprehensive sentencing laws, to correct the unjust three-strikes laws that disproportionally targeted black Americans. Trump also signed a bill that would permanently give more than US$250M every year, to black colleges, universities, and other institutions that have a large percentage of black students.
It was actually Clinton who signed the unjust three-strikes law that led to mass incarcerations, and Obama who maintained it. They also forced black Americans to attend the worst public schools, and enabled generational welfare.
It was the Democratic party that: resisted desegregating schools, established colour discrimination, and actively opposed Republicans like Martin Luther King.
Black Americans have tended to be tricked, misled, and harmed by their charming community leaders, who received trinkets in return for keeping blacks in line. From the chiefs who sold them into slavery, to the overseers who forced them to work on plantations, to the community leaders who mislead them to vote Democrat.
Black Americans owe it to themselves, and their children, to investigate which party has always kept them in bondage, and which has always tried to liberate them.
There were 1.3 million black Americans who woke up and voted for Trump in 2016. By his actions, and any other relevant measure, that investment was not wasted – but he just will not stop saying stupid things.
Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer and President of Solutions Barbados. He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com