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Blacks outside Trump’s political and social circles worry that the increasing scandals and scrutiny surrounding the White House mean even less diversity and effort in the administration’s struggles to fill high-ranking government positions. 
Is Jackson-Lee on Fools' Errand or Key to Blacks' Legislative Success?
The Black public and activists must help and urge Jackson-Lee to hold hearings on the need to study the effects of slavery and Jim Crow


By William Reed

Starting in 1989, former U.S. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) introduced H.R. 40, Commission to Study and Develop Proposals for African Americans Act, in every Congress. However, the bill has never gone beyond the committee stage. Port of Harlem magazine reports U.S. Rep.Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) has become the bill's sponsor. Jackson-Lee told the publication, "This is an important initiative to study and understand how this country's original sin, slavery and its vestiges, impacted and continues to impact African Americans a century after the civil war and decades after Jim Crow. This is a critical and necessary first step."

 

As John Conyers grew in stature to become the "Dean of the Congress” he became a liability to his cause. Opposed to the seniority, senility and ineptitude of Conyers’ office of recent years, Jackson-Lee has the credentials and swagger to make the reparations legislation happen in coming Congress sessions. Though H.R. 40 is just to “study slavery and its effects,” reparations are not a new concept. It dates back to the Civil War.  General William Tecumseh Sherman first suggested that freed slaves each receive "40 acres and a mule." President Andrew Johnson and the Congress rejected the idea. 

 

America and its corporations benefited from slavery then and now. The Hartford Courant newspaper ran ads for the sale and capture of slaves.  Aetna Insurance insured slaves as personal property. Banks such as Wells Fargo financed slavery and railroad companies used slave labor. 

 

While Blacks hold Conyers in high esteem for introducing H.R. 40 in the Congress 30 years ago, the truth is that the venerable congressman and his people were asleep at the wheel for decades. The fact is: Blacks should deem it “unacceptable” that Conyers could not get H.R. 40 out of committee in the almost 30 years it languished there. The time is right for Jackson-Lee to step forward and detail how she plans to help Blacks be “informed”, “involved” and “inspired” on the debt and obligations America has with Black Americans. Some estimate the price tag to exceed $10 trillion.

 

Seventy percent of Americans, Whites and Blacks, say “no” to reparations.  Sheila Jackson Lee has the expertise to make H.R. 40 happen. She is a former municipal judge who has been in  congress for over 20 years. She is serving her 11th term and is a senior member of the House Committees on the Judiciary. A plus for Blacks and H.R. 40 is that Rep. Jackson Lee is ranked as the meanest Member of Congress, meaning she can crack the whip on staffers doing “government work”.

 

As he got older, Conyers was rarely in his office. The less time Conyers was in office the lesser time staff members spent there. As a result, while Conyers went through the perfunctory exercise introducing H.R. 40, little was done to move the bill through congressional committees.

 

Conyers and his staff operated on the self-fulfilling prophecy that it would never happen. There's no disputing that Americans of African descent suffered centuries of enslavement. Finding ways to educate  the community about this history is a multi-pronged part of the process.  Shelia Jackson-Lee knows her way around Congress. She has the clout and knowledge to get the votes and support to get H.R.40 out of committee. Conyers and Company were inept and lazy regarding H.R. 40. The Black public and activists must help and urge Jackson-Lee to hold hearings on the need to study the effects of slavery and Jim Crow. 


William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via Busxchng@his.com

Blacks in the Trump Administration
By William Reed

The United States ranks among the second tier of countries when it comes to education, although we spend significantly more on education than other first world countries.

 

For African Americans, education and its institutions are rife with problems. More than 60 years after Brown vs. Board of Education, America’s school systems are still separate and unequal. A leading indication for Trump’s attitude toward African American education is the status of promises he made to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Early on, Trump signed an executive order to strengthen HBCUs, declaring, “With this executive order, we will make HBCUs ‘a White House priority.’”

 

The top jobs in President Trump’s administration are mostly vacant. There are few senior-level African Americans. The president should put emphasis on filling more cabinet-level jobs with Black Republicans. Political party operatives on either side of the lectern admit that Blacks and Latinos are woefully underrepresented across the administration. Blacks outside Trump’s political and social circles worry that the increasing scandals and scrutiny surrounding the White House mean even less diversity and effort in the administration’s struggles to fill high-ranking government positions. 

Armstrong Williams could help Trump’s Education Department reach African Americans as he did promoting President Bush's “No Child Left Behind” law. Black Republicans such as Williams could give this administration pointers on stepping forward to facilitate learning and/or acquisition of knowledgeskills valuesbeliefs, and habits for and among Blacks. Trump’s cabinet is the richest in history, and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is one of its most affluent members. Heiress to the Amway fortune with her husband Richard DeVos, Mrs. DeVos could have a record of positive economic impact on Blacks. Mr. DeVos was listed by Forbes as having a net worth of $5.1 billion, making him America's 88th wealthiest individual.

Betsy Devos has the standing to lead Trump to higher recognition and respect among Blacks. Trump has been roundly criticized for not filling hundreds of vital sub-cabinet positions that set tone and direction across government and its agencies. While Democrats have been slow with confirmations to stall Republicans’ legislative agenda, Trump’s administration has struggled with just putting forth nominees.

 

Appointment of a couple hundred Blacks in senior-level positions would set the management tone, direction and insight across Trump’s government. No matter what party partisans are saying, so far Trump has done more for Black economic progress in six months than Obama did over eight years.

 

The other issue that is critically important to Black and Hispanic economic progress is good schools. Through the influence of Betsy Devos, the president is advancing school choice to ensure very child can attend a quality school public or private. In the nation’s capital and in cities like Milwaukee, 90 percent of program children are Black.

 

The Trump administration can help Blacks across the country grow and prosper through timely and effective appointments of Blacks to senior and sub-cabinet positions. An example is Dr. Leonard Haynes, a distinguished Black Republican whose career has been increasing Blacks’ access to high-quality education options. As the new Black senior advisor to the Under Secretary, Dr. Haynes presents a remarkable resume. A former acting president of Grambling State University, Haynes most recently served as a distinguished adjunct professor at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at Ohio State University. He previously served at the Department of Education in multiple roles, including director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Haynes has had several jobs at the department in the past focusing on the education of Blacks during stints with the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations. His roles included heading Initiatives on HBCUs.

 

President Trump's pick to lead the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities calls HBCUs "entrepreneurial institutions." Johnathan Holifield has been named executive director of Trump’s HBCU Initiative. Holifeld has an established private sector track record and will well represent HBCUs with greater access to grants and economic inclusion.

 

William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via Busxchng@his.com

President Trump's Black Agenda
By William Reed
“I don’t need nobody give me nothing, open up the doors I’ll get it myself” – soul singer James Brown

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump declared: “I will be great for African-Americans.”  So six months in, the question blacks should be asking is “What now, Donald?” Donald J. Trump has all the tools to be the greatest president for black Americans since Richard Nixon and his administration’s minority enterprise programs.
 
So far his presidency has not made Trump and blacks bedfellows. On no level do blacks and Trump coalesce. No group loathes Donald Trump as much as African Americans. Trump’s first six months in the White House show that blacks’ interests are not very high on his commander-in-chief priority list.
 
Millions of blacks live on the edge but their issues are marginalized by both major parties. There’s a significant gap between blacks and Trump.

Blacks view Trump as “a racist beyond redemption.” Published reports say “he think blacks are lazy.” According to a book written by former Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino president John R. O’Donnell, the real estate mogul said in 1991 that “laziness is a trait in blacks.” Allegedly, he was referring to a black accountant who worked for Trump Plaza, and added, ““Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.” In a 1989 interview on NBC Trump said:  “A well-educated black has a tremendous advantage over a well-educated white in terms of the job market. I think sometimes a black may think they don’t have an advantage or this and that... I’ve said on one occasion, even about myself, if I were starting off today, I would love to be a well-educated black, because I believe they have actual advantage.’’
 
The Democrats have decided edge when it comes to blacks and their politics. “What have you got to lose?” has garnered babble from Democrats’ black "mis-leadership" which has focused on showing Trump what blacks have to lose under his presidency. But the economic reality is African American households have been getting poorer over the past years.The meter of progress is running backwards on African Americans, toward greater inequality and relative poverty. Trump can help blacks business prospects. Despite blacks according him deity status, Obama’s years were no panacea for America’s long-standing racial inequities.
 
Trump should go beyond palace guards and step to blacks to establish effective lines of communications. The state of black America is bleak. According to the National Urban League, African Americans continue to lag far behind whites economically. “Moreover, prospects look much worse under President Trump,” says Marc Morial, the league’s president and chief executive.   The standard of living for African Americans is 72 percent that of the average white person, according to the “equality index.”
 
A large percentage of blacks are trapped in horrible unaccredited inner city schools and high crime neighborhoods in situations that negatively impacts young blacks' ability to attain wealth in adulthood. During the campaign, Trump attempted to woo black voters with a 10-point plan for urban renewal that he said would improve their lives with increased school choice, safer communities and financial reforms to make it easier to start a business.
 
To be “president of all the people,” Trump must “open up doors” to greater accessible to blacks. Moving forward requires both blacks and Trump to adopt different mindsets. Blacks must reconsider monolithic support of Democrats’ policies that have failed miserably at moving blacks out of poverty. We need Trump to address something Obama never did - a “Black Agenda” to include: economic development, staple and progressive communities with unlimited educational opportunities.
 
Trump can do good reaching out to blacks. But blacks need unobstructed access to Trump. Whatever happened to Pastor Darrell Scott, the Cleveland pastor?  We need people like him directing Trump to give legs to campaign rhetoric such as: “appointing a commission to investigate the school to prison pipeline and shutting it down and investing in training and funding local and federal law enforcement operations to remove gang members, drug dealers, and criminal cartels from neighborhoods.”

William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via Busxchng@his.com

What Do Black Republicans Believe?
By William Reed

Blacks’ devotion to Democrats has evolved into a dependency on government

On any level you examine, President Donald Trump’s outreach to blacks is an unenlightened mess. His appointment of Omarosa Manigault, the former "Apprentice" contestant, as White House director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison shows his lack of insight and interest in blacks, or their issues.  Manigault, as the top-ranking African American official inside the White House, is neither a Republican nor black advocate. Trump pays Manigault a top salary of $179,700, but shows little concern that she has problematic relationships and outreach to blacks. President Trump views Manigault as evidence of his commitment to diversity but blacks see her as “a spook that blocks the door.”
 
In another “diversity move,” Trump nominated African American Dr. Jerome M. Adams to be US Surgeon General.  A number of black Republicans hold prominent public-and-private-sector positions. A common thread among high-profile black Republicans is a “commitment to colorblind politics.” You see this modus operandi with broadcaster Charles Payne and politicians like Rep. Mia Love of Utah and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott. They acknowledge that being black is part of their life experience but reject that racial identity should orient their political decision-making, often decrying efforts like affirmative action to address racial inequality.
 
Race-conscious Republicans see themselves closely linked to the broader black community and view conservative politics as a tool of of black uplift. Contemporary blacks’ support of Republican policy positions are based on Republican leanings and philosophies. Black Republican publishers have always led the way for the race. Abolitionist and ex-slave Frederick Douglass published the North Star as an anti-slavery newspaper in 1846. Later at blacks’ trials in America, Robert L. Vann published the Pittsburgh Courier. Under his leadership, The Courier developed into a leading black newspaper. By the 1930s it was the highest circulated black newspaper in the US.  The Call & Post was started in 1916 by Cleveland inventor Garrett Morgan. Under the influence of publisher W.O. Walker, the Call & Post established itself as the voice for African Americans. C.A. Scott was a prominent conservative Republican who published The Atlanta Daily World. Scott was a powerful political force. In 1944, the Daily World became the first black newspaper to have an African American cover the White House. By the 1960s Scott opposed sit-ins and other direct actions, arguing that growth of black businesses and wealth would be more effective strategies for ending racial oppression.
 
Blacks’ devotion to Democrats has evolved into a dependency on government. Since the mid-1930s, blacks have increasingly voted for Democrats and their progressive economic and civil rights policies. FDR’s New Deal programs and desegregation of the military in the 1940s began the bond Democrats hold with African-Americans. For blacks to be a force in America, we need to understand and nurture capitalism. For the past half-century, blacks have primarily supported the Democratic Party. The results of this political allegiance have created little for blacks, who would function and operate better in America with free-market and Republican ideology.
 
Black Republicans believe in political philosophies that uphold liberty as a core principle. Their objectives are to maximize political freedom and autonomy, emphasize freedom of choice, voluntary association, individual and self-ownership. Black Republicans have faith in the private sector to afford opportunity, reduce poverty and create jobs. In addition to market economies, black Republicans believe in limited government and desire less regulation. We believe in government operating under balanced budgets and have conviction that our country’s debt crisis is real and must be addressed. We believe in the biblical-touted family structure of father, mother and children for blacks. We see that the black family structure is predominately female-headed. That is a matter of interest to us as we seek to mitigate links between black family structure and poverty. Like-minded, we know with certainty that civil institutions including families, voluntary associations, churches and synagogues is the lifeblood of society, and are to be protected from government meddling. While whites are united defending Israel, black Republicans support for Israel is tempered by sympathies for the Palestinians’ plight. The majority of Republican-leaning blacks oppose minimum wage and abortion on demand legislation.

William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via Busxchng@his.com