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Exactly what did President Barack Obama do for the race while he was POTUS?
Trump and African Americans
“The Donald” has paid scant attention to blacks. So, there was a flurry of comments to former BET founder and financial mogul Bob Johnson’s urging African Americans to give President-elect Trump “benefit of the doubt.” Blacks are in crisis. Black families are mostly broken, with 70 percent of kids born to single mothers. We have an astronomical crime rate and highest unemployment rate of any racial group. The dominant “thug culture” elevates violence, misogyny, and accepting of incarceration as inevitable. This is justified with simplistic messages that blames racism and white privilege as the source of all these problems, and more government programs as solution.
 
The way mainstream media depicts him causes many blacks to label Donald J. Trump’s election as “mad white folks’ politics?” In his rallies, Trump painted a dystopian picture of black life.  “Poverty, rejection, horrible education, no housing, homes or ownership” have been themes Trump has used when discussing downtrodden blacks. Life among blacks may be bad, but it let’s not continue “woe is us” antics. More among African Americans should be saying: “No more politics as usual. We want real change!" When measuring our political clout, let’s admit that Trump doesn’t owe much to blacks. Trump became President-elect without having to agree to meet demands and concerns of black people. 
 
Given the dearth of prominent Trump supporters of color, millionaire entrepreneur Bob Johnson has emerged as an interlocker to President-elect Trump. Bob Johnson has access to Trump that few blacks have. Johnson’s among the one percent of businesspersons Trump feels comfortable with. Bob Johnson’s advice to blacks is to “keep lines of communication open” to Trump. Johnson warns that “He ain’t goin’ away.” Don’t forget that the blacks that voted for Trump gave him a better showing among black voters than Romney or McCain in their presidential bids. And among some blacks Trump has put forward plans promising greater job creation, safe communities, business investment, and equal justice. The political positions couldn’t be more different. Trump’s philosophy is based on business-orientation. GOPers believe that Americans deserve the right to own, invest, build, and prosper; and that sensible business regulations are incredibly important and that business regulations should promote confidence in the economy by living notably, binding groups together and supporting essential institutions.
 
Bob Johnson’s not the only one preaching that it’s incumbent on African-Americans, their leaders and organizations to find possible areas of agreement with Trump. Why sit in squalor protesting? Blacks can cease the protests and give credence that the President-elect is at least thinking about the problems of the inner cities and their solutions. Through his interactions with Trump Bob Johnson has put the spotlight on other African-American businesspersons, professionals, and ministers to ponder see if they can work with, or be, Trump people.
 
There is a black movement for Trump - The National Diversity Coalition For Trump. The group is mostly comprised of prosperous gospel preachers who have linkages to Trump. Ben Carson, RNC board member, Dr. Ada Fisher, and the National Black Republican Association have long  been on board with Trump. Pastor Darrell Scott, a 56-year-old evangelical minister from Cleveland, Ohio, who heads New Spirit Revival Center and organized Ministers for Trump.  Bruce LaVell, a Georgia Republican jewelry store owner and former chairman of the Gwinnett County GOP is a Trump supporter, as is "Celebrity Apprentice" Omarosa Manigault.
 
The first thing Trump can do is undo the harm of President Obama. Funding at HBCUs continues to be “separate and unequal.” Sources of great African American pride and accomplishment, historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are institutions of higher education established with the intention of primarily serving African Americans. There are 107 HBCUs including public and private institutions, community and four-year institutions, medical and law schools. In his transition activitie Trump has the ability to make appointments such as making Leonard L. Haynes III executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities to lead the nation’s HBCUS through best practices to increase student success, improve competitiveness in federal grants and contracts and expansion of corporate partnerships. We encourage President-elect Trump to focus on blacks as transition appointees.

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

Exactly what did President Barack Obama do for the race while he was POTUS?  Obama’s presidency is slipping from present to past, from daily headlines to history books. The talk of legacy intensifies as Obama rounds the final corner of his improbable political career.
 
Other than political words what will President Barack Hussein Obama leave in his stead?  At the heart of the matter is: “What good did Obama do for Blacks?”  History will paint Obama as an artful politician just mouthing words such as “racial reconciliation.”  In “politics nation” Democrats want to blame Republicans for Obama’s failures, while Republicans did all they could to help him fail. Now, die-hard Democrats simply want President Trump to fail, like Republicans had wanted Obama to fail.
 
Those that drank Kool-Aid still think “Barry” should be on Mt. Rushmore.  The reality is that Barack passed Health Care Reform after five presidents over a century failed to create universal health insurance.  Obama signed the Affordable Care Act in 2010 that covers 32 million uninsured Americans beginning and mandates experimental measures to cut health care cost growth.  The Obama administration also passed the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Stimulus and in 2009 used it to spur economic growth.  After the stimulus went into effect, unemployment claims began to subside, 12 months later, the private sector began producing more jobs than it was losing, and it has continued to do so for 24 straight months, creating a total of nearly 3.7 million new private-sector jobs.  Obama and his people and policies passed Wall Street Reform: Signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (2010) to re-regulate the financial sector after its practices caused the Great Recession.  Obama turned around the U.S. auto industry. 

In 2009, Obama officials injected $62 billion in federal money (on top of $13.4 billion in loans from the Bush administration) into ailing GM and Chrysler in return for equity stakes and agreements for massive restructuring. Since bottoming out in 2009, the auto industry has added more than 100,000 jobs. In 2011, the Big Three automakers all gained market share for the first time in two decades.
 
If African Americans can get past the symbolism of the Obama-era, they may find themselves in a first-class economy opportunity.  As “The Donald” becomes president the nation is deeply divided by class, race, health, and opportunity. In his acceptance speech, Trump pledged to be the president of all Americans. Blacks should pursue their chances to compete in rebuilding Trump’s America.  People should follow-up on Trump’s pledge to rebuild the inner cities. This includes affordable housing; efficient transport services for low-income communities; cleanup of urban toxic dumps; and insurance of safe water.  

Note Trump’s twenty-first century economy: “We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals. We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure second to none and will put millions of our people to work.”  Rebuilding America’s inner cities and creating a 21st century infrastructure could be Trump’s greatest legacy. This is a valid, indeed uplifting perspective. America desperately needs rebuilding. Its infrastructure is decrepit; its energy system is out of date for a climate-endangered economy; its Rust-Belt cities are boarded up; its inner cities are unhealthy for the children being raised in them. “
 
A builder-president could indeed restore vitality to the US economy and put millions to work in the process.   Trump pledged to put a trillion dollars on inner-cities and infrastructure programs.  America’s infrastructure is the correct and bold goal for America’s competitiveness, future job creation, and well-being.
 
It’s probably true that Trump doesn’t have a bevy of friends uptown.  Trump tapped Omarosa Manigault as his director of African-American outreach.  Omarosa is an American reality game show and reality show personality.  Graduate of a HBCU, Manigault was a contestant on the first season of Donald Trump's original American version.  Trump and Omarosa need to talk to blacks through more than tweets and social media to know more about their attitudes and outlooks. The Trump administration should make moves to open offices “uptown.”

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

What’s your attitude regarding reparations for slavery? Too often the state of affairs among Black Americans has centered on fighting the law, and winning. As often as Blacks find America’s laws and practices stacked against them, why haven’t Blacks been creators of laws that are favorable toward us? With the numbers of Blacks that comprise the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), why haven’t they made it their collective duty to put forth laws and language necessary to pay reparations to descendants of slaves?


The calculated reparations for America’s Black slave descendants total approximately $1.5 million each. Instead of dancing to partisan parties’ tunes, more Black Americans need to be among those determined to ensure that legitimate slave descendants get their just due. The people championing the status quo of affairs in America will always dispute these claims. There are people in contemporary Black American communities who contend that they aren’t owed anything because they are better off living in America than they would be in Africa. America still owes an enormous debt to Africans and African Americans for the tremendous emotional and financial toll that they’ve suffered and continue to suffer as a result of nearly 400 years of slavery and segregation. It’s as if Blacks are afraid, or feel unworthy, to collect what’s owed them.


Instead of calling for additional Black voter registration efforts and “social change,” Black voters should consider that we have the clout to hasten our own changes through reparations we gained for slavery – compensatory payments for the descendants of those who found themselves enslaved by the Atlantic Slave Trade. By reclaiming what has been stolen from us, Blacks can lay the foundation for viable futures and receive compensation for slavery and the century of de jure racial discrimination that followed with monetary restitution and/or educational programs. Four hundred years of legalized oppression entitles many Blacks in America to just reparations. Blacks are the poorest group in America because our ancestors built this country and never had anything of value to pass onto future generations.


In 1867, Thaddeus Stevens sponsored a bill for redistribution of land to African Americans. It was never passed and Reconstruction came to an end in 1877 without the issue ever being addressed. Now America needs to reconcile with racial history – seek genuine atonement and make meaningful amends. Until such time, angst-ridden race relations will continue to plague America.


A group of influential lawyers and scholars called the “Reparations Coordinating Committee” identified institutions it says have profited from slavery and they have initiated numerous lawsuits against the government and major corporations. Some companies and universities such as Brown acknowledged roles in slavery. The Hartford Courant newspaper apologized for running ads for the sale and capture of slaves. Aetna Insurance apologized for insuring slaves as “personal property.”


Reparations are the ultimate realization of our civil rights. Black media, civil rights and political leaders who flocked to Ferguson, Missouri now need to turn their righteous indignation about what happened there into reparations legislation in Congress and state houses. It’s time Blacks question their leaders as to: What are you doing about reparations? When will Blacks make political officials accountable for their plight? Due to a popular movement that was occurring in Detroit, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. started a procedure of regularly submitting House Resolution 40, the “Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act” to Congress. That bill asked for a look into the effects of slavery on contemporary African Americans. So, what’s your favorite CBC members’ position on HR 40?


Civil rights and social justice groups are lobbying to receive reparations-based grants to service Blacks, but Black voters need to make their elected officials put forth HR 40, the “Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act.” We can’t allow party politics to dilute our interest and thrust for reparations. Send a letter to your local and Congressional representatives telling them to support HR 40. Ten send letters to 10 friends and government officials and tell them to suggest and advocate passage of HR 40.


William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via the BaileyGroup.org