The 2016 presidential election will prove to be one of the most interesting in American history. Indeed, the voting public has radical choices in the candidates and the parties.
Bernie Sanders is running a crusade and is amazingly attracting young voters, particularly young women, and interestingly enough, young Black women. He is speaking directly to their issues, namely attending college and being middle age before the college debt is paid in full.
Hillary Clinton is running a traditional campaign, but not attracting what one would think is her natural constituency – women, all women of any age. She for some reason is not connecting. Women are not voting for Hillary so far, even though her “first female president” title would be historic.
Bernie and Hillary both need the Black vote to win and both have long been supporters of Black causes.
Hillary is showcasing mothers of wrongly murdered youth as her moment of relevancy. Bernie is quoting his early civil rights days of protest. Often politicians use “marching with Dr. King” as a historical benchmark.
Both have been supporters of improving the plight of Black Americans, but more than social work is required at this time. Black America needs real economic development, along with the social philanthropy.
The Trump Story Continues
Donald Trump is the winner of the campaign, no matter what. Trump is the Republican of the Year. The others will soon drop from the race, as has traditional, well-established, well-funded Jeb Bush.
Bush was no match for billionaire businessman Trump, who resonates with blue-collar workers. The Bush dynasty pedigree did not work, did not relate to Trump’s blue-collar supporters. The third White House Bush did not resonate at all.
Trump is the master of reality and has introduced a new era in politics. Reality politics, if you will. He knows how to dominate the conversation, so the media loves him even when they try to hate him, and they spell his name right.
Talking frank, blunt and open, Trump sounds like one to get the job done and to hire the expertise needed to get the job done. He sounds like an executive. He takes no prisoners, including the sacred Pope.
He is pealing his opponents off one by one, like a prizefighter. The impossible candidate may well be the one on the way to the White House, in that he is trending as the American public likes it.
He is non-traditional, he is open and honest and he is attractive with a great looking family. Most of all, he is not a politician. He is a leader.
Pushing Black Enterprise
I am hoping that all of the candidates will speak to Black enterprise. America has worked on affirmative action for decades, as it was introduced in President Richard Nixon’s administration back in 1969.
Policies were geared to lending Black businesses money via the Small Business Administration, seeking Black businesses for government contracts and asserting that all contracts required minority participation.
Along the way, everybody but a White male became a minority – women, Latinos, Asians and all of the others. The laws in some instances have been threatened and some are inactive because they are not administered.
America’s affirmative action plan requires revamping. The new affirmative action plan needs to be revitalized and target-specific. Black America needs its own set of rules, not mixed with all of the immigrant minorities.
Black America holds a special place because of slavery. Black America was legally denied housing, education, marriage, and ownership and business opportunities.
Skin color has played a significant role in prejudices, discriminations and the fight is still on for full-fledged opportunity.
Just as the law denied full American participation for this special group, special laws need to be put in place with teeth to insure full Black economic participation in the American process. This adjustment needs to apply to education and business. We still see inequities in both categories.
The Success Factor
This is not to suggest failure to comply, or gifts, but it is to recognize special historical conditions where the catch up for the true American immigrant experience has not been fulfilled.
Even though we have a Black president, these issues have not been addressed under his stewardship. Indeed, it is has been business as usual. If the banks are “too big to fail,” then Blacks ought to have a government “success” factor also.
As the debates have taken place and civil right meetings have occurred, I have not heard Black enterprise addressed at all, even as all candidates vie for the Black vote.
Still, Blacks with a trillion dollar annual consumer power are not treated fairly in the marketplace. Still, Blacks are perhaps given small portions of major contracts, or are not included at all or even have a clause that after reaching a certain “level” you are not Black any more and you graduate from the program, but you never graduate from Blackness.
Still, we see redlining in lending practices. Still, there are issues on access to funding that venture capitalists ignore. Still, there are issues based on qualifications that have to do with skin color rather than ability. Still there are issues with opportunity in mainstream. Still there is no economic equity.
I am hoping that Black America at all levels, from the Civil Rights community to Black Lives Matter, employ leverage politics for the sole purpose of making equity economics a primary issue with the presidential candidates. Let’s not just give our vote away.
With the candidates being so divided, I am hoping that real change will come about for the next four years, and personally, I don’t really care which candidate puts it forth. We just need equality economics to be part of the presidential agenda.