The Dark Art of Trump's "New Deal With Black America
After a year of campaigning without speaking to a Black audience or addressing their concerns, in August 2016 Donald Trump invited the Black community to leave the Democratic Party’s plantation and come over to his place.
“What do you have to lose” he said, seeming to suggest that the biscuits and gravy Ben Carson and his apprentice Omarosa were cooking up were far superior to those served in Obama’s house.
His remarks were condemned by Blacks and many others as abrasive, untrue, and racist. They were, and deliberately so. Few disagreed that Trump’s nostrum had little to do with appealing to Black voters. They clearly targeted a white audience. But to what end?
Trump's two-edged sword resonated with whites still harboring illusions that Blacks are a beleaguered and underachieving race. At the same time, his forced outreach to Black America supposedly would ease the guilt of educated suburban white women who might "recoil" at the prospect they were voting for a racist.
Either way, Trump’s insults were more than a calculated strategy to stoke the white vote. That was nothing new. For decades Republicans relied on wedge issues like affirmative action or welfare reform to gin up the white electorate. By the 2000 election, the GOP settled on a more benign posture of cold indifference.
What is new is Trump’s total characterization of Black America careening down the path of self destruction--a fate they are powerless to overcome unless they embrace Donald Trump as their savior. And there’s the rub.
Knowing he'd never get a credible share of the Black vote (he won 8% of Black vote) Trump manufactured an argument that Black America’s predicament was of their own choosing and they deserve the wretched conditions they live in.
More sinister is the new political template Trump forged. By portraying Black America as a permanent underclass, riven by ignorance, crime, unemployment, and drugs, he laid the foundation to cast Blacks as an expendable sub-population.
That may sound alarmist or even sensationalist, but then so did a Muslim ban and the mass deportation of 13 million undocumented persons one year ago. In truth, a full spectrum of draconian measures were test piloted in the Trump campaign, not to mention the whiff of totalitarian rule that clings to Trump like a wet sweater.
Not to worry, Trump's paternalistic concerns to lift Black America out of the abyss led to the October 2016 release of his revolutionary 10 point program, "A New Deal for Black America.”
Skipping over the boilerplate GOP pablum, two issues were noteworthy. First, Trump's "Safe Streets" program.
"Every poor African-American child must be able to walk down the street in peace," says Trump. To accomplish this, his New Deal would "invest in training and funding local and federal law enforcement operations to remove the gang members, drug dealers, and criminal cartels from our neighborhoods."
And what Black child wouldn't fear walking down the street if Trump's call for "stop and frisk" police tactics was revived. Add to that his plan to deploy the National Guard in urban areas and you have the elements required for the conversion of urban Black communities into virtual Bantustans.
The "Godfather" also has a plan to protect Black America and its middle class; well more like a "protection racket." According to Trump, "No group has been more economically harmed by decades of illegal immigration than low-income African-American workers. Hillary’s [Clinton] pledge to enact 'open borders,' says Trump "will destroy the Black middle class."
So its not the corporations that raped and abandoned Black urban centers; the banks, insurance companies and realtors like Trump who red-lined Black communities; the justice system that systematically imprisons a quarter of Black humanity that is destroying the African American community.
No, its illegal immigrants. And once Trump deports the "illegals", Blacks can pick lettuce and tomatoes, and clean homes as domestic workers and nannies. Ahh, life on the new plantation.
Trump's rhetoric and proposals to deal with Black America represent a dangerous escalation to redefine the people of a darker hue as a subversive element and national security concern.
But it should not be forgotten that this escalation cuts two ways. The July 7, 2016, shooting of five Dallas police officers by Micah Xavier Johnson, and Gavin Long's killing of police officers in Baton Rouge two weeks later were a direct response to the spate of police shootings of Black men across the country.
The message that both of these Black veterans conveyed was clear; the time for talk and marches is over. Occurring against the backdrop of Trump's incendiary campaign, the racial tension coursing through the country was palpable.
That tension and anxiety is eroding Black/White relations, exacerbating conflict between Blacks and law enforcement and deepening the divide between the Trump Administration are the Black community.
In this climate of uncertain economic times, racial and political polarization, the outbreak of a crisis could lead to a severe trial of strength between the Trump administration and Black America--one that can't be resolved by the "Art of the Deal", new or otherwise.
Thought Leadership Center
Donald Trump broke every politically correct rule in the campaign playbook in route to the Oval Office. His administration is no different. America's presidency is now a family run business of a new type: Trump Inc.
The Trump's have affected a radical departure from all other presidential political families. Sure, John Kennedy's father ran a bootlegging operation with the mob during prohibition; the Bush dynasty was powered by Texas oil money, and the Clintons could turn a dollar into a small fortune whether it was trading pork bellies or shaking down investors over phony land deals.
But Trump Inc. seeks to run the government writ large as a self- contained in-house operation. In other words, Donald Trump, his daughter Ivanca and her husband Jared Kushner are running as much of government as they can manage from the West Wing.
For example, Trump enhanced Jared Kushner's portfolio by making him his personal envoy to the Middle East, Mexico and Canada--normally the purview of the Secretary of State and National Security Adviser.
Moreover, as a practical matter on how Trump Inc. operates, Eric Trump said that a major influence in Donald Trump's decision to bomb Syria was because Ivanca Trump was "heartbroken and outraged" at Syria's alleged chemical attack on its people.
Meanwhile, Donald Jr and Eric are directing the other half of Trump Inc., "taking over" daddies business holdings. No one knows if Donald Trump divested himself from all his business interest or set up a blind trust insulating his business interests from conflicting with his public office.
In the absence of releasing his tax returns, there can be no public accounting to determine if he or his family are using the government to further their business interests.
Trump Inc.'s methods and business model mirrors that of a mafia crime family. Like New York's five families organized by Lucky Luciano, Donald Trump sits as "Godfather" reigning over his children's "Capo régimes." His son-in-law Jared Kushner doubles as his consigliere and shadow Secretary of State. Ivanka Trump sits as an adviser without portfolio in the West Wing.
Similar to the La Cosa Nostra, Trump Inc. threatens, intimidates, sues, cons, swindles and lies as standard practices for profit taking. It also ruthlessly crushes its competitors and opponents.
Typically, the mafia profits from a multitude of enterprises; gambling, prostitution, narcotics trafficking, labor racketeering, bribery, extortion and any other enterprise it could subvert.
Similarly, Trump Inc. extracts profits by any mean necessary. Cutting deals with mobbed-up businesses, running fake universities, gambling, using illegal foreign labor, sexual exploitation of women, housing discrimination against people of color are but a few of Trump Inc.'s well documented practices.
With "the Don" now in the White House, the potential to shake down the government is limitless. The Trump family brand is the most potent in the world. So is its power to intimidate Trump Inc.'s business enemies and competitors.
That the bullying and hardball tactics hard-wired in Trumps' business and personal were easily transferred into the political arena, should come as no surprise. His mentor in New York City was Roy Cohn, the legal mastermind behind Senator Joe McCarthy's anti-communist inquisition in the 1950's.
Given the level of secrecy and subterfuge surrounding Donald Trump's business and personal finances, it will take some time to unravel Trump Inc.'s byzantine dealings. If the current investigation into Trump Inc.'s relations with Russia is any indication of what the future may hold, we are in for a wild ride.