On Friday, President Donald Trump took the bold step of unveiling his plan for black America during a speech in Atlanta, Georgia. The plan outlines a series of steps his administration will take to promote prosperity and growth in the black community if he is elected.
This action is a marked departure from the norm when it comes to Republican presidents, who have typically avoided making overt appeals to the black community. However, unlike progressive candidates, Trump’s “Platinum Plan” seeks to push more for free-market solutions to help black Americans generate wealth rather than policies designed to create more government dependency.
The president’s plan includes four pillars: “Opportunity,” “security,” “prosperity,” and “fairness.” During his speech, he said: “For decades, Democrat politicians like Joe Biden have taken Black voters for granted. They made you big promises before every election—and then the moment they got to Washington, they abandoned you and sold you out.”
Trump’s strategy is intended to increase black Americans’ access to capital by nearly $500 billion. Under the plan, black entrepreneurship would rise with the creation of 500,000 new black-owned businesses, and provide 3 million new jobs for black workers.
The administration will achieve these goals with “additional tax cuts to stimulate hiring and investment,” and encouraging “offshoring and development of domestic manufacturing to increase supply chain business development and employment.” It will also “Examine barriers to employment including fees, occupational licensing, arrest record inaccuracy, and expungement.”
Along with the economic improvements, the president will also “prosecute the KKK and ANTIFA as terrorist organizations and make lynching a national hate crime.” He will also push for more a “Second Step Act” to build on the progress of the original criminal justice legislation.
As far as education goes, Trump is vowing to “close failing schools” and replace them with “full school choice and education opportunity.” He will also continue to protect Historically Black Colleges & Universities.
President Trump’s announcement marks the first time in recent memory that a Republican president has laid out a comprehensive plan to spark growth and prosperity for black Americans. While he previously gave a high-level overview of what his administration would put in place for the black community, the Platinum Plan gives a more concrete idea of what he will do if re-elected.
Trump’s plan is a solid approach to removing obstacles that make it more difficult for black Americans to use the free market to create wealth and greater opportunities. But even more than that, it is unapologetically black, tailored to a group of voters which the Republican Party has all but completely ignored since the mid-1960s.
In crafting this strategy, the president has shown that he might be willing to ruffle a few feathers on the right, especially among those who tend to view overt outreach to the black community as pandering, if it means earning more support from black voters. The plan does not couch its intentions in vague euphemisms or allusions, it flat out asserts that it is a plan for black America.
The significance of this step cannot be underestimated. It is the first time in decades that a Republican president has dared to compete directly with the Democratic Party for black voters. Trump may not earn pre-Goldwater percentages of the black vote.
But suppose the rest of the GOP follows his lead instead of sticking with the Romneyesque establishment paradigm. In that case, we could finally see a return to an age when the former Party of Lincoln begins to rebuild trust with the black community.