Why do African Americans have a real disadvantage? It is because segregation in this country was historically mandated by the US Government not private enterprise. It was aided and abetted by state and local governments.
Levittown, NY, which was a new 1500 unit housing project on Long Island, built after WWll, and was not open for purchase or rent to African Americans or Jews (although one Jewish firm laid all the floors-it was my Dad’s). It was specified by the Federal Government not to mix “incompatible” races.
This segregation plan was furthered by Robert Moses who literally carved up cities according to race, placing African Americans on the “wrong side of the tracks”, thereby cutting them off from the prosperity that propelled many other Americans forward. As a result, they never experienced the opportunities and prosperity of other groups . This is the shame of American Identity Politics and why it does matter. We have an unfortunate history of suppressing the economic prosperity of all minorities of color in this country. The Trump Administration’s policies unfortunately only further the economic disparity among Americans of color and we must fight to discontinue these dreadful policies.
One way to fight back is to overturn political gerrymandering in many states and voter suppression. It is particularly egregious in GOP dominated state and local legislatures. A vote for Trump is against the self interest of African Americans. Therefore, #RockTheVote. Every vote counts! According to the Brennan Law Center, the erosion of democracy is also playing out in the states.
Consider North Carolina. ” In recent years, the state enacted an array of anti-democratic rules. The state’s restrictive voting law cut back on early voting and registration and imposed harsh voter ID rules. A federal appeals court found it was crafted to “target African Americans with almost surgical precision.” The legislature passed gerrymanders so lopsided that multiple courts found them unconstitutional. When incumbent Republicans lost control of the governorship, legislators sought to entrench party power, passing a law that effectively put Republicans in charge of the state election board in perpetuity. The state’s GOP legislators even tried (unsuccessfully) to increase the size of the state supreme court to enable the outgoing governor to fill more seats. North Carolina provides a particularly grotesque version of trends seen throughout the country.
The efforts to manipulate the electoral system are so pervasive they could prevent the voice of the people from being heard in November. Prognosticators see a possible “wave” election, with voter anger yielding surging turnout and electoral change. Yet gerrymandering is now so severe that Democrats would need a nearly unprecedented landslide to win the House of Representatives by even one seat. Voting restrictions in many states continue to thwart thousands of voters — and could be the determining factor in close elections. Dark money continues to balloon, reaching new highs this year. The crisis of American democracy, in short, is urgent.”
African American rights are further degraded by states work requirements for the issuance of Medicaid. African Americans are being left out of state exemptions. Michigan is an example: Michigan’s GOP has a plan to shield some people from Medicaid work requirements. They’re overwhelmingly white. The plan would overwhelmingly benefit white people while leaving work requirements in place for all but a sliver of the affected African American population.
How do “We the People” stop discrimination? One solution would be to create a two-year program after high school integrating all races and people of America, making mandatory service to our country compulsory for all teenagers between the ages of 18-20 yrs of age. Alternatives to military service should be encouraged to pursue eventual higher education or other career choices. My 2 cents and I invite my Community to debate other solutions, as well. An educated involved citizenry is the only way to preserve our Democracy.
We are all entitled to equal opportunity! If we know a truth, we can no longer bear witness. We must act to correct our State of Inequality. Run for office, register to vote, support candidates who support you and #RockTheVote.
See you Monday and we’ll chat.
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