Every four years Democratic presidential candidates head to black churches and do a perverse combination of public mea culpa and tired sales job. It’s a political hymn and it goes something like this. The first verse is a recognition that the black community is a perpetual victim of ingrained racism that exists widely in American society.
The second verse is an acknowledgement of the candidates’ own failings to stand up to that racism as a self-appointed spokesperson for white privilege.
The hymn’s chorus consists of soaring promises about how more government programs and more money directed towards the black community will finally manufacture true equality.
It should offend not just blacks but every American.
Mike Bloomberg embarked last week on his oddly divisive sounding "Mike for Black America" tour, but back in January, he became the first in this election year to stand in a church and sing for his votes. Right on cue in verse one he called out the "historic wrongs" committed against blacks. In verse two, he apologized for "stop and frisk" policing tactics he staunchly supported as mayor, even though they prevented more violence and crime in minority neighborhoods than anywhere else.
Then for the chorus, he had the gall to tell black leaders that $70 billion will be the balm needed to address chronic problems within urban communities of color in this country.
His larger plan to help them included fighting voter ID laws, sensitivity training for cops, and increasing support for black-owned banks.
It was almost as if Bloomberg pulled a number out of his head that sounded like a lot.
After all, decrepit school and transportation infrastructure require billions in new investment in New York City alone. Deplorable conditions in America’s public housing projects require a total rethinking of how we provide affordable housing.
Bloomberg’s own plan in New York City cost $23 billion.
It showed just how little he thinks about the intelligence and capability of America’s black and minority communities struggling as a result of decades of government failure and institutionalized racism at the hands of liberal politicians. Not surprisingly, he once advocated raising taxes on poor people so they had less money to hurt themselves and fingerprinting hundreds of thousands of low-income minorities.
Suggesting that black Americans in 2020 can’t obtain an identification card or that the government should encourage them to use black banks is demeaning and racist.
Those are harsh words but more promises of "free" stuff, and new programs that perpetuate government dependency drive division not equality.
A pittance of resources won't lift communities of color out of poverty.
Conservatives know, it's not income inequality. It’s an opportunity deficit.
Addressing the issues of minority communities requires us to lock arms and sing together about individual opportunity not collectivist policies.
But this hymn from Democrats has been sung so many times in so many places, perhaps people have stopped paying attention. Perhaps, the black community in this country has been so marginalized and taken for granted by Democrats and the left that they are numb to the insults of political rhetoric that smacks of a payoff or worse, being thrown scraps from the table. It's sickening that Democrats think that black leaders and voters will so easily fall for this kind of performance after decades of broken promises — even from the first black president.
Republicans deserve blame for this charade as well, having long ago largely ignored minority communities in favor of vote-rich suburbs and rural America.
The best way out of poverty is a job.
The best way to get a job is providing educational choice that meets the needs of inner-city students and delivers better results. The result of quality education shouldn't be societal pressure to attend college but a wide range of vocational training and higher education programs in conjunction with the private sector.
Lowering taxes and allowing people to have access to more of their earnings through tax credits for housing, education and training will help create greater opportunity. That’s the message President Trump is taking to the black community.
Democrats haven’t even come close to competing with the substance of it.
Violence in these communities continues to claim lives by the hundreds.
It's a national tragedy largely ignored by both parties.
Bloomberg for his part thinks taking legal guns off the streets will solve the problem.
The remaining Democratic presidential contenders will all have their time at the pulpit to sing this pitiful old political hymn. They'll likely throw in some canned references to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in there and call President Trump a racist too.
No one should fall for it anymore — not the minister or the deacon, or the congregant or the mother praying for a better life for her children.
The compassionate white suburban soccer mom shouldn’t be duped either.
Tom Basile has been part of the American political landscape from Presidential campaigns to local politics. He served in the Bush Administration from 2001-2004, as Executive Director of the NYS Republican Party and has held a range of senior-level communications roles in and out of government. Basile's critically-acclaimed book, "Tough Sell: Fighting the Media War in Iraq" (Foreword by Amb. John R. Bolton), chronicles his time in Baghdad fighting media bias and driving fairer coverage of the Iraq war. In 2011, he was featured in Time Magazine's Person of the Year spread about political activism around the world. Basile is an adjunct professor at Fordham University, a local elected official and runs a New York-based strategic communications firm. He is a member of the New York Bar and sits on a number of academic and philanthropic advisory boards. Learn more about him at TomBasile.com or follow him on Twitter @Tom_Basile. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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