After being involved in Texas politics for more than a decade, I can tell you with certainty that nothing has done more to improve the Republican Party’s relationship with African Americans than the election of President Donald Trump. If you look at the track record of this administration, it’s easy to see why. Trump has delivered tangible results to the African American community.
It’s no secret that America is experiencing an economic boom. What’s different about this economy, however, is the degree to which black America has participated in it. The black unemployment rate is 5.5 percent, an all-time low. Black Texans have fared even better, with a jobless rate of just 5.4 percent.
There are more African Americans in the workforce than ever before. Before Trump took office, the lowest African American unemployment rate ever recorded was a disappointing 7 percent — and that lasted for only one month. Even in 2014, at the peak of the Obama non-recovery, joblessness still afflicted more than 12 percent of the black community.
The difference between Trump and his predecessors isn’t merely one of rhetoric; it’s a matter of results. Time and again, this administration has demonstrated its commitment to addressing racial disparities.
For decades, the crime bill authored by then-Sen. Joe Biden led to disproportionately harsh prison sentences for non-violent African American offenders — the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine being the most notorious example. Thanks to the FIRST STEP Act that Trump championed, non-violent offenders sentenced to very long prison terms have more options to earn early release by demonstrating good behavior.
And prisons are pioneering innovative new approaches to rehabilitation, such as teaching former inmates professional and personal skills in order to better prepare them for reentry into our communities and reduce recidivism.
Many of these ideas were inspired by reforms first offered in Texas, and African Americans are overwhelmingly the greatest beneficiaries. Of the first 1,000 inmates released under the FIRST STEP Act, more than 91 percent are black.
Other important policy reforms seek to empower the next generation of African Americans. That’s why educational opportunities factor greatly into the America First agenda. Trump has urged Congress to approve $500 million for charter schools, for instance, and Texas will undoubtedly benefit greatly because we have more charter schools than most other states. There are currently 171 charter districts statewide, and state lawmakers have looked to increase charter school funding for years.
Parents should be able to send their child to a good school regardless of their zip code. No child should be condemned to attend a failing school while bureaucrats spend years addressing structural problems. This is what holds students back, and more often than not, it affects African American students the most.
After graduation, many of our brightest students choose to attend historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs, nine of which are in Texas. Trump, through more funding and executive orders, is ensuring that HBCUs are able to thrive and continue to provide vital educational opportunities for black students.
The president is delivering real benefits to the African American community. However, you won’t learn that from the biased national media, which avoids drawing any positive attention to this president’s accomplishments. Nonetheless, Donald Trump has done more to bring African Americans into the Republican fold than any previous politician, simply by delivering the results he promised on the campaign trail.
The Black Voices for Trump coalition will take the case to voters who have spent the past three years in the darkness of the liberal media’s shadow war on the president. The 2020 election will mark a historic turning point that will secure Trump’s second term and continued prosperity for African Americans.