Optimistic. A word seldom used to describe my feelings towards the next few years with our current administration. During Donald Trump’s first two months as our president, we were met with the question of, if he deserved the chance that America gave him to be that. Throughout his campaign, he spoke very highly about the effect he would have on the African-American community and how much we would love him come his time to run for a second term. Already throughout these last couple months, we’ve seen him greatly affect two other minority groups. First, he signed the very controversial ban from 7 majority Muslim countries. After he signed it, it divided our country even more with the question of, if we care more about a potential terrorist attack or if we value letting in families and refugees from these countries. A lot of people think that the minute possibility of a terror attack on United States soil trumps the lives of refugees. While others think that it is our moral obligation to ensure that these people are taken care of, even with the possibility that a terrorist could be pretending to be a refugee to get in the United States and “kill us all.” Along with that, Donald Trump upped the ante on immigration from Mexico. He insists on building the wall, and along with that, since he’s taken office, about 40,000 Mexicans have been deported. People are dehumanizing both of these groups, keeping them in and sending them back to countries that they have little opportunity in.
We see the impact of Donald Trump on these two groups, but what has he done for the black community so far. After his “What do you guys have to lose?” comment, we’d think that a lot would be done to benefit the black community. However, after reading the new proposed budget, it seems as if majority black communities will be hit the hardest, and not in a good way. Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said that “Although President Trump promised a ‘New Deal for Black America,’ his budget slashes the federal workforce and cripples domestic programs (e.g. federal student services TRIO programs, LIHEAP, grants for after school programs, Community Development Block Grants, and Community Services Block Grants), and we’re likely to see even more cuts in these areas if he gives tax breaks to the wealthy, as expected. All of this hurts the African-American community.”
So we did have stuff to lose; a whole lot actually. However the biggest problem is education. Black children are losing out on after school programs now, grants that help a lot of college students, including myself, stay in school funding is being cut, education budget was cut, and the first schools that get hurt are the underprivileged and majority minority schools. Did Donald Trump think by taking pictures with HBCU presidents that we wouldn’t notice that he’s directly attacking our black youth? The most important thing that we had to lose was our youth and their education and now we have a direct attack on them by Donald Trump’s budget and the implications of it. Now we have more problems on a laundry list of problems that already exist in the black community and education system. Now we have to figure out how to fund after school activities for parents that cannot afford them and need after school programs for their kids because they may work for a while after school’s out.
The solution, in my opinion, starts with service from our current college students. We were given opportunities that a lot of these kids won’t be afforded under this current administration. It is our moral obligation to assist. While I was in high school, I gave back to my, majority minority middle school, by coaching the new debaters on the debate team. I made sure that that program remained in place for those students while also making sure that they were successful there to encourage growth in the future. I propose that other college students do the same type of thing. We don’t have to necessarily go back to the elementary, middle, and high schools that we attended, but starting volunteer after school options is the least we could do for our communities. Especially those of us at HBCUs, we know the value of seeing people that look like us being successful and driven. We have to give hope to these kids. We could get athletes to coach athletics, debaters to coach teams, science and math majors to start clubs for kids interested in that. We need to make sure we’re providing our youth with options and show that we care before it’s too late. It’s on us now to make sure that our youth continue to prosper even if our system is designed for them to fail.
Thank you for taking the time to read, “After 2 Months, Did Donald Trump Deserve His Chance? ” by Kara Smith. If you enjoyed this article or it has moved you in any way, please consider supporting the Joseph and Evelyn Lowery Institute for Justice & Human Rights at www.loweryinstitute.org. Let us be the change!