The mainstream media will never admit it, but Donald Trump is responsible for the most remarkable economic boom that Black America has ever seen.
For the past three years, this president has worked to ensure that America’s strong and growing economy works for all Americans, not just corporations and wealthy investors — and his efforts are already paying major dividends in our community.
I’ve said this before and I will say it again — the best social program in the world is a good-paying job, not a welfare handout. Thanks to President Trump’s policies — including massive tax cuts for middle-income Americans, economic opportunity zones to revitalize distressed communities, and deregulation to unleash private sector productivity — the black unemployment rate recently fell to its lowest level in history. It remains more than 10 percentage points below its high point during the Obama administration. Black Americans are also enjoying the lowest poverty rate ever recorded, and our incomes have soared since Donald Trump took office in 2017, hitting an all-time high in 2018.
President Trump’s policies have also created over one million new jobs for black Americans since January 2017, triggering a self-perpetuating ripple of prosperity that has strengthened our community like never before.
This unprecedented era of fortune and growth wasn’t spurred by socialist economic schemes, welfare handouts, or bloated government bureaucracies — it was a direct result of a common-sense agenda of individual empowerment that gave people all over the country hope for a better future.
Thanks to the president’s tax cuts, for instance, families with two children saved an average of almost $3,000 on their federal income taxes in 2018. Moreover, the groundbreaking ”Opportunity Zones” initiative, created by the same legislation, is projected to generate a whopping $100 billion worth of new investments in more than 8,760 economically distressed communities across America.
“We’re providing massive tax incentives for private investment in these areas to create jobs and opportunities where they are needed the most,” the president explained as he laid out his plan to uplift millions of minorities who reside in these once-forgotten cities and neighborhoods.
President Trump has given African Americans more than just economic empowerment, though. Education is the antidote to poverty, and the president has made it a priority to give millions of black students an alternative to the failing government schools and underfunded colleges that have diminished the black community’s prospects for generations.
To accomplish this objective, the president has spearheaded legislation that would increase school choice funding by $42 million, and in 2018 his budget allocated a record $360 million in funding to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). His Justice Department also successfully fought to protect more than 40 faith-based HBCUs from discriminatory federal policies put in place by Barack Obama, ensuring that these institutions continue to enjoy full access to the federal resources allocated to them.
The president's commitment to education is also closely related to his ongoing campaign to reform our criminal justice system. The innovative FIRST STEP Act, which the president signed into law in 2018, strongly promotes training programs designed to provide non-violent criminals with personal and professional skills that will help them reintegrate into society upon their release. This initiative is specifically designed to combat recidivism, which has historically been especially high in black communities.
Notably, the Trump administration has also reduced the excessive prison sentences that disproportionately targeted African Americans for decades, and thousands of black inmates have already been allowed to return to their families as a result.
For the first time in decades, black Americans have genuine hope for a prosperous future — and it's all thanks to Donald J. Trump. If this president can accomplish that much in just three years, just imagine what he can do with another full term in the White House.
Tahrohon Wayne Shannon is the former Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. He is an African American Chickasaw American banker and is currently President/CEO of Chickasaw Community Bank and State Highway Commissioner for Central Oklahoma.