With under 40 days to Election Day and just ahead of the first Presidential Debate, President Trump has released his Black agenda, which his campaign has dubbed the Platinum Plan. While attacking members of the democratic party, Trump highlighted efforts to create jobs and opportunity for black-owned businesses, while also stating that he will push for making Juneteenth a national holiday, make lynching a hate crime, and marking the Ku Klux Klan and ANTIFA as hate groups.
The announcement of the latter is a stark contrast to past positions of President Trump. Trump has pointed toward hate groups in places like Charlottesville, VA, and called them “fine people” and not denounced the radical actions that those groups have committed, while also defending Confederate symbols. In those same moments, Trump has referred to Black Lives Matter as a ”symbol of hate.” Trump also retweeted a video that included a White supporter of his proclaiming “white power.”
Many of the concepts stated in Trump’s Platinum Plan are rehashing of the bare minimums he pushed during his “Make America Great Again” run of 2016 or he does not have direct authority to accomplish. His Juneteenth holiday idea, one that has been long touted by Senator Kamala Harris, is a matter that passes through Congress, which is where Sen. Harris currently sits.
In response to Trump’s Platinum Plan, Biden for President Director of Strategic Communications Kamau Marshall released the following statement:
“In 2016, President Trump asked Black Americans “What the hell do you have to lose?” The answer was everything. President Trump has been in office for nearly 4 years and the results have been devastating for Black Americans. Trump lied about the danger of COVID-19 and failed to contain the virus and tens of thousands of Black Americans have lost their lives. More than 1.5 million additional Black Americans are unemployed than at the same time last year and 400,000 small businesses have closed because of the economic fallout from the crisis. Now with 39 days to the election, Trump is making more empty promises. Black voters won’t fall for it. They know that Vice President Biden and Senator Harris are the candidates in the race with a real plan to create jobs, address racial equity, close the racial wealth and income gaps, and lower health care costs. And, while President Trump fans the flames of race and division, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will bring Americans together to advance racial equity and root out systemic racism.”
Trump would also state in the roll-out of the Platinum Plan the desire to build up “peaceful” urban neighborhoods despite referring to places like Chicago as places no one wants to go. He also states he will work on delivering the “highest standards” of policing and fairness to the justice system, but has previously referred to protestors who are acting for those causes as “anarchists.” This past Wednesday when Trump was questioned about the Breonna Taylor decision in Louisville, Trump referred to the situation as a “very positive thing” and “it will all work out.” When pressed about questions regarding the case, he referred to an “emergency phone call” repeatedly before completing his side step and exiting the press conference.
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The question that needs to be on the mind of Black voters is why? Why with a little over a month before Election Day why is your Black agenda just now being revealed? Why is the Platinum Plan a priority of Trump’s platform now when the last three years and 300-plus days the physical, financial and emotional well-being of Black Americans did not matter? During Trump’s tenure, we have seen plenty of Executive Orders signed for causes that appeared to be vital in his mind, none of them were to assist in the experience of Black people as Americans. Why are you offering empty promises after nearly an entire term of forwarding anti-Black policies, tearing down the progress made by your predecessor, an African-American president, and ignoring systemic racism and social inequalities?
In addition to haphazardly rolling out his Black agenda during a campaign stop, Trump continues to target Vice-President Biden. Trump aimed to show a contrast between he and Biden, meanwhile, Biden recently held a Black Economic Summit in North Carolina to put action behind a plan that would empower economic opportunity for Black Americans.
Biden’s Black agenda includes actionable steps toward creating wealth in the Black community, including ensuring first-time homebuyers are able to secure $15,000 in federal down payment assistance. The investment will also go into communities with the aim to create new and repair existing affordable housing while expanding funding for shelters and homelessness programs. Where Trump is determined to repeal Obamacare, Biden’s aim is to protect and increase the security that it provides 3 million, uninsured non-elderly Black Americans.
READ MORE: Joe Biden Holds Black Economic Summit in North Carolina with Aims to Advance Racial Equity
On the topic of social justice, Biden is not just saying he has a plan but aims to create a $20 billion competitive grant program and reduce incarcerated populations. Utilizing the legislation he authored, Biden will also address systemic misconduct in police departments and prosecutors’ offices and decriminalize the use of cannabis and automatically expunge all cannabis use convictions, end incarceration for drug use alone, and expand effective alternatives to detention.
If Trump is hoping to have the remaining road to the election to encourage Black support, the receipts of the past three-plus years show that his words will not align with the work to follow and he does not deserve the vote.