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The politics of fooling ole Black folks

Practical Politics

David L. Horne, Ph.D OW Oped | 2/20/2020, midnight

There is a new book just out called, “Coming Home: How Black Americans Will Re-Elect Trump,” by Vernon Robinson III and Bruce Eberle. Mr. Robinson is a Black man, a former Air Force captain, and campaign administrator for the failed Ben Carson for President Committee. Mr. Eberle is a Caucasian gentleman, who is a former Republican fundraiser.

Their dual thesis is that Black Americans nationwide are in the present process of abandoning the Democratic Party in droves (though offering no evidence of that), and coming into the camp of the Trump re-election process. They argue that the Democratic Party is too radical and too extreme for the Black population---that only Trump has brought down the Black unemployment percentages to their record lows, provided huge sums of money to the HBCUs, and has been a real, true friend to Black Americans throughout his presidency.

They try to use a checkered historical summary of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, including the Democrats’ association with the birth of the KKK and voter suppression efforts. They also reify Abraham Lincoln, the Emancipation Proclamation, the 13-14-15th amendments, and Reconstruction ( particularly the Freedmen’s Bank) as decisions made by the Republican Party for Black Americans.

Although the history lesson they provide is checkered and carefully chosen, they fail to mention that today’s Republican Party behaves more like the KKK-tinted Democrat Party, and vice-versa. This has been the ever-increasing history saga since the late 1930s in the USA.

The claims they make in the book are also mostly overblown and sometimes are just wrong. In fact, the book reads like an extended Donald Trump series of hyperbolic tweets. The claim about HBCUs is a point to consider, for example. The Black colleges and universities have longed struggled for governmental financial assistance at least in some positive way proportionately equal to that given to white colleges and universities. President Obama paid special attention to their funding, but the Trump administration, though it can claim some single-issue successes, has consistently advocated and worked to end the legislation that created the Strengthening Historically Black Colleges Program. The Trump administration certainly did provide a very much needed forgiveness of over 300 million dollars in emergency assistance to Xavier, Southern, Dillard and Tougaloo colleges resulting from hurricane damage. And the Trump administration signed the Future Act recently, which is to provide permanent funding of nearly 100 million dollars annually to HBCUs. But those were mainly congressional initiatives rather than Trump administration advocacies.

The book also claims that the Trump administration has worked hard against voter suppression, and has strongly advocated the restoration of the Voting Rights Act denuded by the Supreme Court. However, those claims in the book are baseless, as are others claiming the Trump administration has helped increase Black homeownership.

Although there is certainly no monolithic African-American community in the U.S.A., and some of us will be fooled and will join the Trump re-election effort, African Americans in general are not fools and they will not be taken in by the “Coming Home” book. This is in spite of the fact that the book is even being offered for free by NEWSMAX Magazine and newsmax.com, the book’s publisher. Newsmax regularly pushes pro-Trump non-facts on the Internet.

Black folks do not like being taken for fools, and they like even less any attempts to garner their favor by outright lies. This book is dangerous and commits both sins.

Vote however you will, but let your vote be based on a summary of solid information and interest, not being “peed on, and being told it is rain.”

Professor David L. Horne is founder and executive director of PAPPEI, the Pan African Public Policy and Ethical Institute, which is a new 501(c)(3) pending community-based organization or non-governmental organization (NGO). It is the stepparent organization for the California Black Think Tank which still operates and which meets every fourth Friday.

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