When he was campaigning, Donald Trump courted black voters by doing something he rarely does: telling the truth.
At an Ohio rally in August 2016, he took the Democratic Party to task for having "failed completely in the inner cities." He told African-American voters: "Year after year, failure after failure, worse numbers after worse numbers. Poverty. Rejection. Horrible education. No housing, no homes, no ownership... What do you have to lose?"
Trump deserves credit for this. But now that he's president, three of his cabinet picks — Ben Carson, Betsy DeVos, and Jeff Sessions — represent the greatest threat to African-Americans since the civil rights era.
Trump tapped Carson, a brain surgeon, to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He might have been a reasonable surgeon general, but putting him in charge of affordable housing programs will be a disaster. Just because he's black doesn't mean he knows anything about housing projects. Carson will make sure that all of the HUD money goes to Trump's Russian developer friends.
DeVos is the first cabinet pick in American history to pay top dollar for her new job as education secretary. She and her family contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Trump and Republican federal legislators, including $100,000 to Sen. Marco Rubio. DeVos' ultimate goal is to replace every public school with a charter school. In a country where public school teachers are underpaid and minority children are underserviced, she will aim to close public schools in inner cities across America.
Sessions, Trump's recently confirmed attorney general, is a redneck, racist, and closet Klansman from Alabama. Now he's America's top cop. That means it's open season on unarmed black men. Police departments that have problems with affording African-Americans their civil rights no longer have to worry about Department of Justice investigations. And states will deny African-Americans their voting rights while Sessions is in charge.
During the next four years, African-Americans stand to lose the most.
Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.