By Arlene Jones
I watched President Donald Trump's speech to Congress last week. Just prior to ascending to the podium, he paused for a second to speak with both Congressmen Bobby Rush and Danny Davis. Later the news reported that Rush invited Trump to come to Chicago and that the president has agreed. So I want to put in my two cents prior to that visit.
First and foremost, Trump will be an invited guest. Thus our overzealous "activists" are free to protest by peacefully assembling, but they are not free to impose themselves in any attempts to disrupt or break up the meeting. The President comes with resources and we don't need anyone to prevent the meeting/visit from occurring just so that they can get facetime on television for acting out. We are in serious need here in Chicago and those who like to perform before the cameras are not the outcome we need or seek.
Whether we get a Marshall Plan (used to aid in the recovery of Europe following WWII) or a WPA (Works Progress Administration, used to aid in the recovery of America following the Great Depression), black America and the inner cities of this country are in dire need of a program to kick-start our recovery from decades of economic woes.
And whatever kind of campaign this country eventually gets, it needs to address the 4 E's: education, employment, economics, and ex-offenders. Fortunately we have a president who has already addressed many of these issues and more in his "New Deal for Black America." It is a 10-point plan where he has laid out his ideology. The plan was first introduced in October 2016 just prior to the election. I won't go over all 10 points, but highly recommend that folks take the time to find it on the internet and read it.
I also hope the elected officials who do meet with Trump understand that we need a real plan and not the normal "publicity and then nothing happens." The ages of those doing many of the shootings and the ages of the victims prove that our current crisis is urgent. We have had so many failed plans that adding another to the basket will be the "straw that breaks the camel's back."
We also don't need to allow the current deportation of folks who shouldn't be in this country to begin with to derail the meeting or outcome. Their issue is really not our issue and it murkies the water to even allow it. They are not suffering an unemployment issue and we cannot truthfully attempt to rescue them as we ourselves drown. I also hope the Trump administration reaches out to the real activists who have ideas and plans that can jump-start a recovery among those who need it the most.
Trump has repeatedly reached out to the black community. Some of our issues were specifically mentioned in the speech he gave. The question then becomes, "What is the deal-breaker?" Is the emphasis going to be on how he says it or what he says? Can the money, jobs and opportunities come from a man with an "R" (for Republican) behind his name or do we only accept the help if a Democrat does it? Will a Trump success mean that Democrats may lose their guaranteed black folks' vote and thus want to sabotage our recovery even though in Chicago our demise has totally been at the hands of Democrats?
Trump's visit awaits and I wait to learn the outcome.
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