Black Republicans Offer President Trump a Roadmap for Engagement With the African-American Community

‘African-American citizens have given so much to this country. They’ve fought in every war since the Revolution, and they’ve fought hard. They’ve lifted up the conscience of our nation in the march toward civil rights, enriched the soul of America — and their faith and courage. And they’ve advanced our country in the fields of science, arts and medicine,” President Donald Trump said in welcoming members of the Congressional Black Caucus to a March 22 meeting at the White House.

But can the man who pointedly asked during the 2016 campaign what African-Americans have to lose by supporting him match his words with action?

Can Trump be the Republican president who delivers for the black community?

Some black members of the Republican Party in Metro Detroit think so. But first they believe the president has to move beyond symbolic gestures and offer some serious solutions to the myriad issues facing black America.

“The best approach President Trump could do to connect with the black community is to start with adding diversity to his own cabinet with credible appointments,” said Brandon Brice, a political consultant who contributes to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

Dr. Ben Carson, the Housing and Urban Development secretary, is the only African-American in Trump’s cabinet, which compared to past administrations is a stunning and significant lack of representation.

Price wants Trump to use the Small Business Administration as a direct pipeline to the black community.

“The president must use federal offices like the Small Business Administration as a vessel to work with African-American-based organizations, churches and economic development corporations,” Brice said. “Trump may even consider a summer listening tour with the top 50 black business leaders in cities like Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans and Baltimore to develop a strategy to rebuild small business in those neighborhoods.”

Brice also said education should top the agenda.

“Education reform is very important when changing the urban outcomes of cities and residents. But the conversation shouldn’t be charters versus public education. The conversation should be how do we offer the best option for parents in poor districts and fix public education for those families who don’t have the financial means,” Brice said.

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SOURCE: Bankole Thompson 
The Detroit News