CBC lists 100 Trump actions in 100 Days – to the detriment of Black Progress

 

By Hazel Trice Edney

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – The Congressional Black Caucus has released a list of 100 actions taken by President Donald Trump during his first 100 days that the CBC says have been detrimental to the country – especially the Black community.
“People of all ages and races, including many young people of color, are standing up and speaking out about this Administration’s actions and how they will hurt our communities and the country,” says CBC Chairman Cedric Richmond in a statement. “President Trump says he wants to make America great again but in our view the programs and policies he’s implementing will do the opposite. We hope this list will help those who are engaged and those who aren’t stay woke because our democracy is at stake.”
“The list, titled ‘What Did Trump Do?: The First-100-Days, #StayWoke List,’ is a special edition of CBC’s ‘What Did Trump Do?’ rapid response documents and includes actions across issues areas such as education, healthcare, and justice,” says a statement. “The list is part of the CBC’s effort to listen, involve, and mobilize young leaders during the 115th Congress, an effort that began a few weeks ago with the launch of CBC’s tour of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, #CBCOnTheYard.”
The phrase #StayWoke or “stay awake” is often used by African-Americans in the social media arena to “remind themselves and those around them to stay focused on what’s really being said and done to their community. As a result of the election of President Trump, the phrase has taken on new meaning; people of all ages and races are using it to remind themselves and those around them to stay focused on the programs and policies being implemented by this Administration.”
The following are among the items on the list:

“After meeting with 70 HBCU presidents and the White House stating that he wanted to give HBCUs “the proper respect,” President Trump has proposed in his budget to give these institutions the same amount of money they received last year even though their operational costs are increasing. President Trump has also proposed to cut programs that support students served by HBCUs including federal work study, Pell, and campus-based aid.”
“President Trump has said many hurtful things about President Obama, including accusing the first Black president of a felony. On March 4, President Trump tweeted that President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 election. President Trump has provided no evidence that President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower even though he could easily provide it. In addition, on March 20, FBI Director James Comey told the House Intelligence Committee during a public hearing that the agency has ‘no information’ about the alleged wiretaps.”
“After several sexual assault allegations and related legal settlements came to light about former veteran Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly, President Trump defended the journalist. “I think he’s a person I know well — he is a good person,” said President Trump on April 5 during an interview with the New York Times in the Oval Office. “I think he shouldn’t have settled; personally I think he shouldn’t have settled. Because you should have taken it all the way. I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.” Days later Fox News canceled O’Reilly’s show and announced that he would not be returning to the network.”
“President Trump’s proposed budget would eliminate the Minority Business Development Agency, “which funds a nationwide network of business centers to help minority-owned business stay competitive and create jobs.”
“During a White House press conference on April 11, Press Secretary Sean Spicer suggested that the President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, is guilty of war crimes that are worse than those committed by Nazi Germany leader Adolf Hitler during the Holocaust. Spicer said that Hitler did not use chemical weapons like al-Assad even though gas chambers were regularly used to kill Jews and others at concentration camps during the Holocaust.”
“President Trump appointed Candice E. Jackson as acting assistant secretary for civil rights at the Department of Education. Ms. Jackson once said affirmative action ‘promotes racial discrimination,’ and claimed she was discriminated against for being white.”
“On February 27, after meeting with more than 70 HBCU presidents, Secretary DeVos called Historically Black Colleges and Universities “pioneers” for school choice even though these institutions were founded because white colleges and university refused to admit Black students.”
“President Trump’s proposed budget for the Department of Education hurts low-income students from pre-k through college by undermining public education through the elimination of after school and teacher support programs and diverting federal funds to private school vouchers, eliminating supports for college students, gutting federal-work study, and slashing critical funding for Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants and Pell Grants. All of these cuts would have severe consequences for our nation’s African-American students.”
“President Trump’s proposed budget would cut Environmental Protection Agency grant programs that help states monitor public water systems, even though Flint, Michigan. is still dealing with a water crisis.”
“President Trump’s proposed budget would eliminate programs that help limit children’s exposure to lead paint. According to the CDC, African-American children are three times more likely to have elevated blood-lead levels.”
“The FBI is investigating whether President Trump and his campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election.”
“One of President Trump’s first actions was to appoint White House Adviser Steve Bannon to the National Security Council (NSC). Many politicians and pundits, including the CBC, called for Bannon to be removed not only from the NSC but from the White House entirely because of his white nationalist views. Bannon is the former chairman of the white nationalist news organization Breitbart News.”
“President Trump has said little on the threat of domestic terrorism even though religious institutions and people of color have been targeted here at home in the wake of the 2016 election. For example, in Wellsville, N.Y., someone painted “Make America White Again” on a dugout wall, a statement based on President Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again”. Source In addition, Jewish community centers and cemeteries have received threats or been vandalized. In short, the threat of domestic terrorism is real but it is not prioritized by this Administration”
“President Trump has proposed to eliminate funding for the African Development Foundation, which funds grassroots development projects in 30 African countries.”
“More than 20 million people are facing famine in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria, and Yemen and President Trump’s budget proposal would make the situation worse by cutting funding for humanitarian food aid and United Nations peacekeeping.”
“On January 25, the White House announced that it would launch a major investigation into voter fraud event though it is essentially a non-issue. The White House decided to launch the investigation in response to President Trump’s false claims that 3 to 5 million illegal voters cost him the popular vote.”
“On February 27, the Department of Justice, under the leadership of Attorney General Sessions, withdrew its longstanding claim that Texas enacted its 2011 voter ID law with the intent to discriminate. A few months later a federal judge ruled that the law was enacted with the intent to discriminate against Black and Latino voters.”

The full list of actions can be found here: https://cbc.house.gov/uploadedfiles/stay_woke_list.pdf.
According to a CBC release the following committee and congressional offices led by CBC members contributed to the CBC list: House Committee on the Judiciary (Office of Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr.), House Committee on Financial Services (Office of Ranking Member Maxine Waters), House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology (Office of Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson), House Committee on Education and the Workforce (Office of Ranking Member Bobby Scott), House Committee on Homeland Security (Office of Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson), House Committee on Oversight (Ranking Member Elijah Cummings), and Office of Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-Ill.).

John Gore, lawyer who defended racial gerrymandering picked to head DOJ Civil Rights Division

 

By: Lee Fang, The Intercept

John Gore who has worked to defend laws that critics say are designed to weaken the voting rights of African-Americans and other minorities, was selected by President Donald Trump to serve as a senior civil rights official at the Department of Justice.

Gore’s new role as Trump’s choice for deputy assistant attorney general of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department is notable because he will lead the division that oversees civil rights laws, including voter suppression issues. Trump and his nominee to lead the Justice Department, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, are strong supporters of voting restrictions such as voter identification.

The appointment of Gore represents a dramatic break from the the civil rights legacy of the outgoing Obama Justice Department, which has filed suits against voter restrictions in Wisconsin, Texas, North Carolina, and other states. Under Obama, the civil rights division was restructured to take on more cases, with former Attorney General Eric Holder describing the team as the agency’s “crown jewel.”

In stark contrast, Gore has worked to defend Republican redistricting laws in Virginia, South Carolina, New York, and Florida — including maps that opponents say were drawn to maximize Republican seats in Congress and frequently employed a strategy of packing African-American voters into a single district to dilute their voting power in neighboring districts.

In Florida and Virginia, Gore also intervened on behalf of Republicans to defend new voter ID laws, rules civil rights group have assailed for reducing participation rates among African-Americans.

In Virginia, for example, Gore was one of the main attorneys working to defend a 2011 Republican map that moved black voters from four different districts into Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District, a majority African-American district held by a Democrat that encompasses the areas around Richmond, Hampton Roads, and Newport News. The strategy appeared designed to weaken Democratic chances in the four neighboring districts, all held by Republicans, by lowering the number of African-Americans, who tend to vote for Democratic candidates.

A brief filed by the local NAACP argued that the map’s “high concentration of African-American voters” represented a “racial gerrymander” that violated voters’ due process rights. The GOP legislature argued that politics, not race, was the motivating factor in drawing the boundaries.

Federal courts overturned the GOP map, creating new borders that added African-American voters to the 4th Congressional district, which was previously represented by a white Republican. In 2016 the district for the first time elected an African-American Democrat.

In 2015, a resident of Virginia challenged the state’s newly passed law requiring a photo identification to vote, arguing that because minority groups were less likely to have a photo ID, the law “disproportionately suppresses the vote of African-Americans and Latinos in Virginia.”

A legal team from the law firm Jones Day, including Gore, filed an amicus brief in support of the voter ID law. The brief claimed that although the voter ID law might lead to a “relative shortfall in minority participation,” the true difference was attributable to “different levels of electoral interest or underlying socio-economic disparities,” and therefore the state’s actions were legal.

In December 2016, a federal appeals court upheld the photo ID law, ruling that “there was no evidence to suggest racially discriminatory intent in the law’s enactment.”

As Buzzfeed reported, just hours after Jones Day announced that Gore would be leaving for the administration position, the Justice Department moved to delay a hearing sought by the Obama administration to challenge the Texas voter ID law, one of the strictest in the country. The Justice Department noted that it sought a delay “because of the federal government’s change in administration, which took place on January 20, 2017.”

On Monday, during his evening meeting with congressional leaders, President Trump reiterated the false claim that millions of undocumented people voted in the last election, costing him the popular vote.

 

Peaceful exchange of power takes place as Trump prepares to take oath of office by shaking Obama’s hand.

inaughandtohand.jpgPresident Obama shakes hands with President Trump on stage at inauguration. Roy Lewis/Trice Edney News Wire

 

 

               (TriceEdneyWire.com) – President Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States Jan. 20, during a peaceful exchange of powers with America’s first Black President Barack Obama. Trump assured a unified America despite never apologizing for leading one of the most hate-filled campaigns in recent history.

“We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and to restore its promise for all of our people. Together, we will determine the course of America and the world for years to come,” Trump told the crowd. The Bible tells us, ‘How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.’ We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity. When America is united, America is totally unstoppable.”

The speech was met with applause and chants of “Trump! Trump! Trump!” by the vastly White audience – a reversal from the two inaugurations of eight and four years ago, when throngs of Black people packed in to witness the historic inaugurations of President Obama. The Trump inauguration, though well attended with crowds stretching from the steps of the U. S. Capitol back to the Washington Monument, did not draw as many people as the Obama inauguration, based on close observations of the crowd by this reporter and Black press photographers who attended all three ceremonies.

More than 60 Democratic members of Congress decided to skip the inauguration; including Black Caucus members U. S. Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.). Lewis contends he does not see Trump as a legitimate president given the involvement of Russian email hacking in order to help him get elected, according to confirmation by intelligence agencies. Lee and others refused to attend because of protest for Trump’s vitriolic conduct during the election.

Still President Obama had promised a “peaceful exchange of powers”, a tenet of American democracy. Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, were also in attendance with their wives. Former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who battled Trump vigorously to win the presidency, smiled a lot and appeared stately during the procession and ceremony.

“Every four years, we gather on these steps to carry out the orderly and peaceful transfer of power, and we are grateful to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for their gracious aid throughout this transition. They have been magnificent,” Trump said. He repeated promised to “make America first” in his proposed national and international policies, legislations and executive orders. He also promised to uplift “inner cities”, a well-known euphemism for the Black community.

“Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighborhoods for their families, and good jobs for themselves. These are the just and reasonable demands of a righteous public,” Trump said. “But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system, flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge; and the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential. This American carnage stops right here and stops right now. We are one nation – and their pain is our pain.  Their dreams are our dreams; and their success will be our success.  We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny.”

Trump’s words are lofty, but his actions have not matched what he has said. So far, he has nominated an all-White cabinet; except Dr. Ben Carson who will head the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He has also appointed former White supremacist advocate Steve Bannon as a top advisor and nominated former Klan sympathizer Sen. Jeff Sessions as attorney general. He has appointed Omarosa Manigault to assist him with public liaison, but it remains to be seen what will come from a meeting she and other aids had with Black organizational representatives.

Meanwhile on Saturday, the day after the inauguration, more than a million women packed the streets of Washington and other major cities around the U. S. making demands on a string of key issues important to women, Blacks and other minorities. Civil rights leaders have taken a wait and see posture while putting pressure on the Trump administration through protest.

Led by Rev. Al Sharpton, they started that pressure during a march one week before the inauguration. On Inauguration Day, National Urban League President/CEO Marc Morial emailed a statement essentially promising to continue marching to correct social ills that were prevalent 50 years ago.
“My own predecessor as head of the National Urban League, the legendary Whitney M. Young, was one of the organizers of that march and delivered his own stirring speech that day. He spoke of the need for Black Americans to do “some more marching:” …from dangerous ghettos to safe, unrestricted neighborhoods…from poverty wages to skilled, family-sustaining jobs…from the cemeteries of early graves to health centers from overcrowded, inadequate classrooms to fully-equipped, professionally staffed and integrated schools,” wrote Morial. “And there we were, marching for those same things a half-century later, marching under the motto, “We shall not be moved.”