Askia MuhammadColumnistsOp-EdOpinion

MUHAMMAD: Trump’s ‘Courvoisier Plan’ for Blacks

Donald J. Trump must have some laid off Aunt Jemima/Uncle Ben’s-brand marketers working on his faux-campaign to attract Black voters. Dude unveiled what he called the “Platinum Plan” for Black economic empowerment at a campaign event in Atlanta on Sept 25. I call it his “Courvoisier Plan,” because it’s the modern equivalent of “pie in the sky.”

You see, The Donald is such a pathological liar (more than 20,000 false or misleading statements since taking office by the Washington Post’s count) that you can just take anything he says and deposit it directly in the commode — run with it if you’re Black.

But during another of his disjointed, rambling speeches — this time in Atlanta — Trump spent more time telling people why they shouldn’t vote for Democratic rival Joe Biden than he did describing his campaign pitch to “Da Bloods” (Black dudes). “No one in politics today has done more to hurt the Black community than Joe Biden,” he said at the ballroom event. “Joe Biden should not be demanding your support; he should be begging for your forgiveness,”he told the hand-picked crowd of supporters.

The Trump campaign said in a news release that Trump proposes to increase lending through community development financial institutions and would aim to direct up to $40 billion in government funds to leverage as much as 10 times that amount through the private sector.

Trump’s plan also includes a proposal to make Juneteenth a federal holiday — and a proposal to enshrine a national database of police misconduct into law. Trump called for establishing the database in June after George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis. All of his proposals would require action by Congress, but the Courvoisier, and fried chicken for Black supporters are free, and unlimited.

Meanwhile, a few days earlier Biden discussed hiseconomic plan for Black folks at an event in Charlotte, N.C., pledging to invest more money in historically Black colleges and universities and to leverage $150 billion in new capital for Black-owned businesses.

The Biden plan — with an equally patronizing moniker: “Lift Every Voice” — promises to: “Advance the economic mobility of African Americans and close the racial wealth and income gaps; Expand access to high-quality education and tackle racial inequity in our education system; Make far-reaching investments in ending health disparities by race; Strengthen America’s commitment to justice; Make the right to vote and the right to equal protection real for African Americans; and Address environmental justice.”

Be still, my heart!

Trump won only 8 percent of the Black vote in 2016. Still, his campaign has opened field offices in predominantly Black communities in swing states, with the idea of skimming off a few more, mostly male voters, and maybe getting 10 percent of the Black vote this time around. In a tight election those few more votes could make a big difference. That’s what former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele told this writer.

Trump says he’s the greatest thing to happen to Black folks since Abraham Lincoln, and there is some room for comparison. Like Lincoln, The Donald has not appointed one single Black judge to the federal judiciary. Dude has appointed 195 judges to trial and appeals court benches, and two Supreme Court justices, with one justice pending. A quarter of his appointees have been female, and with his accomplice and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), he’s appointed more appeals court judges (43) than any recent Republican president. But none of them — ZERO — have been Black.

That’s almost as dismal as the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Supreme Court justices and circuit court judges hire four law clerks every year. The Notorious RBG was on the bench for 40 years — 27 at the Supreme Court and 13 at the D.C. Circuit. That’s 160 law clerks. During that time, she hired only ONE (count them) Black law clerk, meaning that only 0.6% of her hires were Black.

Back to Trump. Alas, Justice Clarence Thomas hasn’t stepped down, so there’s no vacancy for any Black dudes in the Trump courts list, or any list. Which means the handful of his Black supporters may have a “shorter line” than that of potential Democratic operatives, but there are no positions available, unless you consider HUD Secretary Ben Carson, whose notes complaining about his treatment by a White House personnel office staffer were inadvertently viewed by a reporter, probably rendering Uncle Ben “disloyal” and ripe for replacement if Trump holds on for, or steals, a second term.

The best advice for Black Trump wannabes that I can offer is: fill up on the free Courvoisier and fried chicken at the Blacks-for-Trump campaign events (no carryouts permitted) because this is definitely all about “what you see is what you get.”

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Askia Muhammad

WPFW News Director Askia Muhammad is also a poet, and a photojournalist. He is Senior Editor for The Final Call newspaper and he writes a weekly column in The Washington Informer.

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