Earl Ofari Hutchinson's take on the politics of the day
“Look how much African-American communities are suffering under Democratic control. To those I say the following: What do you have to lose by trying something new, like Trump? “You’re living in poverty. Your schools are no good. You have no jobs. Fifty-eight percent of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?” Trump issued this big, bold brash challenge to African-Americans at a campaign rally weeks before the November presidential election. That challenge, says author and political analyst Earl Ofari Hutchinson, was more than a challenge. It struck hard at the dire peril a Trump presidency poses to African-Americans. In The Trump Challenge to Black America, Hutchinson, makes a deep, balanced, and wide-ranging probe into the programs, policies and initiatives of Trump and how they impact on African-Americans and what can be done to fightback.
In the three-year period from 2015 to 2017, Hutchinson covered and analyzed every aspect of the speeches, utterances, and positions Trump posited during his presidential campaign on health care, civil rights, voting rights, criminal justice and police abuse, education, and President Obama in his featured columns in the Huffington Post. His special emphasis was on the issues that most affected African-Americans that a Trump candidacy and presidency would impact. Those issues are health, education jobs, the criminal justice system, and race relations. The Trump Challenge to Black America is based on those columns. Hutchinson has expanded those columns with added material, fresh assessments, and a detailed look at the direction Trump has taken the country in since his election.
Hutchinson examines the infatuation that so many blacks had with Trump and the confusion and divisions that this has sowed. He notes, “The parade of black preachers, businesspersons, professionals, athletes and entertainers that either trooped to Trump Tower, or met with him in highly staged and orchestrated venues, was nothing short of breath taking. It was breath taking because he ran the most vicious, unabashed, race baiting, Muslim, and immigrant baiting campaign since state’s rights presidential candidate Alabama governor George Wallace in 1964.”
Hutchinson assesses in detail how a Trump at the White House helm can affect policy, “As loathsome as Trump was to most blacks, he would be at the federal helm for at least four years. This was a lot of time to wreak irreparable program and institutional damage to those programs.”
Trump, says Hutchinson, “Has stuffed his administration with the greatest array of generals, military men, and billionaires of any administration in American history. His picks to head the Education Department, Labor Department, Housing and Urban Development, Health, Education and Welfare, the Small Business Administration, and especially the Justice Department, had a long history of warfare against the very programs that these departments administer. Those programs provide the vast array of resources, support, and protections for poor, working class blacks. “
Hutchinson concludes that Trump poses the greatest challenge and peril of any president in modern times to black Americans. The Trump Challenge to Black America works through for the reader not only his positions on the issues and how they imperil African-Americans but, equally important, what can be done to combat the peril.