November 2, 2020
Joe Biden, President Trump, and rapper Ice Cube have collectively proposed their own plans to improve the lives of black Americans. With their campaign promises, both Biden and Trump have plans which could drastically change the lives of millions in the African American community. Each plan has their differences, but they share one common goal of advancing the socioeconomic status of Blacks. Each plan addresses a plethora of challenges facing the community today, including discrimination and systematic exclusions, among others. As a campaign promise, the plans should weigh heavy on voters’ minds and could ultimately be a determining factor when voting. Here is a closer look at the three plans.
Joe Biden’s Six-Pillar Plan for Black Americans
Joe Biden believes he has a moral obligation to fulfill equality and justice for African Americans and his plan intends to provide African Americans with an equal chance at economic growth.
The comprehensive plan is comprised of six pillars:
- Invest in the African American community in terms of businesses, workers, and making homeownership more affordable while making wealth-building a reality
- Invest in high-quality education starting from preschool through college affordability while battling student debt
- Make healthcare more affordable and expand the quality of care that African Americans receive
- Improve the justice system by minimizing the number of people going to jail in general and for drug use alone; addressing malpractice within police departments and prosecutors’ offices
- Tackling voter suppression, gerrymandering, among other issues and making the voting an absolute right
- Spearheading environmental justice to make sure that Black communities are managed in a manner that’s sustainable in terms of their health and overall well-being from environmental issues such as toxic waste and lead poisoning
President Trump’s Platinum Plan for Black Americans
In an effort to seek support from black Americans, President Trump is offering a plan that commits to $500 billion in access to capital before the election. The source of the funding or how the campaign came up with this figure is unclear. However, the primary focus of the Platinum Plan is to empower black Americans through education, job opportunities, access to capital, safety and justice, among others.
Here’s an overview of the plan in three areas:
Increase Education and Job Opportunity
- Invest in low-income communities across the nation as a part of the Opportunity Zones initiative
- Provide capital and tax cuts towards minority businesses to encourage growth, hiring and investment
- Create internet and broadband access to improve classroom connectivity and job opportunities by investing $20 billion
- Give parents the autonomy to choose their children’s futures by replacing failing schools with full school choice programs on local, state and federal levels
- Boost relevant apprenticeship and job training programs
Foster Fairness, Safety, and Security
- Make lynching a hate crime and prosecute the Ku Klux Klan and Antifa
- Make Juneteenth a national holiday
- Improve the criminal justice system by:
- Revitalizing safety standards by using practices towards policing that involves accountability, diversity training and accreditation standards
- Giving citizens with a criminal record another chance at getting hired for jobs, enabling them to get back on their feet
- Taking actions such as the First Step Act, which includes a focus on vocational and rehabilitative programs
- Improve food insecurity by boosting black farmers and access to healthy foods
- Improve their quality of life by addressing mental illness and substance abuse
- Promote home ownership through federal policy reforms
Ice Cube’s Contract with Black America Plan
Ice Cube proposed a plan that stems from the disgraceful killing of George Floyd, an event that provoked protests not seen since the 1950s and 1960s era. The heart of the plan is to address racial inequality in terms of economic disparity.
In addressing the details of his plan, Ice Cube said, “This is the problem in America: Black people don’t own capital. We cannot survive in America another 100 years living like this.”
Meanwhile, Ice Cube argues that he wasn’t pursuing either of the campaigns, but rather both campaigns approached him. During an interview with Chris Cuomo, Ice Cube claimed he’s not necessarily partnering with President Trump, but rather enlightening him on the challenges that Black Americans face. He admits that he would have done the same had there been someone else in Trump’s place.
The plan is comprised of the following 13 areas:
Making historical corrections by addressing the wealth disparity between Black and White Americans and making Juneteenth a national holiday, among others
- Lending Reform
Equalizing the rates in which banks provide loans between Black and White Americans while require banks to lend loans to a certain percentage of Black Americans.
- Federal Funding
Children born in low-income families to receive a trust account with a starting contribution of $1000 and can access the funds at the age of 18, for limited uses such as buying a home or financing education.
- Federal Reserve
Expanding Black-American-home-ownership by allowing a one-time interest loan to qualified individuals and have the Federal Reserve make certain that banks adhere to the Bank Lending Reform. Also invest in Black-owned enterprises and businesses.
- Finance Oversight
Creating a central authority or task force to specifically ensure that commitments regarding minority lending, home ownerships and mortgages are made.
- Data & Credit
Consumer data such as arrest records and personal bills (i.e. rent, utility) will be updated with accurate information when publicly released by states.
- Prison Reform
Privately run prisons will be eliminated and prison labor will not be permitted without consent. Selected groups of prisoners will be freed depending on various factors.
- Judicial Reform
Stricter standards will be enforced over police departments and lynching will be recognized as a hate crime. The KKK to be considered a terrorist organization.
- Police Reform Act
Police officers will be required to have malpractice insurance and municipalities will be held responsible for unlawful actions by the police, among others.
- FCC Licensing
Black produced content will have more air time on broadcast networks.
- Confederate Institutions
Confederate symbols such as statues and flags will be abolished and names used for schools and other public buildings will be replaced by non-Confederate names among other initiatives.
- AJP Program
Those who are willing can enroll in private programs that provide access to jobs, training, and or education.
- Black Responsibility
The black community will make continuous improvements and commitments to becoming more productive in all areas including poverty, mental health, drug and alcohol abuse, and violence.
All three plans address various aspects of African Americans’ lives. It is yet to be determined whether African Americans believe the plans go far enough to address the challenges of living in the U.S. Both Biden and Trump’s plans tackle centuries of systemic racism against Blacks, and if the winner of the 2020 presidential race secures the promises of their plan, this will be a new dawn of a new era for Blacks. On the eve of the November 3 election, we wait.