Prospects for black America about to get worse under Trump, report says

Black and Hispanic Americans continue to lag far behind whites economically — and their prospects look much worse under President Trump, according to a report to be released Tuesday by the National Urban League.

Despite promises of a “new deal for black America,” any recent progress made towards racial equality is increasingly under threat, said Marc Morial, the league’s president and chief executive. The president’s incendiary rhetoric on the campaign trail has translated into discriminatory public policy, he said.

“The social cancer of hate continues to metastasize, thriving in a climate conducive to hostility towards religious and racial minorities, permeating even at the highest levels of national discourse and threatening to further crack our fractured nation,” Morial wrote in the report.

In an interview with The Post, he pointed to Trump’s intent to roll back key Obama-era policies from expanding health care coverage to greater police oversight as evidence that the future for black America is precarious.

The annual report found the standard of living for African Americans is 72 percent that of the average white person.

[Trump asked black voters: ‘What the hell do you have to lose?’ Black lawmakers answer: ‘A lot.’]

That measurement, known as the “equality index,” has been virtually unchanged for blacks for years, but its various components — economics, education, health, social justice and civic engagement — have moved up and down.

African Americans have made gains over the past year with increased access to health care as well as in education, as a higher percentage of blacks are receiving associate’s degrees. Their economic picture also improved slightly, with a boost in black women’s earnings and growth in the percentage of black-owned businesses.

But those gains were neutralized by a decline in social-justice equality between blacks and whites, the report said. African Americans experienced an increase in incarceration after an arrest. And whites posted a greater decline than blacks in terms of their likelihood of being the victim of a violent crime.

The only area in which blacks have achieved parity with whites is in civic engagement.

“While the Obama years were no panacea for America’s long-standing racial inequities, they were a steady climb toward improvement,” the report said.

Trump, who attempted to woo black voters last fall with a 10-point plan for urban renewal, has promised to further improve life for African Americans with increased school choice, safer communities and financial reforms to make it easier to start a business. Trump, in his “New Deal for Black America,” also promised to restore African Americans’ civil rights by “protecting” them from illegal immigration.

“No group has been more economically harmed by decades of illegal immigration than low-income African American workers,” Trump said in the plan’s announcement. He vowed to reinvest into the “inner cities” the money saved by barring Muslim refugees from entering the country.

Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), a member of the Congressional Black Caucus executive committee, said in an interview that blacks and Hispanics see past Trump’s effort to pit the two minority communities against one another.

“He is intentionally trying to drive a wedge between between two populations that are both in need,” Bass said.

Inequalities between Hispanics and whites were slightly narrower than for African Americans, according to the report. Read more

Source: Washington Post (US)