By Alicia Powe
Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson
WASHINGTON – So you thought Republicans were the ones guilty of racism, the ones holding black Americans back?
Think again, says a black leader who argues Democrats are actually the ones stopping African-Americans from progressing socially and economically.
Legislation and policy initiatives passed by Republican lawmakers over the past 30 years have been instrumental in socially and economically mobilizing the poor and minority community, Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson told WND, while policies and legislation championed by Democrats are stifling the black community.
“It’s been Republicans helping all the way down the line and Democrats holding back blacks,” Peterson said. “The liberals, Democrats and the media have been using the word racism in order to manipulate black Americans and to intimidate white people, to keep black people – those who are suffering due to the destruction of the family and the lack of moral character – angry for a political reason.”
Nonetheless, hardly a day goes by that someone of prominence – a politician, a talk-show host, an entertainer – doesn’t call a conservative racist, or describe conservativism as racism.
President Trump has repeatedly rejected and condemned racism, white supremacy, the Ku Klux Klan and the neo-Nazis who rallied in Charlottesville, Virginia, and throughout the country – both unconditionally and unequivocally. In fact, when he was a real-estate mogul, Trump repudiated racism throughout his decades-long career in the public eye.
In an effort to oppose the new president, Democratic Party lawmakers continue to accuse Trump and conservatives – whom they derogatorily call the “alt-right” – of being proponents of white supremacy.
Several thousand “religious leaders” led by Al Sharpton rallied next to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington on Monday and marched to the Department of Justice to protest the Trump administration because, they claim, it advocates white supremacy.
Last week, the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, or CERD, called on President Trump, in an unprecedented affront, to again, unequivocally and unconditionally reject and condemn racist hate speech and crimes in Charlottesville.
And Democrats are railing against Trump’s recent decision to pardon Joe Arpaio, the Arizona county sheriff convicted of criminal contempt after he was alleged to have racially profiled Latinos and immigrants, claiming it proves Trump condones racism.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., accused President Trump of promoting “textbook racism” on Saturday following his pardon of the controversial former sheriff.
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Over & over again, #POTUS has promoted what @SpeakerRyan once called ‘textbook racism’ while exhibiting contempt for the rule of law.
— Elijah E. Cummings (@RepCummings) August 26, 2017
Over & over again, #POTUS has promoted what @SpeakerRyan once called ‘textbook racism’ while exhibiting contempt for the rule of law.
— Elijah E. Cummings (@RepCummings) August 26, 2017
Amid Democratic lawmaker’s incessant insistence that Republicans and conservatives are inherently racist, black Americans have been monolithically voting for the Democratic Party for 40 years.
And the progressive left typically dismisses the Democratic Party’s history of defending slavery, starting the Civil War, founding the KKK and fighting against every major civil rights act in U.S. history, contending the two parties “switched,” with the GOP morphing into the party of “white supremacists.”
Despite what the left would have you believe, policies advocated by Democrats like affirmative action, amnesty for illegal immigrants and abortion “rights” are institutionalizing racism, Peterson argued.
“Affirmative Action allows black people to get into the universities and get jobs based on their color only, not because they necessarily qualify for it,” he explained. “It’s premised on the idea that black people don’t really have to earn their way or they are too dumb to do it.”
Democrats, he said, are “discriminating against the ones who work hard and giving the positions based on color, which implies they believe blacks are not capable of doing it on their own – working hard and doing what whites and Asians and people of other ethnicities are doing.”
Lowering admission standards for blacks and some other minority students sets many of these students up for failure in college, according to a recent study by the Heritage Foundation. Students admitted based on their skin color, rather than their merit, may end up “mismatched” with their school, which leads to lower grades and higher dropout rates, the report states.
Like the majority of black Americans, Peterson said he was a Democrat for most of his life until he realized he was being lied to by the Democratic leadership.
“I overcame my anger and was able to see that I was lied to. Think about Robert Byrd, who was a Democrat who recruited for the KKK, yet the Democrats had no problem with him.”
Democrats are winning the propaganda war, convincing many to believe their claims that conservatives and Republicans are supporters of white supremacy because conservative and Republican leadership haven’t adequately defended themselves, argued Derryck Green, a political commentator and member of Project 21 – a Leadership Network of Black Conservatives.
“Republicans and conservatives haven’t really done enough addressing the unfounded charges of racism and white supremacy, they just kind of let the roll off. They hope that clear thinking people will realize this slander is ridiculous and won’t think anything of it,” Green told WND.
“But, when you reinforce a particular stigma, over several generations, that stereotype is going to stick, particularly when you don’t do anything to call the liars who are perpetuating that stigma liars. But then to proactively defend yourself against those charges.
“Trump could condemn white supremacy as strongly as possible, and it still wouldn’t have mattered because people in the media have a vested interest in slandering him as a racist. To change the course of the upcoming election cycle.”
President Trump has urged lawmakers to introduce a “school choice” initiative that would allow children in underprivileged neighborhoods to receive vouchers that will allow them to attend a “public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school.”
But Democrats and liberal elites, who are conspiring to try to impeach Trump for what happened in Charlottesville, staunchly oppose school choice, even though it allows poor and minority children the same selection of education of their wealthier counterparts.
The Obama administration’s Justice Department blocked school choice programs and cited civil rights laws in attempting to deny parents the opportunity to move their children from failing schools.
Republicans would attract more minority voters if they frequently and more effectively articulate their advocacy of “school choice,” Green said.
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“Republicans have really dropped the ball on school reform and school choice. You can address that issue without narrowly defining it racially. You can talk about it in terms of an economic issue,” Green said. “People who are lower middle class, or lower class, these are the people who desperately need better education. This is the foundation for which they are going to build better lives. This is the only opportunity for these people to be educated, but not only educated, to get themselves a foothold in the economy.”
Seventy percent of likely voters are supportive of school choice, according to a recent survey by the American Federation for Children. Support is even higher in minority groups. Seventy-six percent of blacks and 76 percent of Hispanics support school choice.
Nonetheless, the same predominantly black inner city constituency that overwhelming supports school choice, overwhelming votes for Democrats, Green contended.
“Education is substandard in inner cities, whether its parts of Los Angeles, California, Detroit, Chicago. In these individually suppressed areas, this is where school reform is needed the most,” Green said. “They literally are voting for the party that’s choosing teachers unions above proper education for poor and impoverished children.
“Knowing the stats, I don’t think that Republicans or conservatives have clarified that message, and saying ‘listen you are voting for a party that’s literally restricting your access to better education for your children – you are stifling your future and the future of your children by voting for a party that doesn’t want to give you the same opportunity that they themselves enjoy.’”
On the campaign trail, Trump slammed Obama for doing “nothing” for African Americans and repeatedly pledged that as president he would reduce black unemployed by bringing factories jobs to the U.S. from overseas.
Trump has been in office for nearly eight months, and preliminary data indicates he is adhering to his campaign promise: Black wages and income have risen since the election.
But according to economic policy analyst Stephen Moore, job growth per month for blacks under Trump has so far been 40 percent higher than the monthly average under Obama. Trump has averaged nearly 30,000 new black jobs per month.
The number of black Americans with a job has increased by 600,000 from last year.
Despite Obama overwhelmingly winning more than 90 percent of the black vote, he did very little to help people of color, Moore contends.
“No one cared more about the plight of black Americans than Barack Obama – our first African-American president – who won more than 90 percent of the black vote. The sad paradox is that a president who was expected to lift up black America economically didn’t deliver. From 2009 to 2015 the incomes of black Americans fell by more than $900 per family, adjusted for inflation,” Moore wrote in his op-ed titled “Trump’s Real Record on Race.”
“Under Trump so far, median family incomes have risen by more than $1,000, according to Sentier Research and based on Census Bureau number,” he continued. “These numbers are not broken down by race, but it’s a pretty good bet that black incomes have risen with those of other races under Trump.”
Voter ID law
Democrats have argued for nearly a decade that GOP advocacy for voter ID laws is inherently racist because they disenfranchise low-income and legal minority voters.
Yet, recent Gallup research said 71 percent of nonwhites favor voter ID law.
Peterson called Democratic opposition to voter ID law “insane” and “degrading” to black people.
“What Democrats are saying is that black people are really not capable of going to the DMV. In some states the DMV will come to you and give you legitimate government voter ID, which allows you to vote,” he said. “I have asked black people in communities, ‘Do you have a driver’s license – Democrats say you are not capable of getting ID so you shouldn’t have an ID to vote.’ And they find that absolutely insane. ”
The left claims the Trump administration’s immigration proposals are racist and demand amnesty for illegal immigrants.
Peterson contends that Democrat lawmakers’ stance on immigration is detrimental to blacks.
“The Democrats are fighting against putting a big beautiful wall around the borders, they are fighting against deportation of illegal aliens, fought for amnesty for illegals, those things are destroying black America’s communities,” Peterson warned.
“Now we have an overcrowdedness of the education system, fights going on every day between blacks and Hispanics, gang members have come into the country across our borders and they’ve brought drugs, they are supported by the drug laws. Black females who don’t have husbands, when they need their county’s facilities which are overcrowded by illegal aliens. Black unemployment is through the roof.”
As the Trump administration gets ready to tackle illegal immigration, a member of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission noted the impact on the black community that he believes is too often ignored.
According to the commissioner, decades of illegal immigration has set back the economic fortunes of African American men, robbing jobs and wages and even playing a role in low marriage rates and putting more blacks in jail.
“What happens is you eliminate the rungs on the ladder because a sizable number of black men don’t have access to entry-level jobs,” Kirsanow told Daily Caller . “It is not just the competition and the unemployment of blacks. It also depresses the wage levels.”
“Despite the popular liberal myth that undocumented immigrants only take jobs Americans don’t want, they really are displacing African Americans from employment opportunities,” Kirsanow explained. “In 2008, the United States Commission on Civil Rights found black men to be disproportionately employed in low-skilled labor jobs and in direct competition with undocumented immigrants.”
Bush’s Pepfar and OFBCI
Amid the backlash aimed at President Trump by his critics for not being strong enough in his condemnation of white supremacy, Trump’s Republican predecessors – former president George H.W. Bush and his son former president George W. Bush – issued a statement denouncing the Ku Klux Klan members and neo-Nazis who staged a rally in Charlottesville.
But just like Trump, President George W. Bush was excoriated by progressives for allegedly supporting white supremacy throughout the course of his presidency.
Celebrities like rapper Kanye West used their influence to galvanize the world into believing “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”
Meanwhile, the 43rd president gave more assistance to the continent of Africa than any other president has in history.
Under the Bush administration, the U.S. became the leader in contributing to the Global Fund on AIDS. In 2003, Bush founded the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which provided more than $5 billion a year in humanitarian aid to Africa, largely targeted to fight the major global health issues facing the continent: HIV/AIDS and malaria.
“When President Bush took office only about 50,000 people in all of Africa were receiving anti-retroviral treatment. By the time he was concluding his time in office, more than two million people were receiving that life-saving treatment that enabled them to continue to be productive workers, to be parents and caregivers,” Jedd Medefind, former special assistant to President Bush and acting director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, told WND.
“PEPFAR also provided direct care for more than four million orphaned and vulnerable children, part of the care was focused on adults that had HIV, or were HIV positive. But part was focused on children that had been orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV. More four million of those children received support through PEPFAR.”
The focal point of Bush’s domestic policies, that particularly helped poor and minority communities, were largely ignored by the mainstream media after he became a war time president, Medefind explained.
“OFBCI was actually one of the president’s first acts in office, with the executive order setting this vision in motion and I think it would have been much more well known if it not for 9/11. National security came to receive the primary spotlight in the press,” he said. “Although the work of the OFBCI continued very robustly, it never received primary attention from the press.”
President Bush’s domestic policies “focused on all forms of human need, addiction, homelessness, prisoner re-entry, at risk youth, HIV, but I think that the African American community had been particularly hard hit by many of those needs. President Bush’s efforts to address those needs had special implications for the African American community.”
While black Americans are incarcerated in state prisons at an average rate of 5.1 times that of white Americans, and in some states that rate is 10 times or more, according to a 2016 report published by The Sentencing Project, President Bush prioritized reducing the recidivism with the OFBCIs.
The Prisoner Re-Entry program provided federal grants to churches and nonprofits to assist formerly incarcerated Americans with rehabilitation, integration into their communities, skill development and reentering the labor force.
“The president’s prisoner re-entry program showed very positive results. I know that one of the stats was that at one year after release, only 15 percent of participants in the program had been rearrested, compared with 44 percent on average,” Medefind said. “Bush was passionate about the idea that everyone deserves a second chance – that was the heartbeat of his prisoner re-entry program.”
“President Bush cared deeply about the communities and people that society often forgets, from returning prisoners, to those suffering with HIV, to at risk youth and he put his attention where his heart was. There was significant financial investment, and just as important, it was something that I saw first-hand President Bush investing himself in – hosting ex-cons in the White House, visiting them in their homes, traveling to meet with disadvantaged youth in North Carolina, or AIDS orphans in Zambia,” he continued. “This was his heartbeat and looking back we see clearly that millions of lives were bettered through that work, the dedicated service of faith based and other community and nonprofits.”
Green argued that Bush’s domestic policies that were aimed at helping lower class Americans were deliberately ignored by traditional media.
“It goes underreported because the more blacks you have seeing an alternative way to vote politically, or to live universally, that means less votes for the Democrat Party,” Green said.
“OFBCI and PEFPAR bears reporting,” Green said. “The traditional media was never going to report on something showing George Bush doing something that helps minority children, or impoverished children regardless of race.”
“I was a Democrat, I believed that lie. I started to ask questions. I was 38 years old. If the white man is holding me down because I am black, why is he not holding Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan, Al Sharpton, Maxine Waters and most of the black preachers back? I realized that in my state of anger, that I had been lied to by black so-called leadership and I believed what they had told me about white Americans and I realized that it wasn’t true. When I started to question things, I woke up and became a conservative Republican all the way,” he said.
““I’ve been called Uncle Tom, a sellout, the N word, had all kinds of threats, it’s been awful, but I am ok with that because when I was a Democrat I had that anger and didn’t like black Republicans either, I thought they were sellouts. I understand why the blacks feel that way, it’s not right, but I understand that they are angry and they can’t see and they are spoiled and it’s hard for them to overcome it.
“As a Republican I have adapted a much more optimistic view of the country. I tell people that I am not an African American, I don’t have an afro, I have an Ameri-fro. There are no African drums beating in my chest, the American guitar is playing in my heart. Black as an ace of spades, but one hundred percent American.”
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