As the Manhattan Institute’s Jason Riley noted in the WSJ, in his chats with several dozen Harlem residents after the presidential election, most told him they were neither surprised at Hillary’s defeat nor thought it the end of the world that Trump won. They indicated that they were keeping things in perspective.
Every four years, presidential contenders promise to make life better for black communities, writes Daniel Henninger in the WSJ. They vow to tackle, “all the familiar inner-city problems–unemployment, violence, underachievement.” But somehow this year those problems “got transferred to the issue of the police, as if the cops invented poverty and immobility in Chicago, Baltimore or Ferguson, Mo.”
Black turnout for Hillary Clinton was down, but not just because she wasn’t Mr. Obama. It was, for example, because her proposals for their schools—more federal spending on building upgrades and teacher training—were familiar and for many of them, failed.
Since 1964, over 80% of black voters supported the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee. But this election, many black voters apparently felt they have been “snakebitten too many times,” as the Washington Post explained.
In September, Donald Trump gave what Mr. Henninger calls a “quiet speech” to a small audience at a Cleveland private charter school in a tough Cleveland ‘hood. Mr. Trump talked about the “ladder to success,” defining the ladder “as a great education and a great job. … You cannot have prosperity without safety. This is the new civil rights agenda of our time.”
While restoring economic growth is mandatory, Mr. Henninger warns, “for poor blacks, it is not enough.”
Growth has passed over them before. Also needed is deliverance on two Trump promises that precede real jobs: “great education” and “safety.”
The potential in education with nominee Betsy DeVos is directly proportional to her opposition on charters and choice from the tongs defending the schools status quo.
Less noticed is Ben Carson. This isn’t just another housing secretary. The Carson mission, made clear in his primary campaign, is to challenge the idea that “structural racism” explains the dead end on urban progress.
It’s a heavy lift. Which is why presidencies drop it. These are the early days of a new presidency when hope is no sin. The expectation here is that Donald Trump meant what he said at that charter school in Cleveland.
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