Trump proposes plan to increase black communities' access to funding by $500B

President seeks to make Juneteenth a federal holiday and designate KKK and Antifa as terror groups

President Donald J. Trump speaks with reporters outside the South Portico entrance of the White House Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020.
President Donald J. Trump speaks with reporters outside the South Portico entrance of the White House Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. | White House/Tia Dufour

President Donald Trump unveiled his “Platinum Plan” for promoting growth and opportunity for black communities, a broad outline that, among other things, pledges to increase access to capital for African-American communities by $500 billion. 

In a move aimed at appealing to black voters ahead of the November election, the president announced a plan that aims to promote “opportunity,” “security,” “prosperity” and “fairness” for African Americans. 

He called it a “contract with black Americans that will be something that people talk about for a long time to come.” 

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“When I ran for president four years ago, I looked at the dismal and shameful record of the Democrat Party and asked black Americans, ‘What the hell do you have to lose?'” the president said at the campaign event in Georgia Friday. “Today I want to share what you have to gain from voting Republican on Nov. 3.” 

Among other things, the new plan expands on initiatives the Trump administration has already put into place, such as the Opportunity Zones initiative, which seeks to foster economic growth in inner-city neighborhoods by incentivizing investment in those communities. 

Throughout his presidency, Trump has taken credit for low unemployment rates in the black and Hispanic communities. 

Under the plan, the president vows over the next four years to not only increase access to capital in black communities by almost $500 billion but also create 3 million new jobs for the black community, create 500,000 new black-owned businesses, give black churches the ability to compete for resources for their communities, and enhance financial literacy and homeownership opportunities for the black communities. 

“The Platinum Plan is a bold vision that we can and really will achieve over the next four years,” he said. “We will be able to do it, if not sooner.”

As for the $500 billion in increased access to capital, Trump said that plan includes “investing in community development, financial institutions and minority depository institutions.”

Additionally, the plan vows to follow up on the historic criminal justice reform bill that was passed in 2018, the FIRST STEP Act, by following through with a “Second Step Act.” 

“[We will] build up peaceful urban neighborhoods with the highest standards of policing. We want the highest standards,” Trump stressed. “[We will] bring greater fairness to the justice system. … We will create a national clemency project to right wrongful prosecutions and pardon individuals who have reformed their life.”

The president also vowed to “create a ladder of opportunity” for children by creating “school choice” for every parent in America, referring to policies that allow tax dollars to follow students to private schools they decide to attend. 

Trump also said he will bring “tailored” healthcare to address the “historic disparities that we have had for so many years.” 

“This includes investing in treatments for Kidney disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, sickle cell disease, and maternal mortality,” he stated. 

Trump also vowed to bring manufacturing jobs back to the inner cities, saying they have been “largely forgotten.” 

“[We will] end Democrat policies that bring in low-wage foreign workers from overseas to replace black workers in our inner cities,” he continued. “Joe Biden cares more about the citizens of foreign countries than he does about black Americans living our own country.” 

Under the Platinum Plan, the president seeks to use more tax cuts to grow minority-owned businesses by stimulating hiring and investment. 

He will also try to “encourage onshoring and development of domestic manufacturing to increase supply chain business development and employment,” “examine barriers to employment including fees, occupational licensing, arrest record inaccuracy, and expungement” and “increase activity in opportunity zones including benefits for local hires.”

The plan also states that there will be an effort to invest almost $20 billion toward broadband and internet access that will “create job opportunities, improve classroom connectivity, and the ability to utilize tele-health services.”

It also calls for federal, state and local community partners to “close failing schools to replace with full school choice and education opportunity to put American parents back in control over their children’s futures.”

“For decades, Democrat politicians like Joe Biden have taken black voters for granted. They made you big promises before every election and then the moment they got to Washington, they abandoned you and sold you out,” Trump argued in his speech. “The Democrat Party used you and lied to you every single time.”

According to a section of the plan titled “Prosperous Black Communities,” Trump vows to make Juneteenth (an informal holiday celebrated by African Americans on June 19 to celebrate emancipation from slavery) a federal holiday and “prosecute the KKK and Antifa as terrorist organizations.” Trump also seeks to make lynching a national hate crime.

As exit polls showed that Trump received just 8% of the black vote in 2016, he is looking to fare better among that demographic in 2020. 

Biden also has released his plan, which offers more details than Trump’s two-page plan, to foster economic growth and empowerment in black communities. 

Biden has vowed to ensure that black families “can build and sustain wealth for themselves and their communities” and ensure that “first time home buyers are able to get $15,000 in federal down payment assistance.”

According to Biden’s campaign website, the Democratic nominee will, if elected, invest over $70 billion toward historically black colleges and universities and minority-serving institutions. 

The Biden campaign has also vowed to double funding for the State Small Business Credit Initiative to $3 billion to assist small businesses. 

His plan includes building and repairing affordable housing units and “draw[ing] housing and community development capital to low-income communities.”

Biden plans to triple Title I funding that goes to schools with a high percentage of low-income students to ensure that teachers are paid a competitive wage and children have access to pre-school. A potential Biden administration would further establish a new grant program to “support under-resourced four-year schools that serve large numbers of Pell-eligible students” as a way to foster collaboration between colleges and community organizations.

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