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Black America and Donald Trump

Years ago I had a conversation with a prominent Episcopalian bishop, in which he chronicled his church’s split with Roman Catholicism, via the Anglican Church. As he narrated a detailed history that spanned several centuries, I began to think to myself about how reactionary the response to the Catholic Church and the pope sounded. The bishop seemingly read my mind, through my facial expression, and said, “Yes, because we are a reaction to the pope, we are controlled by him.”

That conversation came to mind as I watched the events of Charlottesville unfold, including the subsequent pleading for President Donald Trump to say the right words—a few sentences that might convey sympathy and bring a form of closure, not only to the immediate episode of pain and violence, but, far deeper, to America’s centuries-old racial and ethnic divide. Similar reflections arose when observing how NFL players united in a kneeling posture—not to address the original issue which inspired Colin Kaepernick’s stance but, rather, President Trump’s rhetorical position in response to it.

My thinking along these lines is not Trump-centric. It is how I have viewed the political strategy and emotional reaction of the black community to the Republican Party for twenty years. Yes, because so much of our dialogue and activity is a reaction to the Republican Party, we are controlled by it. The impact has been devastating, at times, with a broader tradition of cultural and civic independence—bookended by the Civil Rights and Black Power movements—increasingly absorbed by partisan politics. Black America has ditched decades of healthy internal competition between those advocating integration (like the Civil Rights Movement) and those pursuing separation or self-determination (like the Nation of Islam, Black Panther Party, and the Us Organization) for a more detached, top-down, external engagement. A formerly unpredictable yin and yang, with blacks seeking full membership in American society, on one hand, while also advocating an independent source of power (through economics, militant self-defense, or cultural nationalism) has been displaced by the predictable spectator sport of blacks choosing Democrats over Republicans in regularly scheduled elections. Without the vigorous thesis and antithesis of previous eras, there can be—and has been—no forward-moving synthesis or program.

Though some of this powerful energy from the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s reemerged around the issue of police misconduct in 2015, that emphasis quickly diminished once again, when the 2016 election pulled the focus away from tensions in the street. Subsequently, a fascination with President Trump’s latest tweets, comments, and non-comments has drained energy and enthusiasm from the task of identifying the bottom-up, nonpartisan agenda so essential to solving the numerous crises that afflict blacks socially and economically. In making its reaction an epiphenomenon of the two-party system and of President Trump’s outsized personality, black America runs the risk of losing the power to define its own reality—relegating itself to an agenda-less future and continued manipulation by special interests.

Ignored and Taken for Granted

Jason Riley’s new book, False Black Power? (Templeton, 2017), has reignited this decades-long discussion regarding the extent to which the most endemic problems of black America can be solved through electoral politics. These discussions too often spiral into a heated and partisan debate over which political party has been better or worse for African Americans.

In his 2008 book Wrong on Race (St. Martin’s), Bruce Bartlett offers evidence documenting the lesser-known transgressions of the Democratic Party. His objective is transparent—to show that Democrats, yesterday, were just as racist as Republicans are said to be today (or even more so). Though the evidence presented is persuasive, the effort is only an academic update of an argument made for decades on conservative talk radio—one that always features an ill-advised reference to the Democratic Party as “a plantation.”1 Although the effort never gains traction among blacks who are not already Republican, conservative opinion leaders and GOP candidates cannot resist it. While this argument—made almost entirely by white Republicans—limps along, most leading black intellectuals, overwhelmingly on the political left, continue to make the case against the GOP, openly lampooning any black American who would proudly associate with “the Party of Lincoln.” The choice of being styled as one party’s plantation laborer or the other’s “Uncle Tom” is less than compelling for a sizable and potentially decisive segment of the black electorate.

Both sides of the debate (or food-throwing contest) miss the mark. They are unwilling to acknowledge that there has essentially only been one relationship, with each party taking turns ignoring painful black realities, or taking for granted black electoral support.

The facts lie closer to the thesis of Princeton professor Paul Frymer’s Uneasy Alliances (Princeton, 2010), which persuasively argues that the black electorate’s status is hostage-like, with both parties playing the role of captor. Frymer describes our system’s tendency to “‘capture’ specific minority interests, and in particular African American interests.” Party leaders make their pitch to white swing voters and fear “that public appeals to black voters will produce national electoral defeats.” “Placed in this position by the party system,” he writes, “a captured group will often find its interests neglected by their own party leaders.” Black voters are left with few alternatives.2

President Trump’s victory seems to confirm this. He lost—or discarded—decades of favorable sentiment and support in black popular culture as a leading symbol of aspirational success, apparently as part of a strategy to appeal to lower- and middle-class white voters. As bluntly summarized in an article by Joshua Green, “In the multicultural days of The Apprentice, [Trump] rose to a level of popularity with minorities that the GOP could only dream of. Then he torched it all to prepare for a hard-right run at the presidency.”3

By my informal count, Donald Trump is mentioned positively in over four hundred songs from the rap and R&B genres, none more striking than a song written by Prince called “Donald Trump (Black Version).” (Listening to a collage of his mentions in sixty-seven songs from 1989 to 2016 is quite entertaining and sobering.) The path to the presidency was paved by Donald Trump’s cameo appearances in Bobby Brown videos as much as it was by his “othering” of Mexicans and Muslims. Hip-hop’s turn against Donald Trump is a very recent phenomenon, best symbolized by YG and Nipsey Hussle’s hypnotic 2016 anthem “FDT.” Trump has become an embarrassment to many icons of black culture, perhaps none more than his “old friend” Russell Simmons.

Although the essence of Trump’s campaign message—where blacks were concerned, at least—was not racist (his role in amplifying the worst stereotypes of black men in the Central Park Five case of 1989 is what black New Yorkers point to more often as evidence of his racism) it certainly was not effectively crafted to win their support. Only Trump, who garnered 8 percent of the black vote, can answer the question of whether or not he felt that a loss of credibility with that community was a necessary step in his path to winning a broader, whiter audience.

Regardless, his victory will likely neither improve nor worsen the condition of blacks. This is because neither party, under pressure from the perverse short-term incentives of the election cycle, is incentivized to address the issue of race for a period long enough or in a way sufficient to end stasis. Republicans will pursue measures perceived as antiblack, but only up to a point (before white moderates and independents become turned off). Democrats will seek policies viewed as pro-black for only so long (before “Reagan” and “Blue Dog” Democrats begin to lean Republican).

Note the recent soul-searching of the Democratic Party, once again, over its lack of relevance to white voters. Sometimes the discussion is packaged by intellectuals like Mark Lilla as a thoughtful take on the excesses of “identity politics” (in his new The Once and Future Liberal), but too often the exercise becomes a primal race away from the most difficult realities experienced by blacks, toward the sense of alienation felt by the median white voter.

The only hope, then, is the convergence of an independent black agenda, growing out of a greater emphasis on economics and criminal justice issues, with Trump’s pragmatic nature—which defies Democrat and Republican ideologies and electoral incentives.

More Capital, Less Politics

Consider these three facts which suggest something seemingly unalterable in the black condition:

(1) Relatively speaking, black unemployment has not improved in forty years. Even as overall unemployment declines, the black unemployment rate of 7.0 percent in September 2017 was still nearly double that of the majority white population of 3.7 percent.4

(2) Black America’s 2.5 million businesses remain pitifully small. About 22 percent of nonminority businesses have at least one paid employee. For African American–owned firms that figure is only 4 percent, making them 81 percent less likely to be employers.5

(3) In 2013, white households in the United States had a median wealth of $144,200—almost thirteen times the median wealth of black households at $11,200. That gap has almost doubled since the last decade, when the wealth gap between white and black families was seven to one. The Federal Reserve recently found that white households had a median net worth of $171,000 in 2016, compared with $17,600 for black households. It was $20,700 for Latino families.6 One study shows that if current trends persist, it will take 228 years for black families to catch up to white families, in terms of wealth.7

What explains, then, the perplexing question: why is the attachment to politics so strong among blacks while so little enduring economic benefit accrues from that strategy?

Historically, when immigrant minority populations are large enough to influence outcomes, there is a tendency for those groups to gravitate toward political mechanisms in the pursuit of power and prosperity. Those with smaller populations, meanwhile—not expecting political clout in democratic processes (at least before the digital revolution brought about unintended Balkanization)—relied on economic solidarity and networks of kith and kin. This latter option was largely unavailable to blacks, however. The four-hundred-year succession of chattel slavery, Jim Crow, and Black Codes effectively destroyed this primary source of capital—the pooled resources of family.

Ultimately, there are five sources of capital—natural resources, savings (including what we receive and inherit from parents), markets, government, and crime. If private sources of capital are foreclosed, then government and crime become the only options. And to some extent, blacks turned to crime because it allowed them to acquire capital. For much of American history, blacks were completely dispossessed of whatever they had, not only financial capital but even social and family capital. They were not able to own natural resources, and they did not have any access to financial markets. So perhaps it is not a surprise that, when they could, they turned to government. Seen through this lens, the Civil Rights Movement can be described as an effort by disenfranchised blacks to unlock capital from an entrenched establishment. The United States is unique in the sense that it eventually allowed discriminated groups to emerge and acquire access to capital relatively peacefully. The Civil Rights Movement gave blacks access to financial markets, as well as to the government (though some government programs inadvertently weakened families and communities).

When events are viewed from this angle, the course of development over the last thirty years becomes clear. The big debate in the black community is really over the following: whether and to what extent, at this stage, the black community should continue to rely on the government as a source of capital, or should move to private sources of capital, which are more flexible and provide more opportunities.8 Unfortunately, time has stood still. If anything, the progression today appears to be toward greater reliance on government. How can this trend be reversed?

Culture and Informal Economies Matter

Recent drug legalization initiatives offer an illustrative example of the complex and often paradoxical obstacles preventing private capital accumulation in the black community.

Though disparities in marijuana and cocaine sentencing are not as stark as the gap between crack and powder cocaine sentencing once was, blacks are still more likely to enter and return to the criminal justice system’s jurisdiction, because of racial disparities. Even Marc Mauer of the Sentencing Project, who believes marijuana reform will not end mass incarceration, concludes:

Since the early 1990s the focus of drug arrests nationally has shifted from a prior emphasis on cocaine and heroin to increasing marijuana arrests. By 2014 marijuana accounted for nearly half of the 1.5 million drug arrests nationally. . . . The racial disparities of marijuana law enforcement are emblematic of the drug war as well, with African Americans more than three times as likely to be arrested for a marijuana offense as whites, despite similar rates of use. Such outcomes bring to mind the vast disparities in crack cocaine arrests, as well as the use of “stop and frisk” policing tactics often premised on drug law enforcement, and exacting a substantial toll in communities of color.9

In light of these facts, it would seem that blacks should reap the benefits of the wave of drug decriminalization. For the moment, however, this is not so: estimates are sketchy, but indications are that black ownership of marijuana/cannabis dispensaries is as little as 1 percent.10

For whatever reason, America has never mythologized a full transition away from previously prohibited behavior and toward political success and business empire for blacks as it has for other groups—take the legends surrounding Joseph Kennedy and Samuel Bronfman, for instance. True or false, these stories inspire.

In the past, legalization events, like the decriminalization of alcohol or the evolution of “the numbers game” or “policy racket” into the modern lottery, displaced former criminal entrepreneurs in inner cities and siphoned dollars out of poor communities. Likewise, an argument can be made that the same is happening today, as marijuana-focused companies are now listed on stock exchanges—where previously incarcerated drug dealers cannot easily participate—even though many may have far better knowledge of these newly legalized markets, just as the bootleggers under Prohibition in the 1930s did. Gradually, these “criminals” became law-abiding businessmen dealing in alcoholic beverages, gambling, and entertainment businesses. This storyline from “illegal” to “legal,” often a hidden factor in how economic power in America’s ethnic enclaves has been built, was once the entire subject of a popular rap song—“Drug Dealer” by KRS-One.

Deeming behavior “immoral,” “illegal,” and “illicit,” without a consideration of how deeply integrated such behavior is in the maze of cultural institutions, often does not produce a moral outcome. In fact, it can create an economic vacuum. The takeaway here is that informal economies are just as real as formal ones, and mere incarceration for what once was considered criminal, but now is not, should not be an obstacle to one’s venturing into that business. And it should not be a justification for preventing those who participated in such activities from building capital: the city of Lansing, Michigan, should be applauded for its efforts in helping former prisoners open bank accounts.11 Imagine if, after Communism fell in Russia, all those involved in “black markets” under that regime were denied opportunities. As virtually half of the population was in one way or another involved in “illegal” transactions—the estimates were that half of Russia’s food under Communism was produced and distributed in black markets—the entire economy would have come to a standstill.

More broadly, paths to various trades through apprenticeships can result in the opportunity for those struggling to receive immediate earnings, build networks, and gain a reputation for discipline and trustworthiness. This could work particularly well for previously incarcerated persons reentering society. This matters: in 2014, African Americans constituted 2.3 million, or 34 percent, of the total correctional population of 6.8 million, many on drug-related charges as entrepreneurial sellers, and not necessarily linked to violence.12 With marijuana now being legalized, as happened with alcohol after the end of Prohibition in the 1930s, drug dealers theoretically could become law-abiding entrepreneurs, just as those selling alcohol and managing gambling saloons did after Prohibition was repealed.

Where to Begin?

In the area of savings, the emphasis must be on marriage and gainful employment, particularly among young black men. In Western societies, collective saving and wealth-building is easier in a nuclear, two-parent family than otherwise, in part because today two incomes are required to afford the standard of living that one income could have provided half a century ago. Restoring the culture of marriage thus appears crucial: children need parents, not a bureaucratic village. Though tax policy can incentivize marriage, culture must lead the way in the restoration of family, the institution of marriage, and the responsibility of parenting. Two examples: first, a greater celebration of marriage by hip-hop icons is naturally taking place as celebrities age, retire, and seek stability and a legacy. That relationships become a form of status, the subject of headlines, and a focus of reality shows may help—see Jay-Z and Beyoncé, Swizz Beats and Alicia Keys, and Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. Second, intentional popularization of adoption works, as the Million Man March demonstrated. As adoptions become more popular, lives become more valuable, the stewarding institution of marriage should receive a boost, and abortions should become rarer.

In the area of natural resources, a cultural interpolation might be helpful. Much of the tension over race in sports and entertainment today revolves around the central role played by black consumption, estimated to reach $1.4 trillion in 2020, and talent.13 Closed off to other avenues of advancement for years, entertainers from the black community have been afforded a level of access, latitude, and income denied in other fields. Yet a persistent emphasis on a surplus of labor in the face of a dearth of capital can create uncomfortable moments—like ESPN’s embarrassing fantasy football draft, which some felt resembled a slave auction. Nearly 70 percent of the players in the NFL are black Americans, while the league has no black owners. According to one study, NFL owners who donated to the inaugural activities of President Trump “have fewer black executives than other teams.”14 When Trump suggested that owners fire their employees, the disparity in the capital-to-labor issue was stark, in terms of white and black. In the minds of many, it brought back echoes of the kind of exploitation that resulted in lost land.

When hip-hop artist J. Cole tweeted the Sunday after President Trump’s statement, “This may be the biggest opportunity we have ever been presented to come together and show the world and ourselves our true economic power,” he was suggesting that blacks could advance towards racial parity through economic means—the withholding of black athletic talent from the broader audience. As difficult as it might be for some to imagine, the act of black consumers and players boycotting a major sports league might dramatically infuse more honesty in race relations and inspire or even compel entrepreneurial activity that challenges the oligopolistic reality of the sports industry. Far fetched? Rapper and director Ice Cube’s Big3 basketball league, made up of former NBA stars and broadcasted on Fox, has sparked such musings, including a call from Minister Louis Farrakhan to support the effort.

Nixon Went to China; Can Trump Go to Black America?

With this context, a deal-making scenario begins to emerge: in exchange for black America breaking out of its decades-old partisan straitjacket, President Trump provides bold economic and criminal justice reform.

The formula could also result in net deficit reduction, as there is less need for a social safety net when there are bigger tax receipts flowing from greater employment, entrepreneurship, and wealth creation.

From the race-averse worldviews of the Democratic and Republican parties, this may seem far fetched. But upon closer inspection, we are not as far from a deal as the current environment of rhetoric and recrimination may lead one to believe. The most revealing (and underreported) aspect of President Trump’s response to Charlottesville was this portion:

Reporter: Do you think things have gotten worse or better since you took office with regard to race relationships?

Trump: I think they’ve gotten better or the same—look—they have been frayed for a long time, and you can ask President Obama about that, because he’d make speeches about it. I believe that the fact that I brought in, it will be soon, millions of jobs, you see where companies are moving back into our country. I think that’s going to have a tremendous positive impact on race relations. We have companies coming back into our country. We have two car companies that just announced. We have Foxconn in Wisconsin just announced. We have many companies, I’d say, pouring back into the country. I think that’s going to have a huge, positive impact on race relations. You know why? It is jobs. What people want now, they want jobs. They want great jobs with good pay. And when they have that, you watch how race relations will be. And I’ll tell you, we’re spending a lot of money on the inner cities—we are fixing the inner cities—we are doing far more than anybody has done with respect to the inner cities. It is a priority for me, and it’s very important.15

If President Trump stayed on this message for a sustained period of time, or at least sporadically returned to it, he’d open the door not only for meaningful dialogue and policy but, more importantly, he’d find a partner within the black community—more likely to be a cadre of cultural figures rather than a single political one.

As the pragmatic heir to Richard Nixon (the president whom he is often said to be most akin to, temperamentally and ideologically), President Trump is well positioned to pursue the “Black Capitalism” strategy envisioned by the thirty-seventh president—which the Nixon Library retroactively describes as the effort “to expand economic opportunities for African Americans by ending discrimination in the work place, through the endowment of black colleges with federal funds, and helping them find meaningful employment through job assistance programs, and promotion of entrepreneurship.”

And while the black political establishment has little use for the art of a deal with Trump, aspirational black Millennials engrossed in nonpartisan discussions over wealth may find use in it, sparked by Jay-Z’s 4:44 album and podcasts where he discusses it. These young people increasingly take their inspiration from the older generation that helped inspire Nixon’s thinking on riots in major cities like Washington, Baltimore, Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago in the late 1960s. The black members of Generation Z are not happy with Trump, but they also are far less likely than, say, the Congressional Black Caucus to defer to the Democratic National Committee. They are unpredictable, intellectually diverse, and therefore more likely to respond to the president as activists and political free agents than as card-carrying Democrats.

Nixon’s efforts failed because his “Black Capitalism” initiative was at variance with his “law and order” attitude on criminal justice. Blacks saw any benefits accruing from his expansion of financial capital as minuscule in comparison to the destruction of their human capital that he was simultaneously engineering. When President Trump utters similar language, he too undermines any hopes of a credible outreach. Since no self-respecting black person is willing to trade their humanity for a tax cut, there’s only one thing Trump can do that would gain him a hearing for his economic policies—acknowledge the inhumanity of criminal injustice. There are two concessions he might make to show that he is serious about ending America’s racial divide and achieving his goal of becoming the second-greatest president in U.S. history, after Abraham Lincoln:

(1) President Trump has yet to articulate something that the majority of blacks know experientially and intuitively: institutional racism, not racist symbols and dogma, is the major remaining barrier to advancement. Should President Trump make the concession that the criminal justice system has destroyed human capital by contributing to poverty and the problem of unemployment, he would open ears, if not hearts and minds. And if he “goes to China” by acknowledging that he personally went too far with the Central Park Five, still refusing to acknowledge the possibility of their false imprisonment in the face of overwhelming evidence, he would have a better chance at resetting the dialogue.

(2) If President Trump would roll back draconian civil asset forfeiture policies—which he has furthered through Attorney General Sessions16—that enable law enforcement officers to seize property of persons merely suspected of criminal activity, he would symbolically and substantively return capital to the black community. And if he would reverse the guidance Attorney General Sessions provided with regard to federal mandatory-minimum sentencing—which could potentially bring back 1990s-era racial disparities—he would provide evidence that he is serious about one of the issues blacks care about the most.

As he humanely fights a war on opioid abuse, widely viewed as a white epidemic, blacks—painfully aware that their battles with cocaine and heroin were never similarly accepted as mainstream addictions and forms of “disease”—will be watching suspiciously. The president could exceed expectations by acknowledging such disparities and crafting policies accordingly.

It is important to understand that President Trump would not do any of this out of political ideology and intentionality. He might, however, gravitate toward this approach because of his pragmatic disposition and his performer-like sensitivity to audiences, and because the party on the other side of the table offers a clear sense of direction. He makes deals because of the tremendous amount of psychic income they yield to him. If an act distinguishes him from others, provides room for improvisation, and is accompanied by an unnecessary difficulty factor, it appeals to him. He should be appealed to on that basis—not sympathy, empathy, or moral authority.

To make a direct negotiation possible, blacks should mute a Democrat-first attitude, but they should not become Republicans.  That would not strengthen their hand at all and actually might weaken it, due to the rigid conservative ideological attachments of most Republicans.

When President Obama suggested that President-elect Trump’s pragmatism would serve him well, he was expressing something that blacks have also intuitively understood about him—a quality that also opens the door for the pursuit of their own enlightened self-interest. In November, after Trump’s victory, President Obama said: “I also think that he is coming to this office with fewer set, hard-and-fast policy prescriptions than a lot of other presidents might be arriving with. I don’t think he is ideological. I think, ultimately, he is pragmatic in that way. And that can serve him well, as long as he has got good people around him and he has a clear sense of direction.”17

In a way that may not be obvious, blacks may benefit from President Trump triangulating with Democrats on policy in a way they did not benefit from President Clinton triangulating with Republicans on policy (signing the crime bill, “mending” affirmative action, and “ending” welfare). President Clinton, like Trump, was not an ideologue. And a desperate circumstance—Democrats losing control of the House of Representatives to the GOP—eventually made manifest his true nature.

The fundamental way to misunderstand President Trump—which Republicans, even more than Democrats, suffer from—is to view him as a political leader rather than a cultural one. Trump is the leader of a mass movement, more than he is the president of a country. So a decision to deal with him via “D” or “R” status and labels is a mistake. When it comes to extracting paradigm-shifting benefits during the Trump presidency, political independence—in thinking, tactics, and strategy—matters more than party affiliation.

Years of applying a narrow political and partisan lens to the condition of black America has steered dialogue away from truths that open a wider range of possibilities.  Though understandable and natural—when one considers the dynamics that encourage discriminated-against minorities to take the electoral route—the legacy of unsolved problems requires a new paradigm.

As uncomfortable as the Trump presidency may seem at times, it may offer a surprising opportunity for Americans to peacefully end their racial divide—a problem that clearly will not be solved by the conventional two-party polarization.

This article originally appeared in American Affairs Volume I, Number 4 (Winter 2017): 100–14.

Notes
1 Charles M. Blow, “Blacks, Conservatives and Plantations,” New York Times, May 22, 2013.

2 Paul Frymer, Uneasy Alliances: Race and Party Competition in America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010), 8, 10.

3 Joshua Green, “The Remaking of Donald Trump,” Bloomberg Businessweek, July 6, 2017, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-07-06/the-remaking-of-donald-trump.

4 Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment Status of the Civilian Population by Race, Sex, and Age,” https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t02.htm.

5 Michael McManus, “Minority Business Ownership: Data from the 2012 Survey of Business Owners,” U.S. Small Business Administration, Sept. 14, 2016, https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/advocacy/Minority-Owned-Businessesin-the-US.pdf.

6 Harriet Torry, “U.S. Families’ Wealth, Incomes Rose, Fed Survey Says,” Wall Street Journal, Sept. 27, 2017.

7 Tanzina Vega, “Blacks Will Take Hundreds of Years to Catch Up to White Wealth,” CNN Money, August 9, 2016, http://money.cnn.com/2016/08/09/news/economy/blacks-white-wealth-gap/index.html.

8 Many of these thoughts are inspired by American Affairs contributor Reuven Brenner’s insights into capital and economics; see especially “Dismiss Macroeconomic Myths and Restore Accountability,” American Affairs 1, no. 1 (Spring 2017): 62–81.

9 Marc Mauer, “Can Marijuana Reform End Mass Incarceration?,” The Hill, Aug. 12, 2016, http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/crime/291298-can-marijuana-reform-end-mass-incarceration.

10 “As the Legal Pot Industry Booms, African-Americans Are Left Behind,” NPR, Mar. 18, 2016, http://www.npr.org/2016/03/18/471008253/as-the-legal-pot-industry-booms-african-americans-are-left-behind.

11 Allison Prang, “How This City Is Turning Ex-Cons into Banking Customers,” American Banker, June 28, 2017, https://www.americanbanker.com/news/howthis-city-is-turning-ex-cons-into-banking-customers.

12 NAACP, Criminal Justice Fact Sheet, http://www.naacp.org/criminal-justice-fact-sheet/.

13 University of Georgia Terry College of Business, “Asians, Hispanics Driving U.S. Economy Forward, According to UGA Study,” news release, Sept. 24, 2015, http://www.terry.uga.edu/news/releases/asians-hispanics-driving-u.s.-economy-forward-according-to-uga-study.

14 Michael Tesler, “NFL Owners Who Donated to Trump Have Fewer Black Executives than Other Teams,” Washington Post, Sept. 25, 2017.

15 Donald Trump, press conference, Aug. 15, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/15/full-text-trump-comments-white-supremacists-alt-left-transcript-241662.

16 Department of Justice, “Attorney General Sessions Issues Policy and Guidelines on Federal Adoptions of Assets Seized by State or Local Law Enforcement,” news release, July 19, 2017, https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/attorney-general-sessions-issues-policy-and-guidelines-federal-adoptions-assets-seized-state.

17 Barack Obama, press conference of November 14, 2016, http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1611/14/cg.01.html.

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