By Anthony Maxwell
“Make America Great Again” is Donald Trump’s political slogan. Trump, the Republican Presidential Nominee’s political slogan has caught on with the “silent minority” of angry white people in the Republican Party who despise the last three decades of transformation in America. In numerous speeches, Trump has told his followers that he will build a wall to keep Mexican drug dealers and rapists out of this country, he will bring jobs back, and make America respected in the world again. On a few occasions, Trump has attacked Obama for failing to improve economic and social conditions. Trump said “I will do more for the African American people in one year than Barack Obama has done in his seven years”.
Besides this statement, Trump hasn’t revealed any plans to “Make Black America Great Again”. Based on the Clintons political track record, I doubt that they have a plan to improve our conditions. If Hillary had a plan, she probably deleted it along with the other 30,000 emails which were the subject of a FBI probe. If both presidential candidates don’t have plans to improve our community, why don’t we create our own plan? Do we need to wait on Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump to ‘Make Black America Great Again’?
When was Black America Great?
At the end of slavery, 80 percent of formerly enslaved Africans were illiterate and by 1940 only 12 percent of Black America was illiterate. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, black folks were the economic engine of Wilmington, NC, Durham, NC, Rosewood, FL, and Tulsa, OK. In less than 50 years after the end of slavery, black folks were operating independent businesses, running schools, and building a legacy for future generations. In the 1960s, Black America started a civil rights movement that led to legislative changes in American and inspired Africans to claim their independence and end colonial rule.
Let’s Build a Wall
Trump’s plan to ‘Make America Great Again’ involves building a wall. We should build a wall too. Let’s build a spiritual wall to protect our women, children, and community from negative images, ideas, and people. When Black America was great, we didn’t have as many negative messages being directed at our community. Media executives create negative visual and audio content designed to destroy our self-image, self-worth, and divide our community. So we need to build a spiritual wall to protect ourselves and re-create a sense of community.
Let’s Bring Job Back to Black America
In 2013, Generation Opportunity, a national youth advocacy organization released a Millennial Jobs Report which revealed that the unemployment rate for Black Americans ages 18-29 was 20.9 percent. We complain about the younger generation’s fascination with drugs, sex, and video games but what opportunity do we have to offer our “lost generation”? We’ve done enough preaching to our youth. Now is the time to empower our youth with economic opportunity. We need entrepreneurs to teach our young people the basics of entrepreneurship and crowd funding support from our community to provide seed money for young people to start businesses. Also, we must make corporate America respect the black dollar. If they want our business, then they must hire our youth. If not, we must take our business somewhere else.
Let’s Be Innovative
Since the 1990s, we’ve experienced a technological revolution but Black America has reaped few of the benefits. Why? Because we have been observers and consumers in this process. We must become leaders of innovation in our community. I’m not suggesting that you create the next Facebook, Twitter, or GoFundMe. But we need to use our collective critical thinking skills to solve our community issues. If we are dealing with community issues such as unemployment, crime, poor school performance, health issues (obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.) then why aren’t we using innovative tools to solve our problems? Every community issue that we are facing is a potential business opportunity. If you find a solution to a community issues, then you can create a new revenue stream by turning your solution into a new business. So let’s stop complaining and start building wealth by solving our problems. Let’s take steps to Make Black America Great Again!