Trump’s Broken Promises to African Americans

Image for post
Image for post

In October 2016, candidate Trump stated that “too many African-Americans have been left behind” and pledged to them, “whether you vote for me or not, I will be your greatest champion.”

But ahead of the NAACP and Urban League national conventions this week, it’s worth noting that Black Americans are still falling behind, and Trump’s policies are making it harder for them to get ahead. In today’s update, we focus on how Trump has broken his promise to be a champion for African Americans.

For more on how Trump’s broken promises are impacting your state, head to TrumpsBrokenPromises.org.

FIVE FACTS ON TRUMP’S RECORD WITH BLACK AMERICANS

  1. The Black-white wage gap is increasing. Since Trump took office, the gap between median earnings for Black and white Americans has increased to 28%.
  2. The Black-white wealth gap is increasing. Black Americans own about one-tenth of the wealth of white Americans. Trump’s tax bill is exacerbating this gap with tax cuts slanted toward corporations and the wealthy, who are disproportionately white.
  3. Black homeownership is decreasing. Black homeownership has declined during Trump’s presidency, and the gap between Black and white homeownership rates has increased to 32%.
  4. Trump’s ACA sabotage would disproportionately hurt Black Americans. The Trump administration is actively trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act. If the law were overturned, the loss in coverage would disproportionately harm Black people, causing millions of Black Americans to lose health care coverage.
  5. Predatory for-profit colleges disproportionately harm Black students. For-profit colleges take advantage of students by engaging in deceptive tactics. 70% of Black Americans who borrow to attend a for-profit college default on their loans. But Trump’s Department of Education has discontinued investigations into corporations accused of defrauding students and stalled efforts to cancel the debts of students who attended these schools.

DEEP DIVE

“You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58% of your youth is unemployed — what the hell do you have to lose?”

—Candidate Trump to Black voters at a rally in Michigan in August of 2016

EARNINGS GAP

While wages overall have been slowly growing with the economic expansion, racial wage inequality has worsened under Trump. Since he took office, average Black earnings as a percentage of white earnings have continued to decrease significantly, with the gap reaching 27.5%. Even when controlling for factors like education, age, and geography, the Black-white wage gap exists and is widening.

Black women, facing the additional burden of gender discrimination, earn only 61 cents for every dollar a white man makes, at a loss of nearly a million dollars over a career. Black women are twice as likely as their white counterparts to occupy low-wage service sector jobs, even though more than 70% of Black women are the primary household breadwinners.

Despite these alarming statistics, Trump is slashing funding for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the agency responsible for combatting employment-based discrimination.

Additionally, Trump is fighting a minimum wage increase, threatening to veto the pending bill to raise the minimum wage to $15. But Black Americans stand to gain the most of any racial group from a minimum wage increase: 38% of Black workers would receive a raise if a $15 wage were enacted.

WEALTH GAP

African Americans face systematic challenges in narrowing the wealth gap with whites. The median wealth for Black households with a college degree equaled about 70% of the median wealth for white households without a college degree. According to a CAP study, the median wealth for Black families was $17,600 in 2016. For white families, it was $171,000 — nearly ten times as much.

According to a study by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, Trump’s tax bill exacerbated this gap with tax cuts slanted toward corporations and the wealthy, who are disproportionately white. Tax cuts for the average white household were more than twice as large as those the for the average Black household.

To add insult to injury, President Trump has proposed eliminating the Economic Development Administration and the Minority Business Development Agency, which would make it more difficult for African Americans to start small businesses.

HOMEOWNERSHIP

In the year up to Trump’s inauguration, homeownership among Americans who identify as “Black alone” increased the fastest among all major racial identities, growing 1.6 percentage points from 41.5% to 42.7%. Since then, the national Black homeownership rate has dropped to 41.1%.

Black Americans are the only major racial group to experience a decrease in homeownership rates since Trump took office. A new CAP report outlines the causes and implications of this disparity, as well as how it hinders Black Americans’ ability to build wealth.

The Trump administration is exacerbating the Black-white homeownership gap by failing to reinstate the Affirmative Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule, which functions as a critical tool to combat discriminatory practices and persistent residential segregation patterns.

HEALTH CARE

Black Americans face disparities in access to quality health care, which creates significant barriers to economic prosperity. This CAP analysis highlights that Black women are three to four times more likely to die from preventable complications during pregnancy than white women are.

Trump has spent his presidency seeking to tear down and sabotage the Affordable Care Act, which has extended health care coverage to millions of Black Americans.

Currently, the Trump administration is supporting a lawsuit to repeal the Affordable Care Act in its entirety. Since the ACA took effect, the uninsured rate for nonelderly Black Americans was cut nearly in half, from 19% in 2012 to 11% in 2016. However, if the ACA were repealed, approximately 20 million people would become uninsured, disproportionately harming Black Americans.

HIGHER EDUCATION

For-profit colleges take advantage of students by engaging in deceptive tactics. While Black students represent less than 15% of college students, they represent nearly half of for-profit college attendees, where 96% of all graduates leave with debt. Of the Black students who take out loans to attend these schools, nearly 70% default within 10 years.

Trump’s Department of Education has discontinued investigations into corporations accused of defrauding students and stalled efforts to cancel the debts of students who attended these schools. The Department has also rolled back protections for students and loosened accountability standards, putting Black students further at-risk.

For more on how Trump’s broken promises are impacting your state, head to TrumpsBrokenPromises.org.

Written by

Hard-hitting news + analysis paired with action on the issues that matter most. Working alongside @AmProg.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store