One of the many great things about America is its vast diversity and range of people from all walks of life. Because of the large melting pot in this country, it is crucial that the leader respects that, and attempts to unite all its citizens, creating a land of equal opportunity. Although Donald Trump has faced accusations of being a racist, he has denounced white supremacy on multiple different occasions. However, there are a variety of things Trump has done to enhance the lives of minority communities that need the most help. Throughout his presidency, Trump has helped race relations by addressing mass incarceration through the First Step Act, funding HBCUs, and alleviating poverty through job growth and the Platinum Plan. For these reasons, his handling of race relations is deserving of an A-.
One of the biggest issues facing the African American community is mass incarceration. The First Step Act, which capped mandatory minimums on low-level drug crimes and increased rehabilitation for federal inmates. So far, this act has helped release over 3,100 inmates.
President Trump has also helped improve race relations through supporting Historically Black Colleges. The FUTURE Act, a bipartisan bill signed in 2019, permanently reauthorized millions of dollars in federal funding for all 102 HBCUs. It also helped first-generation students at these colleges by increasing their financial aid grants. The FUTURE Act also increased funding for STEM programs at the aforementioned schools.
President Trump has helped better race relations by helping the socio-economic status of minorities. Under Trump’s presidency, the poverty rate for African Americans was the lowest ever, at 18.8%. This is a 3% decrease from the Obama administration rate. Additionally, Black unemployment was the lowest at 5.4%, and prior to his presidency, had never been below 7%. The list goes on for President Trump’s efforts to support the African American community, including providing more paths for Black students to be recruited at NASA, increasing nonwhite wages, and funding the predominantly black D.C’s school voucher program.
President Trump has also improved the economic circumstances for non-Black racial minorities. Under his presidency, 2.9 million jobs were created for Latinos, with their median income in 2017 rising to its highest ever at $50,486. Additionally, unemployment hit a new low at 3.9%, and the median income rose by $1,786 during his first year in office. President Trump also implemented The White House Hispanic Prosperity Initiative in 2020 to improve access to education, training, and economic opportunities for Latino Americans.
All of these achievements would warrant an “A+” for Trump, but because of his incendiary rhetoric, he deserves an A- overall. For example, using rhetoric such as “shithole countries” is unprofessional and is offensive to those who come from these countries. However, it is not racist to criticize a country. This comment could have been formulated much more professionally and effectively, without using offensive language.
Despite Trump’s rhetoric, it does not in any way disqualify the abundance of reforms and laws enacted to better minority communities in the United States. President Donald Trump has uplifted these communities more than past presidents have, and has given opportunities to these groups that will allow them to fulfill the American dream, and pursue the happiness that is promised in our Constitution.