Black Leaders Support Trump’s Prison Reform Push

Pundits are calling Pres. Donald J. Trump’s domestic policies the “Colorblind Economy” because it has improved employment opportunities for Americans of all walks of life, particularly African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans. But outside of the incredible economic engine he has harnessed, Pres. Trump is far from colorblind. Recognizing the African-Americans have disproportionately suffered, the president is calling for passage of prison reform legislation after the mid-term elections.

In a recent high-profile meeting with rapper Kanye West and NFL hall-of-famer Jim Brown, the president discussed prison reform in an outside-the-box forum that called for creating business and job opportunities in historically black communities.

“Trump is on his hero’s journey right now,” Kanye West reportedly said wearing a MAGA Hat. “He might not have thought he’d have a crazy mother-#@#@r like Kanye West run up and support, but best believe — we are going to make America great.”

The Grammy-winning hip-hop artist has professed unwavering support for Pres. Trump based on tangible gains. African-American unemployment rates dropped to the lowest in recorded history in May at 5.9 percent. That figure continues to hover around 6 percent.

Black teens have traditionally had the toughest road to gainful employment. In 2010, during the Obama Administration, black teens suffered a worst 48.9 percent joblessness rate. Pres. Trump’s colorblind economy has created opportunity with black teen unemployment now at 19.3 percent. This marks the first time since 1972 black teen unemployment has dropped below 20 percent.

Early employment opportunities may be the key for keeping black youths out of trouble and out of jail. Experts agree that black teens are often the last to be hired because they too often come from high-crime areas and suffer significant traumas. As a result, many have few networking opportunities. Part of the president’s comprehensive prison reform agenda calls for job training and creating business opportunities in black communities.

Black leaders such as Pastor Darrell Scott and John Gray among many others have been conducting ongoing prison reform discussions directly with the president.

On the legislative side, Republicans are pushing forward with a bill called the First Step Act. Having passed the House with every Republican voting yes, it would ease overzealous and lengthy sentences against non-violent offenders, improve inmate access to job training and invest tens of millions in programs designed to help convicts re-enter society with the vital skills.

One of the more under-reported successes of the GOP is that conservatives approved the prison reform bill in the U.S. House and are awaiting their Senate counterparts to move forward after the election.

The First Step Acts has been widely touted by Pres. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. The measure calls for an end to targeting Africa-Americans with overly long sentences and places more emphasis on rehabilitation, retraining, and re-entry into society over incarceration. The U.S. reportedly suffers an incarceration rate six times higher than China, and 12 times above Sweden. At least one study estimates the cost to taxpayers exceeds $183 billion annually. Pres. Trump has promised to sign the measure into law if it reaches his desk.

“Nobody wins when former prisoners fail to adjust to life outside or worse, end up back behind bars. We want former inmates to find a path to success so they can support their families and support their communities,” Pres. Trump reportedly said. “My administration strongly supports these efforts, and I urge the House and Senate to get together, work out their differences, (and) get a bill to my desk. I will sign it.”

Inmates would earn credits toward early release by completing vocational training courses designed to lower repeat offenses. The legislation also provides $50 million for additional vocational training programs over five years. Despite statistics that show 1-in-10 African-Americans over the age of 30 are incarcerated or that 40 percent of inmates are black, far-left Democrats are opposing the First Step Act.

Democrats such as senators Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, and Dick Durbin are blasting a provision that puts greater emphasis on supporting inmates that are less likely to again commit a crime. The measure appears to be accounting for violent career criminals and gang members that threaten communities.

Rather than embrace the legislation as a vehicle to help African-Americans break the cycle of crime and incarceration, liberals prefer to play party politics with African-American lives. The three high-ranking Democrats have already gone on a propaganda run to mislead voters about the First Step Act.

The legislation was submitted by Democrat Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York with Georgia Rep. Doug Collins in a bipartisan effort. The First Step Act easily passed the House on a 360-59 vote, with only Democrats voting against it. It has been held up by Senate Republicans until after the mid-terms because Senate Democrats have vowed to derail it.

The First Step Act requires 60 votes in the Senate. Republicans have agreed to put their 51-vote majority behind passing prison reform but expect liberal extremists to “resist” and “obstruct” the measure.

Democrats appear ready to throw African-Americans under the bus rather than join Republicans and Pres. Trump in helping to balance the scales of justice and provide opportunities for those who have been unfairly treated.

~ Liberty Planet