One graph that explains Donald Trump’s inept outreach to African Americans

Mike Green
Sep 8, 2016 · 5 min read

It’s clear that Donald Trump isn’t interested in African American support. One economic graph reveals why.

Despite appallingly low business productivity output, entrepreneurial growth among both Hispanic and Black Americans leads the nation. Among black women entrepreneurs, in particular, there’s been a 322% increase since 1997. Yet, out of 2.6 million businesses created, 2.5 million are sole proprietors with zero employees. Of the remaining 100,000 with employees, only 14,000 businesses produce revenues over $1M annually. President Obama has sought ways of increasing entrepreneurial success among minority and women populations and opened doors throughout his tenure. (MORE)

NOTE: I wrote this analysis during the presidential campaign of 2016. Nearly two years later, now-President Trump continues to ignore the population he derided and cast aside throughout his campaign. The economic indicators Trump wants you to see pertain to his constituencies while black Americans have been left on the sidelines of his political vision still pondering the question: “What do you have to lose?” The reality is evident: we had nothing to gain with President Trump. Here’s my analysis, which still applies today and will apply in 2018.

CAMPAIGN ANALYSIS

Trump has zero interest in the African American vote. What isn’t quite clear is why Trump has so little interest in disrupting the loyal voting bloc Secretary Hillary Clinton and the Democrats have secured across the landscape of African Americans.

Equally unclear is why Trump can hold a virtually all-white rally in Jackson, Mississippi, which has an 80 percent African American population, and not receive any questions from journalists about the chronic economic and social conditions of black residents in the capital city of Mississippi, which amount to economic apartheid.

What is abundantly clear, however, is Trump’s visit to Jackson defines the entire strategy for his campaign. As a businessman, Trump claims he is keenly aware of the economic conditions of the country. And he may be. The plight of African Americans in Jackson, MS is an excellent barometer of the systemic economic divides nationwide along racial fault lines. This is an arena in which Trump has pulled the wool over the eyes of journalists at all levels, local, regional and national. There’s only one economic graphic anyone needs to see to fully understand why Trump has marginal interest in courting the votes of Asian Americans and Hispanic Americans. And with even a cursory glance at this one chart, it’s easy to see why Trump has zero interest in the African American vote.

AMERICAN APARTHEID

Under a president Trump, America would likely pursue a course of economic apartheid, in which nearly all of the means of producing wealth, power and influence in America would remain under control of white Americans, just as it was a mere 50 years ago.

Ironically, with demographic shifts leading toward a minority majority nation by mid-century, coupled with the fastest rate of entrepreneurial growth occurring among Hispanic and black populations, Trump and Secretary Clinton have both ignored an easy win in the argument over who would be better for minority populations with regard to the economy and jobs. Both candidates have ignored the single most important looming economic question: Who will create the jobs of tomorrow?

JOB CREATION CRISIS

I asked this important question in a previous commentary, One Economic Question That Could Decide the Next President. I provided detailed data on why business productivity and job-creation among Americans of color is the most important issue the nation must address. Still, neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump have addressed this question. And unless they are repeatedly asked to do so by journalists, there’s likely no chance they will wade into these tumultuous waters.

Yet, America is currently facing an entrepreneurial crisis. Today, more businesses close each year than are being created. This means fewer jobs. The speed at which technology startups can accelerate and become job-producers is amazing, but there simply aren’t enough successful scalable startups to overcome the deficit in business closures and job losses.

Naturally, an entrepreneurship crisis would require an intentional focus on investing in developing a more robust entrepreneurial pipeline within existing growth sectors, such as minorities and women. Yet, there has been no national discourse on this issue and no plan by either candidate to address it.

SEPARATE AND UNEQUAL ECONOMIC STRATEGIES

Meanwhile, Clinton and Trump both suggest they can grow the economy and jobs with strategies that focus entirely on investing in the white-dominated private business sector through government tax incentives to lure jobs from overseas and other measures that also inure to the benefit of white-owned corporations and mature small businesses, leaving the entrepreneurial pipeline among nonwhites to languish unnoticed.

Minority populations fear such strategies. Throughout the economic growth of America, wherein the white-dominated business landscape has benefited tremendously, African Americans have continued to endure unemployment rates that are nearly twice the rate of white unemployment regardless of the level of education. All the evidence shows that regardless of the economic growth of the white private sector, communities of color will continue to suffer disproportionately. The solution is to empower underrepresented populations to compete in the private business sector as job creators.

Black American unemployment remains nearly twice the rate of whites regardless of the level of education attainment.

IMPACT JOURNALISM

There is no secret to the campaign strategy of Donald Trump. He simply has not been asked the right questions to reveal it. As we head down the home stretch, my hope is to see journalists conduct due diligence on data that induce questions about how the candidates will build a more inclusive America, with greater economic opportunity and shared prosperity for all.

I hope to see a line of relentless questioning that compel the candidates to address issues that empower underrepresented populations to be more productive in the private business sector and assume a larger role in producing a greater share of GDP productivity and more jobs. In building a 21st century inclusive landscape, it cannot be a mirror image of the past exclusionary policies and practices established by white supremacists and sustained by white privilege. We must transition our economic landscape to invest in all of America’s extraordinarily talented multicultural and multiracial populations.

The nation relies upon journalists who are privileged to ask the candidates questions, to frame the issues of the economy and jobs around strategies for an economic evolution, if there ever is to be one.

Mike Green

Written by

Co-founder, ScaleUp Partners LLC; Consultant: Inclusive Innovation Ecosystems, Regional Competitiveness and Empowering Underrepresented Populations

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