I believe black lives matter and if you are coming to this site as a person with hate in their heart towards other human beings just because of the color of their skin, you are in the wrong place. I am undertaking this work for all Americans.
No qualifications. No buts. People of color, I hear you. Your pain is real. Your life experiences are real. Your fear of the police is real. Your poverty is real. I understand that the crime and violence in your communities is also real. The pain and despair so many of you feel, I can only imagine.
What did we expect? We founded our great nation on the idea of freedom and equal opportunity, and then immediately began importing human beings as property to help build it. We realized the error of our ways, and with the stroke of a pen, changed your ancestors from pieces of property to citizens. We had no real understanding of the adverse consequences of this decision, much less a plan for how to mitigate them.
For the doubters who believe that #alllivesmatter, I simply offer you this; you have been misled. Your position is misguided. Don’t believe me? Ask yourself one question, “Knowing all of society’s frailties, would I raise my hand and volunteer to be re-born with black skin, and to live my life out in one of the impoverished urban centers like Los Angeles, New York, or Chicago?” Your answer to that question should tell you all you need to know.
If we can’t all acknowledge what is real and true, that the equal opportunity sought by our forefathers is still not enjoyed equally by all Americans, then we cannot begin to heal, move forward, and correct the ongoing injustices of our original American sin.
As for solutions to the plight of black and brown Americans, I say to you that you are looking for solutions in many of the wrong places, particularly, politically.
Your righteous movement has been hijacked by the politicians and the wealthiest members of society who seek to profit off you in a way that slavery never could.
Today’s political leadership does not offer you solutions that benefit you and your families. They offer solutions that benefit the political ruling class, and they need your electoral support to continue their personal enrichment. Their goal is your dependence on them. Dependence equals votes. Votes equal power. Power equals wealth.
“Americans are so enamored of equality, they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.”
― Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Written in 1835.
Ask yourself a question, while you suffer in your daily lives, how many politicians who claim to represent you, enter their time in office very humbly but retire millionaires? Ask yourself another question, who has held political control over your cities for generations while you and your family have suffered crushing poverty, unthinkable violence, and otherwise impossible living conditions.
I realize that it may be unpopular to point a specific political party out, but Democratic leaders have held control over cities like Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore, Los Angeles, and Boston for generations. One of them is my home and among the most corrupt and broken local governments in our country. They have too much to lose by improving your lives and the lives of your progeny. It is time to truly waken to the ongoing causes of your suffering.
It’s time to hold them accountable and drive visibility to their failures. Hence the reason my plan for America focuses on equality through visibility to your plight.
In business, there is an old adage: “You cannot manage what you cannot measure.” I contend that equality is no different. Equality is more than a state of mind, or the flowery rhetoric of a veteran politician. I don’t need to tell you that. You know this better than I ever will.
Your health. Your education. Your income. Your resources. Your work. Your security. Your connectivity. These are all objective manifestations of the quality of your life’s experience. And, to your benefit, they can all be measured in a real, accurate, objective way.
Under my parPresidency, we will strive to monitor these factors and track them by race, gender, and region. The data to undertake this important work already exists, albeit not easy to find. It may not have in your parent’s generation. We simply must seek it out and make it visible to every American. Should he choose to, my Presidential counterpart in Washington could accomplish this critical work simply, bringing to bear the full weight of the resources he commands. You would see an immediate improvement to the quality of your life, simply by making the quality of your life known to all Americans in a clear, unbiased, way.
We will use this information to move the idea of equality out from the shadows and into the light. Together, we will all begin to understand why and where certain members of our American experience thrive, while others struggle. Measuring the progress of those we have held down for long is how we can move this age-old crisis from the world of rhetoric and empty political promises. It will be your tool to hold your legislators and city officials accountable.