Hart Cunningham recognizes that since the end of slavery in the United States, African Americans have endured a tumultuous period in a society that only recently gave them the most basics of human rights. Electing Barack Obama showed all of America that this nation could look past racial divides and elect an African American man as their Commander and Chief. The work to bring equality to all Americans is a large task but not an impossible one. The Obama administration left much unfinished work and unaddressed African American issues. The divide in racial equality has become even greater since many of the initiatives that Obama put in place are being challenged, from Affordable Health Care, home ownership, to even free lunches in schools for children at risk. The lack of additional progressive change regarding many serious issues that plague post-modern African Americans has come under siege or not being addressed. Racism has been elevated to front and center in our country, once again, as we saw in the current administration’s response to events in North Carolina, underscoring racial divides. Hart Cunningham believes that African American equality issues must be addressed immediately to achieve a forward and positive stronger nation for all citizens.
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The Time is Now for Equality for African Americans
The System Must Change
Mass incarceration of black males is high on the list for the Cunningham administration to address and change for the better, reduce the causes and outcome. The overall national average of incarcerated citizens shows us a disproportionate number of black males who are serving longer sentences than their white, Asian, and Hispanic counterparts. Black males serve longer sentences for crimes similar in nature than other races. Couple that with the alarming number of police brutality cases against black males a racially biased judicial system. This starts from the local level with police and subsequently going full circle to the judicial branches of the government. District and municipal Judges hand longer and harder sentences to black males because of cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance refers to a situation involving conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviors. This produces a feeling of discomfort leading to an alteration in one of the attitudes, beliefs or behaviors to reduce the discomfort and restore balance. This specific issue will be one that Hart Cunningham will focus on how to instill balance in the judicial system. Hart believes longer, and stiffer sentences do exactly the opposite of what is intended when handing out the punishment itself. The administration wants to end life sentences entirely and mandate a fifty year maximum sentence for cases involving murder and egregious crimes. The administration will also make the use of non-lethal rounds mandatory for all police and law enforcement. The rules of engagement that police use in society will be standardized and changed.
New Economic Stimulus Plan for African Americans
Even with the recent economic growth, African Americans still have major gaps in finding and maintaining gainful employment. This specific condition hinges on age, previous experience, and education. Upon closer examination Hart feels that this system is specifically designed to deliberately discriminate against African Americans by limiting their employment access to higher paying jobs in the private sector. As a result of these discriminations, African Americans have less financial security as well as less access to healthcare during their twilight years. Even though the poverty gap between blacks and whites has narrowed, blacks are still at least twice as likely as whites to live in poverty or be unemployed. And while 23% of blacks sought food from a food banks or community pantries in the past 12 months, just 8% of whites sought the same assistance. The great divide of this disparity in economic fairness must be addressed and measures written into law to achieve equality in the work force.
In addition, Hart Cunningham will introduce more small business loans to African Americans living in poor, disenfranchised areas of America. This is a new economic stimulus plan. Hart will direct the (SBA) Small Business Administration to provide classes on how to write a business plan and subsequently execute the plan to start their own business. The Cunningham administration will fight to end African American poverty in American by giving the American dream back to those who dream of a better life for their families in America.
Homeownership for the African American
Who Owns Homes? 72% of Whites and 43% of Blacks.
Hart Cunningham understands the difference between Black and White homeownership are worlds apart. A 2017 Pew Research Center*1 survey finds profound differences between black and white adults in their views on racial discrimination, barriers to black progress and the prospects for change. Blacks, far more than whites, in a survey of African Americans, are treated unfairly across different realms of life, from dealing with the police to applying for a loan or mortgage. And, for many blacks, racial equality remains an elusive goal.
More than two-thirds of blacks surveyed (70%) said racial discrimination was a major reason why some blacks have a hard time getting ahead in the U.S. More specifically, 60% said they felt like they were treated unfairly compared to whites when applying for a loan or a mortgage and 53% said they were treated unfairly at work.
Homes owned by blacks also tend to appreciate less in value than those owned by whites, particularly if they are in black communities that experienced high rates of foreclosure. Historically, neighborhood segregation and “redlining” — the practice of not investing in or providing financial or other services for communities with high percentages of black residents — have exacerbated this trend. Blacks were also targeted with subprime loans during the housing boom and, as a result, lost a tremendous amount of wealth after the market crashed.
Perhaps the most telling statistic was that 43% of blacks said they felt that the country would not make the necessary changes needed to give blacks racial equity in all areas of American life. That’s compared to 11% of whites who felt that way. Initiatives, education and programs will be put into place to help society come together, not only in a measure of economics but in sentiment. Hart Cunningham’s views on race an inequality will power programs of change. Hart Cunningham, as the next President of the United States will initially set up task forces, work with education and banking sectors and eliminate the gaps between social inequalities for peoples of color, for all people.
An Exodus Program for Gangs
Gang violence in the African American community must cease in order to make lasting changes possible. Hart Cunningham will be introducing the “Exodus Program”, a government financed re-entry to society program. This program embodies cooperation between prisons and local police with gang members proactively seeking an exit strategy out of the gang life. If a member of a gang is currently incarcerated, he or she will be given the option to have their tattoos removed while serving time. By removing gang tattoos and markings, the newly released person can start a new life without the remnants of the old life. This is done as the first step towards living a gang free life. All state and federal prisons will be mandated to have tattoo removal as an elective medical service for all prisoners. Upon finishing their time in the facility, the newly released person will be given the option of relocation service to another state or area to start a new life, free of gang affiliation. This program can also be utilized as an effective means of staying clean off drugs and illegal substances upon exiting the prison system. Housing will be provided through local (HUD) Housing and Urban Development centers. Local business will be incentivized with tax breaks for hiring newly released prisoners re-integrating back into society.
New Dawn Program
When an African American leaves prison and tries to reintegrate back to civilian life, it is much harder to obtain gainful employment with a felony criminal record. As if being black in America was not hard enough, could you imagine being black and having a felony in your background? Even companies like McDonalds will not hire anyone with a felony. Hart Cunningham has a solution that can facilitate this specific dilemma with a radical idea. The Hart administration will partner with the Peace Corps*2, Department of State and the Department of Justice to give ex-felons a fighting chance for success in life. The New Dawn Program will offer ex-felons a means to have their backgrounds cleared of prior convictions through selfless service overseas as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Felons will join a special wing of the Peace Corps and travel through the Department of State to developing friendly nations to volunteer their time and energy. Similar to a military enlistment in respects to periods of enlistments, ex-felons will receive a paycheck equivalent to that of a junior enlisted member of the Department of Defense. Upon the completion of their obligated time of service. These ex-felons will receive a letter and certificate from the Department of Justice stating their criminal records have been expunged. This is how Hart Cunningham will fix three problems at once, with progressive and radical thinking.
The Cunningham administration believes in re-investment into the African American community by means of massive expansion into the realm of education reform. Hart plans on building newer and more modern buildings in communities where they are needed most. The curriculum within the new education system will empower African Americans like never before. Subjects like logical reasoning, STEM, and vocational trades will be available to African Americans and minority students from an early age. Hart believes in planning for a bright future by encouragement and resources, provided at an early age.
Joining Together in Solidarity for Change
An honest race dialogue and debate first must happen between African American community and cultural leaders. Hart will personally invite every single community and cultural leader within the African Community to Washington D.C. for a one-month summit. This summit will be bigger than a million-man march and much more powerful than community activism on the regional level. Hart will ensure real progress is made by mandating this summit occurs every year from the time he takes office. This will fastidiously ensure that thoughts are expressed, ideas conveyed, and actions taken. The African American community in America should expect real change with the Hart Cunningham Adminstration.
Hart Cunningham supports the diversity in Black Lives Matter*3, with a shared mission to bring forth legislative initiatives that effects change for millions of Americans. Hart will work closely with the Congressional Black Caucus*4 to embrace it’s goals to “positively influence the course of events pertinent to African-Americans and others of similar experience and situation”, and “achieving greater equity for persons of African descent in the design and content of domestic and international programs and services.” A stronger America is a unified country, where our colors are red, white and blue are our common ground that promises all people are created equal. The Hart Cunningham Presidency will escort into the future equality for race, creed and gender as it is a right. Hart Cunningham will fight to eliminate the racial divides in our country, the notion that one day in America all people will eventually share equal opportunities time is now.