Cunningham recognizes that since America’s inception, Black Americans have endured a tumultuous position in society, and have only recently been afforded the most basic of human rights. Slavery, Jim Crow laws, Emmett Till’s death, Rodney King’s beating, and police profiling are just a few examples of the obstacles Black Americans have had to face during the course of American history. While Black Americans live in a different time than that of the 1960s, they still face incredible discrimination and formidable prejudice, visible in almost every aspect of societal treatment. The Cunningham Administration is determined to usher in a new era of American history, and while heralding in this new era of equality will be a challenging task, it will not be an impossible one.
Equality for Black Americans: The Time is Now
The System Must Change
Once elected, Cunningham will prioritize initiatives focused on ending the unfair and unjust mass incarceration of black males. Currently, there is a disproportionately high number of black males serving long term sentences, while their white, Asian, and Hispanic peers serve significantly less time for the same crimes. This, along with the shockingly high number of police brutality cases against Black Americans, makes it abundantly evident that the judicial system is racially biased. The Cunningham Administration recognizes this unfairness and will propose several initiatives to ameliorate these indignities.
Proposed first steps to rectify this injustice include major overhauls in the way that criminal sentencing is handled, as Cunningham believes that longer and stiffer sentences are unfair and much less effective in terms of successful rehabilitation. Additionally, rehabilitative activities must be made available in all prisons. Finally, life sentencing must be eliminated entirely, with murder and egregious crimes carrying a fifty-year maximum sentence.
New Economic Stimulus Plan for Black Americans
Even with recent economic growth, minority groups in the United States still consistently face opportunity gaps when it comes to securing and maintaining employment. This issue is due to restricted opportunity and discriminatory hiring practices.
These discriminatory practices do occur, and as a result, Black Americans have less financial security, less food security, and have reduced access to health care. And even though the poverty gap between blacks and whites has narrowed, blacks are still at least twice as likely as whites to be unemployed or live in poverty. For example, 23% of blacks sought food from food banks or community pantries in the past 12 months, while just 8% of whites sought the same assistance. This disparity in economic opportunity must be addressed. The Cunningham Administration will dedicate itself to creating new laws to achieve equality in the workforce — as employment or lack thereof is the primary cause of these issues — and therefore combat this economic disparity between Black Americans and White Americans.
Cunningham will set aside more small business loans for Black Americans living in impoverished areas, and authorize a program that offers classes to aspiring small business owners, directed at helping them achieve success in a grass roots manner. The Cunningham Administration will fight to end poverty for Black Americans by providing economic opportunities, and incentives to those who have been previously disenfranchised.
The Cunningham Administration believes that investing in the future of the black community requires a significant focus on education reform. The Cunningham Administration will also authorize a curriculum overhaul that will empower Black Americans like never before. STEM subjects, the arts, and logic classes will be implemented as part of every student’s overall education, and these subjects will be available to Black Americans and minority students from an early age. Cunningham believes that to guarantee a bright future, we must provide formidable educational resources at an early age.
United We Stand, Divided We Fall: Solidarity in Combating Inequality
In order to progress past racism and racial inequality in America, an honest and open dialogue must occur between the black community and the rest of America. In order to encourage this dialogue, Cunningham will personally invite every local community and cultural leader within the black community to Washington D.C. for an annual one-month summit. By offering the country’s leaders the opportunity to convene and discuss issues integral to the black community as a whole, the black community will have an incredibly visible venue where they are able to coordinate and broadcast their efforts on a national, not regional, scale. The Cunningham Administration will dedicate itself to ensuring this dialogue remains open and that the voices of the black community are not only heard by the administration, they are listened to.
Cunningham also supports the Black Lives Matter movement, and promotes a shared mission to pass legislative initiatives that will effect change for millions of Americans. Cunningham will work closely with the Congressional Black Caucus, and embrace its goals to “positively influence the course of events pertinent to African-Americans and others of similar experience and situation”, and “achiev[e] greater equity for persons of African descent in the design and content of domestic and international programs and services.” The Cunningham Presidency will usher in a future that denounces discrimination based on race, creed or gender. Cunningham will do his utmost to support the progression of race relations in America with the ultimate goal of eradicating racial inequality.