The standard of living for African-Americans is currently 72% that of the average white person, a new report from the National Urban League revealed Tuesday.
And under the Trump administration, the organization estimates that the gap will only grow.
“The social cancer of hate continues to metastasize, thriving in a climate conducive to hostility towards religious and racial minorities, permeating even at the highest levels of national discourse and threatening to further crack our fractured nation,” Marc Morial, the league’s president, wrote.
The nonpartisan organization suggests that Hispanic-Americans will also be negatively affected by the change in leadership.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Morial suggested that the new president’s push for greater police oversight along with his efforts to roll back Obamacare (which added coverage for 6.2 million Hispanics and 2.8 million African-Americans) contributed to the forecast.
Trump’s proposed budget cuts to federal aid agencies and rollback of Obama Labor Department initiatives were also considered.
The majority of the report, though, focused on the “equality index” changes that occurred during the Obama administration.
Though the overall index ratings — which factor in education, health, social justice, economics and civics engagement — have been fairly consistent over recent years, there have been some improvements.
Black people have progressed in health care access, education, women’s earnings, and black-owned businesses — but have fallen further behind in social justice, as a disproportionate number of African Americans are put incarcerated after being arrested.
Blacks and Whites in America have achieved equality in only one arena: civic engagement.
As for Hispanics, the report shows the gap is slightly narrower. Their current living standard is 78% as high as whites.
Though the economic and employment gaps stretch across the country, Milwaukee was the least equal city for African-Americans for the second year in a row while San Antonio fared best.
In order to solve these problems, the authors suggest implementing universal preschool, doubling investments in college grants for low-income students, enacting a federal minimum wage of $15 an hour, expanding summer jobs programs for young people, offering more access to low-income housing, protecting food stamps, encouraging doctors to accept Medicaid, and continuing to promote universal healthcare.
Though they presented these solutions to the president during his meeting with Black Caucus leaders, black legislators aren’t hopeful.
“From appointing an attorney general with a hostile record on issues of justice, equality, and civil rights, to proposing massive cuts to programs of critical importance, to the most vulnerable in our communities, this president has made it clear that he intends to roll back the progress we gave made in recent years,” Rep. Cedric L. Richmond wrote.
The overall trends in the report point to progress — slow and steady, but there nonetheless.
It’s an answer to Trump’s main question to black voters on the campaign trail:
“What do you have to lose?”
Next, read about how black Americans are wrongfully convicted at far greater rates. Then, read our story on why Trump’s feud with Native Americans has been going on for decades.