More African-Americans could go to jail and prison with Donald Trump serving in the White House. The Republican president-elect is proposing a so-called "new deal" for African-Americans that calls for increased law enforcement in black neighborhoods.
Trump outlined his vision for black America in October in speech in Charlotte, North Carolina, home to one of the nation's large African-American communities. He said Democrats had yet to solve problems in black neighborhoods and promised reforms such as a focus on inner-city infrastructure spending and increasing police presence. He said a lack of respect for police in inner cities was fueling crime, drugs and gun violence.
"I want every poor African-American child to be able to walk down the street in peace. Safety is a civil right," Trump said. "The problem is not the presence of police but the absence of police. I will invest in training and funding both local and federal law enforcement operations to remove the gang members, drug dealers and criminal cartels from our neighborhoods. The reduction of crime is not merely a goal – but a necessity. We will get it done. The war on police urged on by my rival is reckless, and dangerous and puts African-American lives at risk. We must work with our police, not against them."
African-American inmates already make up nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million incarcerated population. They are sent to state prisons at an average rate of 5.1 times that of white Americans. Social justice advocates blame "Get tough on crime" and "war on drugs" policies that has seen police arrest blacks at higher rates than whites.
Trump has been a champion of controversial "stop and frisk" tactics. He has said America is engaged in a "war on our police," prompting critics to suggest he used racist code words on the campaign trail to appeal to white voters, who ultimately overwhelmingly backed him while blacks and Latinos supported Democrat Hillary Clinton.
"Donald Trump has proposed nothing short of a police state," Brittany Packnett, an activist who served on Obama’s task force on 21st-century policing, told the New York Times. "This is backlash to a black president, a black movement and black people being self-determined, bold and unapologetic."
Trump also vowed to demolish abandoned properties and help young black people get credit to open businesses in their communities.
"In election after election, Democratic party leaders take African-American voters for granted and year after year the condition of Black America gets worse," the plan reads. "The conditions in our inner cities today are unacceptable. Too many African-Americans have been left behind."