The First Black President May Have Doomed Black People
It appears that many left leaning African American thinkers and advocates most notably Dr. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley were right. President Obama has not been the best friend of black people. During the years of the Obama Presidency in many if not most of the important metrics African Americans have lost ground. Black wealth has decreased, Black unemployment has risen, Black underemployment has Black poverty has risen and Black bankruptcy has also risen. Of course this is not entirely or even mostly the fault of Barack Obama alone, however several of his policy has had the consequences of hurting the long-term fortunes of minorities.
Obama’s continuation of Bush era wars, an increased surveillance state and the Militarization of American police departments without any accountability for abuses. And with the national focus finally on the police killings of unarmed citizens of all colors the President has offered great rhetoric but no substantial policy proposals to fix our police department.
Policing in America may be of the most immediate concern to Black folk but what may serve as the most important issue to Black people is the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. The TPP will be a disaster for African Americans.
The consensuses reached via macro-economic analysis of the TPP are a net loss of domestic jobs and or decreased wages. The TPP will make it easier to offshore jobs as well as establish monopolies and other barriers of entry for new competitors.
The investor state resolution provision will eliminate local, state and national sovereignty over laws that may impact the profits of corporations but are in the public good. Intellectual property laws will drive up medication prices and most likely doom net neutrality. In other words death to the “little guy”
The impact on small entrepreneurs could be immense if the free Internet goes so does the ability for small sellers to enter the market places and compete with the major companies. With fewer jobs available it is only logical that black unemployment will rise because people tend to hire people who look like them. For many people of color the internet serves as a way to either supplement income or self-employment.
But we know that not everyone can be an entrepreneur and if everyone is spending disposable income on building a business there isn’t much left to spend on other goods and services that people are trying to sell. So even if net neutrality remains for the American people and more generally African Americans they will be relegated to low paying service industry jobs again decreasing the consumer’s buying power.
Ebony wrote an op-ed on the coming TPP and the rational as to why #BlackLivesMatter needs to pivot their efforts to include defeating the TPP. If there are more jobless blacks there will be more crime and more over policing in our neighborhoods.
“We have grown the broadest, most sustained movement against anti-Black racism [Black Lives Matter] in a generation. Yet we are currently in danger of overlooking a massive expansion of the Anti-Black violence already rampant in our economic system: the Trans Pacific Partnership.”
Ebony outlines four reasons that Black people should be involved with the defeat of the TPP:
The TPP will destroy economic opportunity for Black people and the working class by continuing—if not exasperating—the exploitation of global labor markets that directly leads to job losses in the United States. These losses disproportionately affect the Black community.
The TPP will decrease health-care access and contribute to the exploding health crises that Black people and poor people face throughout the world. “The TPP will only exacerbate poor folks’ right to survive by awarding corporate pharmaceutical firms new rights to increase prices and limit access to generic drugs. Doctors Without Borders has called the TPP ‘the most harmful trade pact ever.’”
Under the guise of copyright infringement regulations, Internet Service Providers will be required under the TPP to monitor emails and website visited of everyone. If accounts are found in violation more than six times, websites and email addresses will be deleted. This will constrict small online companies and activism in unprecedented ways.
“The TPP will allow corporations to avoid domestic courts and challenge economic and social reforms won by the Black Lives Matter Movement in a corporate-driven foreign tribunal.” This tribunal allows businesses to challenge laws of TPP member nations in a “foreign tribunal.” Decisions made in this foreign tribunal will make the nation members and their tax payers liable to the penalties that would be awarded to corporations.
What does it say for the legacy of the first African American President that he has seemingly spent all of his remaining political capital on a trade deal that would disproportionately impact his own people? We have to save the President’s legacy from himself.