How Can Black Leaders in Washington Work With Trump Administration?

During a presidential debate last year, then-candidate Donald Trump — when asked about how he would promote racial healing in the country — immediately went on a stem-winder about cities needing law and order. Trump said police officers needed to be given the authority to better control inner city crime and, ostensibly, bring black citizens committing crimes to heel.

Critics say President Trump has demonstrated on a few occasions that he doesn’t particularly understand black people, black history, or black life in America. He has tried to sew-up those divides on a couple occasions as well, meeting with leaders of the Black Caucus to discuss issues they’re concerned about, and meeting with the many leaders of our nation’s Historic Black Colleges and Universities.

But the question remains — how can Black leaders in Washington represent their constituents well with an administration that appears befuddled by black America?

Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson speaks with U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Southfield) at the 2017 Mackinac Policy Conference about that question. She says Trump’s proposed budget is a good indication that he’s out of touch, especially considering the fact that it would slash things like after-school programs.

What do you think happens when children don’t get that extra support they need?” Lawrence asks. ”You wonder, how big is the bubble that he’s been in his entire life?”

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.

Image credit: National Park Service

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Detroit Today

Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.  

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