Civil rights group: 'Discriminatory public policy' under Trump administration

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Story highlights

  • The National Urban League on Tuesday released a report about black America in the age of Trump
  • The group called on the Trump administration to invest $4 trillion over the next decade in cities

Washington (CNN)A civil rights group says President Donald Trump's first 100 days in office have resulted in a "discriminatory public policy" harming the "economic and social progress" minorities experienced under the Obama administration.

"Incendiary language about immigrants, Muslims, women and people of color has translated into discriminatory public policy, including an immigration ban that gives preference to one religion over another; baseless accusations of voter fraud that have provided fresh fuel to racially-discriminatory voter suppression measures in state legislatures; and efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act in parts, or as a whole, that would have the inevitable outcome of disproportionately burdening communities of color," Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League, an organization focused on economic development in urban areas, said in a news release Tuesday. "On this, the National Urban League is resolute; we will protect our progress."
The Urban League released "State of Black America 2017: Protect Our Progress" highlighting the economic and social advancements the group said black Americans made under the Obama White House.
The report said the last eight years saw a boost in black women's earnings and a decline in the share of black Americans with high-priced loans. The report said the last eight years also lead to growth in the percentage of black-owned businesses.
But Morial said such progress is now threatened due to a Republican-controlled Congress wanting to shift resources from public schools to the military. And Trump's proposed budget, which includes cuts to agencies focusing on health, housing and labor, would cause great harm to "sick, uneducated, homeless and unemployed America," he argued.
"A little more than three months since President Obama has left office, much of the economic and social progress we saw under his watch is under imminent threat," he said.
"During the Obama era, the economy added 15 million new jobs, the Black unemployment rate dropped and the high school graduation rate for African-Americans soared," Morial added. "Now that progress, and much more, is threatened."
CNN has reached out to the White House for response.

Calls for infrastructure spending

In an accompanying report, the group called on the Trump administration to invest $4 trillion over the next decade in cities, saying black communities are "under imminent threat" with the prospect that Trump will roll back Obama-era initiatives.
The group also presented the "Main Street Marshall Plan: From Poverty to Prosperity" Tuesday as possible solutions to harms it foresees. In addition to addressing ways the Trump administration can spur economic development, the plan touches upon issues like immigration, police brutality and voting rights.
The Urban League is calling on the Trump administration to invest $2 trillion in job training, education and health insurance benefiting black Americans in urban areas. The plan's central initiative includes a jobs-building program benefiting people working at minority-owned businesses in high-unemployment neighborhoods, with inner cities being the primary beneficiary.
Another $2 trillion is requested for infrastructure improvements, including bridges and roads. The plan also calls for a $15 minimum wage and reforms to financial and educational institutions and programs.
Leaders argue that prioritizing investment in minority-heavy urban areas would bring economic development and revitalization to the struggling cities and neighborhoods Trump promised to develop during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Trump repeatedly asked black Americans, a group that historically backs Democratic candidates by wide margins, to support him in 2016, asking: "What do you have to lose?"
The overwhelming majority of black Americans, 89%, ultimately chose Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016.