Luke Visconti is the founder and CEO of DiversityInc. Although the title of his column is meant to be humorous, the issues he addresses and the answers he gives to questions are serious — and based on his 16 years of experience publishing DiversityInc. Click here to send your own question to Luke.
Only one candidate directly addressed the coalition of Black, Latino and white citizens who elected Barack Obama twice — Donald Trump.
We are facing the choice between two flawed candidates, but one of them is a monster.
Donald Trump exploited customers, contractors, business partners, wives and the man who was sent to Vietnam in his place when he cheated the draft board. It appears to me that he cheated the IRS — I cannot believe that anybody who could declare a $1 billion net operating loss doesn’t get an immediate investigation. He got away with it. He’s a conman — his core support is from undereducated white people who are angry because they correctly perceive their quality of life is declining. The sad fact is that a middle-class living is no longer possible from barely skilled labor.
His thinly veiled racist, white supremacist and exploitive message is that “it’s not your fault” — it’s the fault of the Muslim-noncitizen-Black president and his friends, the undocumented Latino workers and Muslims. He talks about Black neighborhoods being a disaster, ignoring self-earned improvements and a decades long decline in crime — despite being exploited by the perpetual “war on drugs.” It’s not about Black neighborhoods; it’s about painting Black people as being savages, Latinos as being subhuman rapists and Muslim American citizens as being a terroristic threat to the United States.
It’s also about women being in the workplace or politics as equals. His message is very clear — if you’re powerful enough, you can grab them by the pussy!
In Trump’s world, making America great again is about reversing the clock. But the decline in economic reality for lower middle-class white people is due to better competition, just like the lower quality white baseball players were forced out of the major leagues as better skilled Black and Latino players began to play after Jackie Robinson (and Branch Rickey) broke the color barrier.
There’s no reversing the clock — we all know that. Just like there’s no stuffing the Jim Crow genie back into the bottle now that there’s a video on cell phones and we can document law-enforcement injustice, beatings and killings.
There is one place where the clock is reversing, however: indications are that Black and Latino voter turnout is not going to be as strong as it was four or eight years ago. I can understand why.
His opponent, Hillary Clinton, is weak. She almost lost the primary to a septuagenarian socialist senator from a state with only 600,000 residents — not what you would call a strong power base.
If you look at her policy page, you will not see much to excite you. She ignored the lessons learned in the last two presidential elections and did not directly address the coalition of Black, Latino and progressive white voters who elected Barack Obama twice.
At our fall event, I had author Steve Phillips talk about his book “Brown is the New White.” I strongly recommend you read it — no matter how this election goes, the future of our country is well described in his phenomenally researched and documented book.
But the future is in the hands of that diverse coalition, which describes the future demographics of our country.
We will have another chance to do a better job in four years, but for right now — I beg you to go out and vote for Hillary Clinton. Take a friend with you. I’ve never endorsed a candidate before, but this is an emergency.