Memo to President Trump on the meaning of ‘inner cities’
In your election night victory speech, Mr. President, you didn’t have me until you uttered these 42 words:
“We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals. We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it.”
I took you at your word, even though the phrase “inner cities” stings sometimes unless it’s being sung by Marvin Gaye.
An oversimplication is that “inner city” is a synonym for poor urban dwellers in general and Americans of color in particular. The children of inner-city adults are, as you know, labeled “at risk.”
Well, Mr. President, children who live in the core of America’s cities aren’t the only youths who are at risk. I won’t belabor the point with statistics, which I’m certain are at the ready from every agency under your purview. Military chidlren and veterans’ children can be “at risk” as well. Suffice it to say, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke have empirical data to drive your public works initiatives.
As you know, the newest wrinkles were the hurricanes this season, which cut into Texas’ coastline, whirled throughout the Southeast, tried to turn Florida’s Keys into stepchildren and tore up Puerto Rico so terribly that it’s practically unrecognizable.
Add to that the issue of Hurricane Maria’s uptick in Puerto Ricans continuing a steady migration onto the mainland that began a decade ago and, well, Mr. President, those agency chiefs have their work cut out for them.
Indeed, you’ve got some heavy lifting to do before you even prepare a 2019 budget proposal to send to Congress.
Politically, it’s going to be difficult anyway to “dab” during an off-election year when you’ve presented yourself as a Democrat and a Republican.
Now, back to those 42 words of yours.
In your victory speech, you said: “We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals. We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it.”
Mr. President, you promised. You promised in the context to Make America Great Again, and I’m wise enough to appreciate that in the context of a woman with fabric tied around her head and working her fingers to the bone as would an adolescent boy who gets weekly mani-pedis because that’s what 21st century metrosexuals do.
Don’t give Democrats the opportunity to kick you, other Republicans and conservatives in the shin. Team Anti-Trump loves public works projects. Take notice whenever liberal and progressive mayors and governors don hard hats and grin like kids in a candy store when attending groundbreaking ceremonies.
After all, find a state that doesn’t need its highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools and hospitals rebuilt, and I’ll explain to readers that you are not in America.
I stayed up way beyond my bedtime election night to hear your speech because I didn’t want to hear a filtered, reconstituted version.
Now is the time to begin fulfilling your promise. Americans everywhere are depending on you, Mr. President.
Deborah Simmons can be contacted at email@example.com.