by Ken Blackwell
The mainstream press may never admit it, but President Trump is exactly the type of leader that Black Americans can trust to fix our criminal justice system and ensure that George Floyd did not die in vain.
For the past three and a half years, the Trump administration has blazed a path forward on criminal justice reform, spearheading several historic initiatives to reduce discrimination in our nation’s courtrooms and prisons.
In 2018, the President signed the FIRST STEP Act, a comprehensive overhaul of the criminal justice system that addressed countless failed policies and unfair sentencing guidelines that disproportionately targeted minorities.
The groundbreaking legislation eliminated the so-called “three strikes” life sentencing provision for some offenses, giving judges greater flexibility when sentencing individuals convicted of non-violent crimes, and also created a variety of new rehabilitation and job-training programs for non-violent criminals and expanded early release for those who exhibit good behavior. Notably, over 90 percent of the inmates who have received sentencing reductions as a result of the FIRST STEP Act are black — meaning the legislation is helping minorities, just as intended.
“The more I met and spoke with those involved in our criminal justice system, the more clear it became that unfair sentencing rules were contributing to the cycle of poverty and crime like really nothing else before,” the President explained last year. “It was time to fix this broken system — and it’s a system of the past — and to improve the lives of so many people.”
The FIRST STEP Act, however, is only part of President Trump’s broader strategy for improving the lives of Black Americans.
During his first year in office, he rebooted Project Safe Neighborhoods to reduce violent crime in some of the most dangerous communities in our country. The project proved to be a huge success — after a worrying rise during the final years of the Obama administration, violent crime and murder rates in America have fallen for two consecutive years.
In 2018, the President signed an executive order establishing the Federal Interagency Crime Prevention and Improving Reentry Council, which is designed to help former inmates reintegrate into society.
Last year, the White House created the Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice, a body that develops strategies to improve community relations with law enforcement.
These sorts of life-changing initiatives have been a hallmark of the Trump administration from the very beginning, but the liberal press and Democrats have done their absolute best to ignore these momentous strides toward correcting the systemic injustice that led to the killing of George Floyd.
“All Americans were rightly sickened and revolted by the brutal death of George Floyd,” he said during a recent national address. “My administration is fully committed that, for George and his family, justice will be served. He will not have died in vain.”
Coming from a typical establishment politician, that would be nothing more than an election-year platitude. President Trump, however, has proven that he’s sincere about resolving the problems facing the Black community.
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Ken Blackwell served as the mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio, the Ohio State Treasurer, and Ohio Secretary of State. He currently serves on the board of directors for Club for Growth and National Taxpayers Union.