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The Man Who Should Replace Steve Bannon and Why

The already-fired Steve Bannon is — let's assume — finally gone as a close White House adviser. There's little point in rehashing the pluses and minuses of his influence or the extent thereof. Time to move on.

To aid in doing so, the president should put someone impressive in the conspicuous position of consigliere that Bannon once occupied, at least in the eyes of the press. Fill the vacuum.

That person should be Larry Elder.

Yes, that choice is unabashedly "racist" ("useful idiots" might prefer "multi-cultural" or some such) because Elder is African-American, although the well-known author, lawyer and political commentator could easily stand on his own merits without the slightest hint of affirmative action from any quarter.

Nevertheless, the man is known as "The Sage from South Central" (Los Angeles' black belt) and that is the point. With Elder's help, Trump can honor one of his key campaign pledges — to raise the conditions of African-American communities in our country and ultimately even help to expunge that divisive term "African-American" from our lexicon. We are all Americans. Forget the hyphens.

In other words — symbolically, personally and ideologically — Elder could assist in smashing the most reactionary force in our country today: identity politics.

Not that that pledge to better African-American communities has been completely overlooked. Far from it. Significant gains have been occurring under the radar that are now going public.

Unemployment among black workers is at its lowest since at least the early 1970s, when the government began tracking the data. 

The black unemployment rate of 6.8 percent in December was the lowest since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started tracking it in 1972, a year in which the rate ranged from 11.2 percent to 9.4 percent. In the 45 years the data has been tracked, the unemployment rate for black or African-American workers aged 16 years and older has never fallen below 7 percent. [bold mine]

How much of this is due to Trump is difficult to ascertain, but he certainly hasn't hurt and has probably helped to a decent extent. All boats, as they say, have been rising. Even pay levels are finally starting to show growth.

Whatever the case, it is ironic that blacks are suddenly doing better under a Republican administration despite their decades of unremitting fealty to the Democratic Party. (You can be sure the likes of Maxine Waters, Sheila Jackson Lee and the Rev. Al will be as quiet as possible about that. It might, we can only hope, finally put them out of business.)

And with a booming stock market, coupled with enriched corporate coffers through the new tax reform law, opportunities to build on this upswing abound. Lots needs to be done. Black homeownership is still very low and their unemployment rate, though improving, is still considerably higher than the white one.