Thursday, March 23, 2017

Four Dangers to Democracy Greater than President Trump


"Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide." 
John Adams 

John Adams words are prescient for what is transpiring in America today. I understand that people are genuinely scared of Trump and while some of those fears are nonsensical, like comparing him with Hitler, others are genuine and based on his own words, bombastic tweets and wildly erratic behaviour. Yet, despite these realities we cannot ignore the fact that he is still the democratically and freely elected President of the United States of America.

For all the never Trumpers, it is important to remember that our system of checks and balances is designed to withstand the shock of rogue actors (not to prevent one from being elected) and we must put our faith in democracy to curtail Trump whenever he strays, but never break rules to fight him; or we will just play into his hands and prove his refrain that the rules are changed when liberals do not get the outcomes they desire.

So it is really important that no matter what people think of him personally, or how much they fear his actions, that we never circumvent due process, bypass checks and balances or colour outside the lines of democracy (especially when he does) in a bid to foil him, because our actions will have grave consequences and weaken our democracy for the long-term.

At the moment, I am seeing four dangerous trends, behaviours and precedents being adopted by the Democratic Party and the so called liberal “resistance” to Trump, and they must stop. The end result of continuing down these paths damages our democracy far more than any errant President can in four years.

One: Rogue Government Employees
When the parks department sent out a tweet showing larger crowds at Obama’s historic inauguration in 2008 versus Trump’s in 2017, most people viewed this as an innocuous act or laughed at Trump’s expense. However, what was at issue was not a single errant tweet but that of breaking a sacred rule – one where a government agencies should never show a partisan face in public. In the days after, we saw a slew of rogue twitter accounts springing up from within government agencies, from the EPA to NASA, that were clearly designed to humiliate Trump’s administration. The problem with this behaviour is that it compromises the integrity of each agency for the long-term by putting a doubt in people’s minds about government employees' abilities to do their jobs, irrespective of which party is in power.

Second, the manner in which Sally Yates (the acting Attorney General) acted was also wrong. First, let me be clear that I fully agree with Ms. Yates stance against President Trump’s ill-conceived travel ban, but my issue is the way in which she took action. The professional thing for her to do would have been to resign.

She had every right to protest the order by resigning, but it was wrong for her to refuse to fulfil her job responsibilities. By doing this, and even more worryingly, by ordering her subordinates not to do their jobs, she signaled to all Justice department staff that they too are free to disobey direct orders based on personal or partisan whims, rather than expected to always act in a professional manner and follow protocols.

We must consider the flip-side of government employees taking unilateral actions that disobey direct orders. For the short period that President Trump’s travel ban was in effect, there were numerous reports of US Customs agents harassing and detaining people that were not covered under the order. Like Ms. Yates did, these men and women might also justify their unprofessional behaviour and rule breaking as a moral obligation to protect the nation and keep all Americans safe.

We also saw a senior Secret Service agent publicly post that she did not want to take a bullet for the President because she supported Hillary Clinton. Imagine what would happen if police across the country started to behave in the same manner (the majority of local law enforcement supported Trump) and decided that they do not want to intervene when a riot broke out in a Democrat leaning district; this is a very slippery slope. Government employees going rogue, acting insubordinately and refusing to do their jobs, rather than using proper and professional protocols of redress must never be excused or condoned on either side.

Two: Loss of Credibility of the Fourth Estate 
There is little doubt after the last election that the majority of the mainstream media skews liberal and favours democrats. We can argue this but all you need do is look at the sources all liberals use to make their arguments on social media and you will find the usual suspects.

That there is some bias in the media is not an issue; all publications lean one way or another. The issue arises when respectable mainstream media outlets go out of their way to play judge and jury, and do it through a blindly partisan and subjective lens. This is NOT the job of the media. We rely on them to hold a mirror up to society by reporting the facts, and to do so objectively after taking the time to verify the credibility of their sources.

 At the moment, we have a new leak from deep within the government almost every day. These leaks are suspiciously designed to embarrass Trump’s administration or target a particular official within it, and all conveniently cite ‘unnamed sources’. I am not defending Trump or his combative relationship with the media, but no matter how a President behaves, it is still the duty of the fourth estate to rise above juvenile and vindictive behaviour and to fairly and accurately investigate, find and follow the facts of every story. This is the only way the media can start to regain their credibility and, more importantly, hold the President accountable for all his actions. Otherwise they will continue to be seen by a growing majority as part of the rigged and corrupt system that Trump says they are.

It is most certainly NOT the job of the media to fill their pages with conjecture, baseless and hysterical opinion pieces, stories supported entirely by unnamed sources and “unverified facts” and even total falsehoods. The media seems to have forgotten that the biggest loser of the last year’s election was not Hillary Clinton but the mass media. Gallup found that Americans' trust and confidence in the mass media "to report the news fully, accurately and fairly" has dropped to its lowest level in Gallup polling history…”  

While there is no question that sites like Fox news and MSNBC are heavily biased and driven by political agendas, at least the majority of Americans trusted venerable institutions like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal because they upheld basic ethical standards in their reporting. Now these institutions are further eroding the scant trust Americans have in them by behaving like hysterical children. If they don’t start doing their jobs and once more act as the credible bridge for both sides by focusing on and ascertaining all the facts, they will be responsible for destroying a crucial check and balance and seriously weakening our democracy.

Three: Abuse of State Apparatus
If you followed the sequence of events that led to the resignation of Michael Flynn, the facts clearly show that someone high up in the government leaked highly classified information to the Washington Post. The Post first published the article about Flynn possibly being compromised based on a “… call and subsequent intercepts, FBI agents wrote a secret report summarizing ­Flynn’s discussions with Kislyak.” 

It may well be that Flynn is compromised but that is not the issue; what is concerning is what Eli Lake points on Bloomberg News about the leak itself: Normally intercepts of U.S. officials and citizens are some of the most tightly held government secrets. This is for good reason. Selectively disclosing details of private conversations monitored by the FBI or NSA gives the permanent state the power to destroy reputations from the cloak of anonymity. This is what police states do.” Once again this is another example of a very dangerous precedent being set in a fundamentally misguided haste by Obama era appointees to take down Trump’s administration.

As it turns out Flynn did not break any law and the FBI has confirmed that they don't believe Flynn intentionally misled them during an interview last month and they are not going to press charges. So it would seem that the media furore that led to Mr. Flynn’s resignation was an orchestrated political assassination from people within the government, who selectively leaked highly sensitive information. I am not defending Flynn - he lied and was rightly fired by the President. The point is that again this is a line that should never have been crossed. Once state power is abused and targets individuals, for purely political reasons, there is nothing stopping opponents from doing the same when the tables are turned.

Four: Democrat’s Blind Obstruction vs. Debating Issues
Democrats seem to have a short memory. Until recently they were decrying the Republican Party’s obstructionism during Obama’s tenure and now they are doing exactly the same with Trump. I encourage and expect both sides to challenge every President’s nominees, but it is wrong to attack anyone’s character; as Elizabeth Warren did with Jeff Sessions (and was rightly censured for doing so). I am not a supporter of Mr. Sessions, but Ms. Warren lost my sympathies and respect when she mounted a personal and subjective attack, rather than go after Mr. Session’s record and actions during his tenure in office. There is no excuse for such behaviour; this is the United States Senate, not third grade.

I was equally vehement when the likes of Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal attacked Obama personally, rather than his record and failed to address policy disagreements with him. John McCain is the only politician in recent times that showed character in refusing to let a woman at his rally personally attack Obama, when running against him in 2008. There can be no room for public personal attacks in politics; it only lowers the standard of discourse, leads everyone into the gutter and ensures that all Americans lose.

Also, Democrats did a great disservice to another check and balance when they permanently changed the rules in the Senate “so that federal judicial nominees and executive-office appointments can advance to confirmation votes by a simple majority of senators, rather than the 60-vote super majority that has been the standard for nearly four decades. “ This is a necessary check to ensure that candidates from both parties are only confirmed after the necessary hearings and debates are held to evaluate and convince a majority of the Senators to support them. This is how democracy works - by driving consensus across the aisle.

Thanks to Democrats, we are now left with a lopsided rule that hacks democracy and allows any party, with a simple majority, to advance their picks without sufficient debate. Such measures are short-sighted and only weaken democracy by removing safeguards designed to protect it.

Finally, the Democrats would do well to remember that “obstructing” is not a winning strategy. The GOP learnt this lesson only after the total annihilation of their party; one that ended with a hostile takeover by Donald Trump. Democrats need to win voters based on the strength of their ideas and not blind obstruction. And this is the only way to succeed because unlike Communism, Capitalism is about ideas, not ideology. If Democrats do not heed this warning, they will suffer the same fate as the GOP did after George W. Bush.

The bottom line is that no matter how people feel about Trump, the election is over, and they have no choice but to abide by the results and live with the consequences for the next four years. That is democracy and there are no exceptions; otherwise, we must stop calling ourselves a democratic society.

For all those who believe that Trump is evil and must be removed from office, they are entitled to their views, but have only two options to get rid of him, one entirely out of their hands. They can vote him out of office in four years and use the mid-terms in two years to elect Democrats to both houses that can curtail his power and stall his legislative agenda.

The other is to wait for Trump to commit a crime that leads to his impeachment and subsequent removal from office; Clinton was impeached but this does not automatically lead to removal from office. There is no other way to get rid of a democratically elected President that does not involve a military coup, which is never good for democracy.

This does not mean we need to rollover and accept everything the President does, or not fight back when his administration strays. We must hold every President to task like we did with Watergate, the Iraq War, domestic surveillance overreach, etc. However, respecting our democracy also means we never simply get to remove a President because we find him distasteful or vehemently disagree with his views – that is anarchy.
 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

I have never been more optimistic about the future of the world than I am today.




I understand that it is hard to fathom or comprehend my optimism based on what you see and hear in the news and on every TV channel in America and globally. Let me explain.

I do not see the world through rose-tinted glasses or suggest that things are hunky-dory. I see the same turmoil: civil wars, terrorist attacks and the potential descent of stable democracies into chaotic anarchy.

In fact, I see chaos growing and I also have absolutely no doubt that things are going to get much uglier, globally and here in America, in the short-term. I see all the same things you do but I also see something you may not - yet.

I have spent the last couple of years getting actively involved in a number of social issues in India, and as part of an organisation in America that brings together accomplished people from many fields, from journalism and marketing to banking and politics. Through this organisation and my personal efforts I have had the opportunity to listen to and engage with a broad spectrum of corporate, social and political leaders, behind closed doors. I have also spent time engaging with extreme right and left wing voices, on Twitter, both in India and America.

In these interactions and in-depth conversations, I have listened closely and learned much more than I could ever learn from watching the news or reading articles that increasingly tilt left or right, but are always filled with one-sided opinions.

Here is the reason for my optimism. The majority of people I have met and worked with no longer see the world through a markedly liberal or conservative lens. Like me, they see a world filled with serious and pressing problems that no politician is willing to take on or solve in a manner that goes against their party base or donor interests.

Time and again we have found that it is politicians who have been the fundamental roadblock to solving issues because they invariably put pseudo-ideological and big money interests ahead of meaningful solutions. From the refugee crisis, to understanding the motivations of jihadists, to helping get young girls out of the sex trade - there are many brilliant solutions available that simply cannot be affected because our leaders lack the political will and integrity (and fear losing their popularity) to fight for them.

The people I have worked and engaged with are Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Independent and come from virtually every political stripe, but not one of them is slave to party affiliation or ideology. They are slaves only to solutions that work, and they refuse to accept less effective solutions merely to placate some personal ideology or partisan bias.

I call us the post-partisans.

We often vehemently disagree with each other but always do so civilly and respectfully.

We have found that heated debate, one that features a multitude of diverse viewpoints, leads to the most innovative and breakthrough solutions. But we never take any of what is discussed to heart or personally.

We also choose never to take offense, even if sometimes in the heat of debate, it is intended. Not because we are without feelings, but because we remind ourselves that the problems we face are bigger and far more pressing than ego or hurt feelings.

We always come with an open mind. Our goal is also never to try and get others to see the world the way we do, but to find the brightest, most cost-efficient and lasting solutions to the problems that affect us all, irrespective of our politics.

Through our dealings, conversations and our work we have realised that political parties can no longer be relied on to lead us forward or solve the problems we face.

Over the last three decades political parties, left and right have deteriorated further into an ideological abyss. They have allowed the most hardened and extremist voices within their ranks to take the reins, and are no longer able to offer thoughtful or pragmatic solutions. Instead, their solutions are built for populist rabble rousing or designed to pander to some narrow interest group.

The post-partisan mentality is a growing movement across the world. It consists not of people who identify as liberal or conservative, but of a coalition of the willing (not like those who invaded Iraq in 2003!), who are passionate about a cause. They consist of people from vastly different backgrounds, upbringing, skill sets and political views who find each other because we are looking for apolitical and uncompromised solutions. Many of us will never become friends, but we will often find ourselves on the same side of a problem and remain together until we find and implement a robust solution.

I am not suggesting that all this will happen overnight or magically mitigate the pain and suffering in the world. I have realised that pain and suffering are part of the human condition, and while we must always strive to lessen each other’s, we also cannot function without them. Remember that there could be no courage if there is no adversity, and good cannot triumph without evil. Real societal change, that requires changing attitudes and mindsets, always takes a generation or more to affect and there is no way around that.

So the rise of populists, nationalist and narcissists do not scare us, but has been a great motivating factor for all post-partisans; we gladly accept the challenge. Their effect has been to end our complacency and serve as a necessary wake up call, one that reminded us that it is naïve to expect democracy to be safeguarded by coming out to vote once every few years or by entrusting it to a corrupt and ideologically bent political class intent on defending their power, at all costs.

It will not be easy but nothing worth doing ever is. The road ahead is arduous and the journey painful (and sometimes bloody) but one thing I know for sure is that we will overcome and our democracies will become stronger for it. The future is very bright and the number of post-partisans will only continue to grow.

My mother once told me something that I never fully appreciated or understood until now – she said, “the job of a parent is not to protect their child from the world but to prepare them for it.”

I am ready
 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Black and White of Race in America


"Blacks have traditionally had to operate in a situation where whites have set themselves up as the custodians of the black experience.”

August Wilson

For me, the question of inequality between Blacks and Whites in America boils down to one simple question: how many black parents tell their kids that they can achieve the American dream, one where anybody can start from humble beginnings and with honest hard work and perseverance rise to the greatest heights?

If the American Dream is achievable for blacks, then tell me where are the black scientists, artists, nuclear physicists, painters and playwrights? Where are the black Nobel Laureates? Where are the black Walter Cronkites, Charlie Roses and Tom Brokaws? Where are the black Michael Phelps and Arnold Palmers? How many famous black historians, economists and army generals can you quote? Where are the black Indiana Jones and Luke Skywalkers? Can you name one black super hero? Where is the black David Ogilvy? For that matter in the liberal bastion of Hollywood can you find me a black studio head?

In Silicon Valley there are numerous Indian and Asian entrepreneurs, tech moguls and billionaire venture capitalists. Currently, Microsoft, Google and Adobe all have Indian born CEO’s at their helm. Yet, I struggle to name one black startup founder, tech mogul, hedge fund billionaire or even Wall Street tycoon.

It is hard to argue a case for blanket racism in America because many non-white immigrants tend to do extremely well, across many different industries and fields, from medicine to science and technology. In fact, Asian-Americans continue to have the highest household incomes in America (Source: Pew Research Article). I want to know why the American dream continues to seem largely unattainable for black people outside of music and a few sports.

Across every major statistic used to measure social mobility and economic progress, there is huge disparity between whites and blacks in education, unemployment and income. In fact, after the financial crisis things got worse for blacks; the income inequality between black and whites is now the worst it has been in America’s history. The median wealth of white households is 20 times that of black households….” “These lopsided wealth ratios are the largest since the government began publishing such data a quarter century ago and roughly twice the size of the ratios that had prevailed between these groups for the two decades prior to the Great Recession that ended in 2009.” (Source: Pew Research Center)Hispanics fare badly too but are still considerably better off than blacks.

All this data has been debated and discussed to death but nobody has really provided sufficient answers as to why this should be the case. Why does the plight of black people in 2017 still seem dire, one hundred and fifty years after slavery was abolished?

The first place to start is to think about the images that have consistently been portrayed through Hollywood movies, mainstream television and media; black people have long been stereotyped as thuggish hoodlums in hoodies and portrayed as drug dealers and petty criminals. Even Eddie Murphy’s character in Beverly Hills Cop had a disdain for rules and broke the law while the white cops were disciplined and anal about upholding and following the law.

To this day we are bombarded with mugshots of black criminals and rapists on national and local news every night. Until very recently politicians routinely talked about the black community’s desire to live off the welfare state as a truism. They made it seem like all blacks were lazy and that black youth were a lost cause, choosing to live off handouts, sell drugs or join gangs versus getting an education and lifting themselves out of poverty. For too long we have been told that the reason for the black community’s lack of social mobility is that they are inherently lazy, lacking determination and self-motivation.

Before we default to this lazy argument, we should look at a few things in America’s history that can explain the inter-generational disenfranchisement and lack of mobility among the black community.

For years, corporate and mainstream America buried its head with tokenism. I remember when ad agencies were told by clients to put one black person in the ad to check the box for diversity. In the same way that clients added a token black person in an ad, to prevent being sued for lack of diversity, the same false reality gave rise to the Cosby Show, Eddie Murphy and the Arsenio Hall Show. It was tokenism that allowed white Americans to feel better about the opportunities being provided to black people; it was never real social or racial integration.

Consider that “approximately 12–13% of the American population is African-American, but they make up 37% of prison inmates” (Source: US Department of Justice, 2014). “African-American males are six times more likely to be incarcerated than white males…. “If  current trends continue, one of every three black American males born today can expect to go to prison in his lifetime—compared to one of every seventeen white males” (Source: Report of The Sentencing Project to the United Nations Human Rights Committee, 2013).

These two statistics alone are alarming and led to my investigating why it was that the US prison system is overwhelmingly filled with black males, in spite of the fact that black people are no more criminally prone than Indian, Chinese, white or any other ethnic group in the world.

To fully understand this anomaly, we need to go back to the abolition of slavery because there is a common misconception that it ended with Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863; this assumption masks a reality that slavery silently got institutionalized into other forms of legally sanctioned barriers against blacks that exist even today.

I recommend watching Ava Duvernay documentary, '13th'. It chronicles the institutionalisation of slavery from 1863 to after the civil war, through the war on drugs started by Nixon, broadened by Reagan and codified by Bill Clinton into the industrial prison complex we see today. It explains the insane rates of incarceration we see among black youth today.

As a non-white immigrant, I felt there was something dramatically wrong in America because I realised very early on that I had a much greater chance of achieving the American Dream, in virtually any profession, than a black person born here.

It is worth noting that the majority of successful non-white immigrants from India, Middle East and Asia who came here in the 1950’s were typically middle class, well-educated and came of their own free will and volition; for this reason I believe they have never been viewed through the same lens as blacks, who were all brought here in servitude and never considered equals by their white masters. Every black person in American can trace their ancestral roots back to a slave. I believe this stigma still prevails among white Americans, albeit unconsciously for the vast majority.

You might ask how it is possible after so many generations that these imprints might remain in people. Interestingly, there is science that suggests that our DNA also contains within it the traumas and experiences of our ancestors. “According to the new insights of behavioral epigenetics, traumatic experiences in our past, or in our recent ancestors’ past, leave molecular scars adhering to our DNA. Jews whose great-grandparents were chased from their Russian shtetls; Chinese whose grandparents lived through the ravages of the Cultural Revolution; young immigrants from Africa whose parents survived massacres; adults of every ethnicity who grew up with alcoholic or abusive parents — all carry with them more than just memories.” (Source: Discover Magazine). Coupled with the images we have been repeatedly fed of the stereotyped black person through Hollywood and the media’s lens, both exclusively controlled by white people, this can help to explain our perceptions and biases today.

For our purposes here I want to share a few historical facts to illustrate why I am convinced that the black experience in America is not only unique but explains the lack of social and upward mobility among blacks.

When Southern Democrats took power after Reconstruction they passed a series of local and state laws and social rules to oppress blacks and disenfranchise them. These became known as the Jim Crow laws and etiquette and were in effect from around 1877 until the 1960’s. They legalised segregation in transport, education, restaurants and bathrooms. Below are just a few examples of the types of things that Jim Crow etiquette mandated:

1.     “A black male could not offer his hand (to shake hands) with a white male because it implied being socially equal.

2.     Obviously, a black male could not offer his hand or any other part of his body to a white woman, because he risked being accused of rape.

3.     Under no circumstance was a black male to offer to light the cigarette of a white female -- that gesture implied intimacy.

4.     Blacks were not allowed to show public affection toward one another in public, especially kissing, because it offended whites.” (Source: Ferris State University site). 

The effect was to relegate blacks to inferior status and make them second class citizens 
in their own country. The laws also ensured voting restrictions such as poll taxes, 
literacy tests, and residency requirements that prevented the majority of blacks (and the 
poorest whites) from voting, leaving southern blacks politically crippled and economically disadvantaged.

While the laws in the southern states were overtly segregationist, discriminatory practices were prevalent even nationally and began to get institutionalised. One of the most heinous was a policy known as redlining, which was designed to prevent black neighbourhoods from receiving housing loans. 

It “was introduced by the creation of the Federal Housing Administration in 1934, and lasted until 1968.” “Otherwise celebrated for making home ownership accessible to white people by guaranteeing their loans, the FHA explicitly refused to back loans to black people or even other people who lived near black people.” Redlining destroyed the possibility of investment wherever black people lived."(Source: The Atlantic article). We know that to thrive and grow every community requires investment in jobs, housing, infrastructure, etc.; such investments were discouraged in majority black communities across America.

With the passage of the Civil Rights act of 1964 and the Voting Rights act of 1965, people believed, like with the Emancipation Proclamation, that they would magically bring equality for all Black Americans. 
In 1963, “a Gallup poll found that 78% of white people would leave their neighborhood if many black families moved in. “When it comes to MLK’s march on Washington, 60% had an unfavorable view of the march, stating that they felt it would cause violence and would not accomplish anything.” (Source: Roper Center, Cornell). 

These laws were necessary to end 
segregation, ban employment discrimination and give blacks the right to vote, but once again what American society failed to realise was that to change deeply-ingrained beliefs and multi-generational prejudice would require much more than the passage of a law; especially when there were still white people in power determined to maintain the status quo and the inequality between Blacks and Whites.

If you find this hard to believe, consider that “as recently as 2006, a city government report found that affluent, non-white Milwaukeeans were 2.7 times likelier to be denied home loans than white people with similar incomes.” A study by the National Institute of Health from 2009 concluded that “that white people prefer to live in communities where there are fewer black people, regardless of their income.” (Source: NIH Study “Does Race Matter in Neighbourhood Preferences).

A field study conducted by CNN in 2008 found that “Among those with no criminal record, white applicants were more than twice as likely to receive a call back relative to equally qualified black applicants. Even more troubling, whites with a felony conviction fared just as well, if not better, than a black applicant with a clean background.” (Source
: CNN article). The US Department of Justice settled a lawsuit with J.P. Morgan Chase in January 2017, for charging “African-American and Hispanic borrowers higher rates than white borrowers from 2006 to 2009, in violation of the Fair Housing Act.” (WSJ article).



Based on this historical evidence it becomes clear that numerous policies purposefully put in place to institutionalise racism; these policies were designed to silently prevent black people from gaining mobility and integrating with white America. The impact can be felt to this day.

Upward social mobility requires each generation to move one step up the social ladder, which then allows the following generation to gain access to better housing and higher quality education which leads to better jobs, better pay and a higher standard of living – more than any other non-white group, black people have been denied the ability to gain social mobility.

Think back to the fact that currently 1 in 3 Black American men face jail in their lifetime and then consider that a criminal record pretty much disqualifies you from participating in US society; even for low-level, non-violent offenses, for which the majority of black people are jailed. “Even your lower-paying fast-food jobs are now doing background checks,” he said. “How can I pay child support if I can’t get a job?” (Source: NYTimes article).


Without question we have come a very long way, but the fact is that many of these biases are still prevalent today and we must be aware of them in order to move forward. I believe that to heal these long simmering racial divisions (that have come to light more starkly under the first black President) and mend this broken narrative, Americans need to start by acknowledging and owning the sins of slavery (much like Germany does about the Holocaust) and gain a deeper understanding of how the subsequent years of institutionalised racism have ravaged the black community.

This is not about retribution or pity; it is about understanding the starkly different reality black and white people in America face.

Until Americans fully appreciate this reality, we cannot begin to do the necessary work to ensure that the American Dream becomes real for future generations of black children.