Magazine article Black Enterprise

What Will Clinton Bring?

Magazine article Black Enterprise

What Will Clinton Bring?

Article excerpt

As President-elect Bill Clinton prepares for his inauguration this month, African-Americans are speculating what the next four years under his reign may be like. Now that the Republican hold on the White House has been broken, most analysts believe African-Americans are expecting some long-awaited relief. Are they likely to get what they expect?

Because Clinton stressed inclusion during his campaign, most analysts believe he will support affirmative action, but not in terms of quotas. "He will try to decrease the percentage of unemployed in the minority community by creating jobs programs that will systematically include women and minorities," says Robert W. Ethridge, an executive board member of the American Association for Affirmative Action. Ethridge expects Clinton's plan to enable students to receive college loans in exchange for public service to be enacted quickly. He also foresees Clinton working to reinterpret minority scholarship rules to ensure that they are maintained.

Some are not so quick to believe Clinton's strong support of affirmative action. Anthony Robinson, president of the Minority Business Enterprise Legal Defense Fund, says a Clinton presidency only represents "a clean slate that might hold some real opportunity" for minority businesses. But for the opportunity to be realized he says, "it is up to the minority business community to take an agenda to Clinton, because he has no clear record of strong minority business programs."

Robinson also says it will be interesting to see if Clinton will be willing to set up separate small business programs for white women-owned businesses and minority-owned businesses or be willing to strongly enforce federal set-aside legislation. …

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