Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon delivered the keynote address at Black Americans for a Better Future’s (BAFBF) luncheon at Washington, D.C.’s Willard Hotel Tuesday.
“The central part of economic nationalism depends upon you,” Bannon told the crowd of approximately 200 minority business owners. “It depends upon us empowering the black and Hispanic entrepreneurial community with one thing: access to capital.”
BAFBF, an entrepreneur-focused super PAC “created to get more Blacks involved in the Republican Party,” invited Bannon to address their luncheon, titled, “A Republican Vision for Minority Business Growth.” In his introduction of Bannon, BAFBF founder and chairman Raynard Jackson said Bannon was there “Not to give a speech, but to open up a dialog.”
Bannon opened that dialog by outlining the key tenants of his economic nationalist challenge to the prevailing American and worldwide political order, and what it will mean for American minority businessmen.
“We have this fetish for free trade,” Bannon explained, lamenting the loss of American jobs, American manufacturing capacity, and American economic dominance to powers like China that he considers openly mercantilist, especially after a recent address by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Bannon claimed that the United States is, in effect, a tributary state to China, and that this contributes to the chronic shortage of capital available to entrepreneurs in the black community.
“I’m accused all the time of being a protectionist, of being an economic nationalist. I am. You know why? We’re trying to protect American industry. And the reason is they protect their industries,” Bannon went on.
A central premise of his pitch was that American elites are content with the decline and vasselage of the American economy, as evidenced by the response to crises. Most pressingly, the 2008 crash devastated the minority stores of wealth and the capital markets that sustained minority- owned small business. “The community banks were completely eviscerated – every form of access to capital. And every reform that was put in made it harder to get access to capital.”
Citing numbers that indicate large majorities of Americans of all stripes see their country in decline, Bannon concluded, “Here’s the fundamental difference: the elites are comfortable with that. The elites are comfortable with managing our decline, because they’re gonna make just as much money on the way down.”
Before opening up the floor to allow the attendees to express their own concerns, Bannon make a final plea for minority business owners to get involved in economic nationalist enterprises like the new 501(c)(4) foundation he is floating, specifically soliciting input on the coming battle over the massive infrastructure spending package slated for 2018. “Part of this foundation I’m setting up is to make sure that we have the best thinking from black and Hispanic entrepreneurs. So make sure your voice is going to be heard, because if its not heard, you’re going to be dialed out.”