Bankole: Stop blaming blacks for Trump’s election
A new poll that was released toward the end of 2019 concluded that blacks are more motivated to vote in the coming presidential election than they were in 2016.
The survey of 1,200 black voters and non-voters from Detroit, Atlanta and Philadelphia — three major urban centers — conducted by Third Way and the Joint Center for Economic and Political Studies concluded President Donald Trump is principally motivating blacks to come out in droves in November.
Such a survey can be skewed because it tends to place the burden of responsibility in winning a presidential election on black voters alone instead of the candidates Democrats nominate. In the case of the last election, there seems to be an effort to squarely put the blame on black voters for the sins of the then Democratic flagbearer Hillary Clinton, who was a massively flawed candidate.
Many blacks did not find Clinton appealing for a number of reasons. In fact, she did not project herself as a game-changing candidate. For example, her encounter with members of the Black Lives Matter movement during the campaign demanding that she apologize for the 1994 crime bill former President Bill Clinton signed into law that led to increased black incarceration, revealed an entitled and arrogant candidate.
Clinton, in response to the young activists, said no one has ever asked her to apologize. That’s because the Clintons always found unquestioned loyalty among the older black political establishment in exchange for nothing consequential that advanced the interest of the black community.
Trump did not win solely on the basis of low black voter turnout in 2016. Trump won because 53% of white women put him over the edge. That is an issue that Democrats have not been willing to openly discuss regarding how to prevent a similar problem in the next election. We’ve had all kinds of town halls and forums about what blacks failed to do in the last election and why they need to be more excited about voting this time around. But I’ve yet to see forums and symposia around town addressing the number of white female voters who made the Trump presidency a reality by finding in him a more pleasing choice compared to Clinton.
The great irony of the 2016 election is that Clinton, a woman who embodied what the white feminist movement stood for over the decades, was virtually abandoned by a majority of white women who instead chose Trump, a man who faced a dozen allegations of sexual abuse from women during the campaign. One can argue that when America had the chance to have the first female president four years ago, and to affirm the legacy of Susan B. Anthony, a consequential leader of the suffrage movement, it was white women including Democrats who nixed that opportunity.
Democrats need to understand that black voters are not the problem. Their candidates are the issue. They need to stop throwing blacks under the bus for every election loss instead of calling out the woefully unprepared liberal candidates who show up in black communities without an educated understanding of urban issues. If you nominate status quo and out of touch candidates who can’t relate to the existential sufferings of the masses of black people, then you have to blame yourself when those candidates fail.
What is also missing in the analysis is that former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama would not have won reelection without the backing of blacks. So blacks don’t need a lecture or a poll to remind them of their civic duty this time around.
The candidates need to demonstrate that they are worthy of support.
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