OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Y’all, nobody ever wants to feel overlooked, profiled, or stereotyped. People want to feel valued and appreciated.
Interestingly, however, the Democratic party has made a huge mistake by stereotyping and taking for granted the vote and support of black Americans.
Since FDR, black Americans have been assumed to be staunchly Democratic. Their vote is expected by the party, and their support unquestioningly predicted. This has become abundantly clear this election cycle as Joe Biden has made several controversial statements including, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.” This is a prime example of the Democrat party’s assumption that black Americans will vote for the Democratic candidate regardless of policy considerations or personal convictions.
Well guess what? All these free-thinking black Americans see the hypocrisy in a politician expecting black voters to support them but doing little to earn that support. A great example of this is Blexit (a fusion of “Black” and “exit”), an organization founded by Candace Owens and backed by influential voices such as Brandon Tatum, Larry Elder, and many others. The organization endeavors to “uplift and empower minorities to realize the American Dream” and “promotes educational initiatives, pursues criminal justice reform, educates minority communities regarding America’s founding principles, and highlights the importance of free markets and entrepreneurship as the antidote to poverty.”
This organization, as well as the movement it represents, was born out of a frustration that Democrat politicians were taking minority voters for granted even though the Democrat politicians were not working for the best interest of those minorities. Historically, Democrats have implemented policies and practices that disproportionately harm minorities.
This is especially evident by the tragic state of major Democrat-run cities such as New York, Chicago, Baltimore, and LA, as well as statistics regarding incarceration, poverty, and unemployment. In these cities, crime and poverty increase and infrastructure is left to crumble despite having delegates who are supposed to be working to improve the lives of constituents. Time and again, free-thinking black Americans have asked, “What has the Democratic party done to improve my life?” And time and again, the Democratic party has very little to show. But what about President Trump?
As civil rights activist Clarence Hederson said at the RNC:
“Joe Biden had the audacity to say if you don’t vote for him, you ain’t black. Well, to that, I say, if you do vote for Biden, you don’t know history. Donald Trump is not a politician. He’s a leader. Politicians are a dime a dozen. Leaders are priceless. The record funding Trump gave HBCUs is priceless too. So are the record number of jobs he created for the black community and the investment he drove into our neighborhoods with tax incentives and opportunity zones. And so are the lives he restored by passing criminal justice reform — where 91% of the inmates released are black.”
Georgia Democrat Vernon Jones has also spoken of President Trump’s contributions to the African-American community saying:
“Four years ago he [Trump] talked about what he wanted to do for the Black community and he brought about results… Opportunity zone districts, support of historically Black colleges, and prison reform with the First Step Act.”
The Democrats have proved that talk is cheap. So, what has President Trump actually done to improve the lives and earn the vote of black Americans?
• In December of 2018, he signed the “First Step Act,” which was an effort to “improve criminal justice outcomes, as well as to reduce the size of the federal prison population while also creating mechanisms to maintain public safety,” according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. As President Trump said, “This legislation reformed sentencing laws that have wrongly and disproportionately harmed the African-American community. The First Step Act gives nonviolent offenders the chance to reenter society as productive, law-abiding citizens. Now, states across the country are following our lead. America is a nation that believes in redemption.”
• December of 2019, he signed a bill permanently ensuring more than $250 million a year to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) across the nation, as well as many other institutions that serve minority students.
• Throughout his presidency, he has implemented economic policies that have positively impacted poverty and unemployment rates in black communities. The 2018 U.S. Census Bureau’s economic report showed that poverty among married black families had dropped from 20.2% in 2015 to 18.8%. Likewise, poverty in black female-led families went from 35.7% to 31.7% and among all black Americans from 24.1% to 20.8%. Additionally, black unemployment rates dropped to a record low 5.5%.
• In connection with general economic policy, he also created 8,764 Opportunity Zones, which the Department of Housing and Urban Development describes as “economically distressed communities, defined by individual census tract, nominated by America’s governors, and certified by the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury” which may be eligible for preferential tax treatment to spur private and public investment in underserved minority communities nationwide.
• He recently announced the “Platinum Plan.” This plan includes spending nearly $500 billion on infrastructure through qualified grants to black entrepreneurs and business owners in an effort to create 500,000 new black-owned businesses, add 3 million jobs in black communities, and increase educational and job training opportunities in those areas. Additionally, the plan labels the KKK and Antifa as terrorist organizations, makes lynching a national hate crime, and makes Juneteenth a National Holiday.
History shows that the actions of the Democratic party in regard to issues impacting black Americans have done little to improve their lives, so why should black Americans support them? They shouldn’t. Or so says the growing movement of black conservative voices calling attention to the hypocrisy. As a result, there are more black Americans running for public office as Republicans than ever before. Their platforms decry abortion that overwhelmingly targets black pregnancies, open borders that flood the workforce and steal black jobs, and high-dollar energy plans that disproportionately affect low-income black Americans.
As the conservative black American movement suggests, it’s time for black Americans to break the tradition of voting Democrat and vote instead for the people and policies which have and will continue to improve their lives.