Democratic presidential hopeful wants my vote. As an African American
woman voter, I'm part of the powerful voting bloc the DNC chair, Tom
Perez, calls the "backbone" of the party. However, they'll
need to earn it.
the N.H. Democratic Presidential debate, the subject of race and
racism was front and center, and there were no winners. Instead, the
debate highlighted the work all the white candidates need to do to
win over black voters.
it's the Republican party or the Democratic Party they need to
understand from here on out the black vote isn't free," Marcus
Wilkins wrote after watching the debate in the comment section of the
New York Times.
July 2018, DNC Chair Tom Perez issued an apology statement to black
voters for the party taking us for granted over the years.
am sorry," Perez stated, "We took too many people for
granted." He went on, "and African Americans—our most
loyal constituency—we all too frequently took for granted. That
is a shame on us, folks, and for that, I apologize. And for that, I
say, it will never happen again!"
like so many African Americans, was hoping for a fresh start.
sharing his thoughts about the lack of people of color in the race,
House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) stated the following on
C-Span on the night of the N.H. primary:
wanted Cory and Kamala to remain on that stage. It is always
difficult for candidates of color to raise the kind of money other
candidates raise. We have to take that into account. We ought not
make all our decisions based upon the deepest pockets. I do not
believe that it is fair to candidates of color, black and brown, to
make decisions based solely on money. We bring so much else to the
voters make up approximately two-thirds of South Carolina's
Democratic voters. Its primary is February 29.
party that needs African Americans and other people of color to get
them to the finish line it's telling that the only presidential
hopeful of color left standing is Andrew Yang. Although African
Americans amass in large numbers as Democrats, our disaffection from
the GOP lead us to FDR's Democratic party once Republicans reneged on
its once strong civil rights plank. It's a cautionary tale to
SOTU address was a call for black
address should be "a big wake-up call for Democrats, according
to CNN analyst Van Jones. "He knows he's got to give a lot of
red meat to his base. Religious liberty, abortion etc., Jones stated.
"At the same time, warning the Democrats. What he was saying to
African Americans can be effective. You may not like it, but he
mentioned HBCUs. Black colleges have been struggling for a long time,
a bunch of them have gone under. He threw a lifeline to them in real
life in his budget."
the Republican Party is no friend to black folks either. Trump is
trying to get just enough of our votes to win re-election. His SOTU
address with its reality show theatrics made good T.V. The production
may have won over a few more black voters, especially with his
re-election initiative "Black Votes for Trump." It has
spent $1million making inroads into black communities with multiple
strategies along gender and generational lines. For example, "Black
Votes for Trump" is running ads in black-run newspapers and on
radio stations across the country.
needs only 14 percent of the black vote to win. He received 8 percent
of the total black vote in 2016, more than then-Republican
presidential hopefuls John McCain and Mitt Romney received. His
focus, however, is predominately to woo more black men like Tony
Rankins, a recovering addict Trump asked to stand up during his SOTU
address. Rankins is a tradesman in an opportunity zone where wealthy
Americans can invest in poor communities in exchange for tax
benefits. Thirteen percent of black men voted for him last time
whereas only 4 percent of black women. Black men are the most
disenfranchised group among us black voters. However, the Trump team
sees this demographic group as untapped possibilities, especially
with the 2018 passage of the First Step Act, a prison reform bill
that aims to revise the federal prison system and some federal
mandatory minimum sentencing laws. With the unemployment rate at 6
percent for both Blacks and Latinx, Trump hopes to woo this group
that the last time they may have voted was in 2008 for Obama.
August 2016, then-presidential hopeful Donald Trump at one of his
rally's stated that the Democratic Party takes black voters for
granted. In stumping for black votes in Dimondale, Mich, where the
population is 2.8 percent black, Trump asked, referring all to black
voters in general "What do you have to lose by trying something
new, like Trump? … What the hell do you have to lose?"
Sharpton at the 2004 DNC in Boston answered why we do:
Republican Party was the party of Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. It
is true that Mr. Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, after
which there was a commitment to give 40 acres and a mule….We
didn't get the mule. So we decided we'd ride this donkey as far as it
would take us."
Democratic Party must do more than court African American voters. The
party must address our issues, too.