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Wake up, Black voters

Don’t let Trump’s lies fool you

by PRIDE Newsdesk
Donald Trump and Kanye West meeting in October 2018. (official photo courtesy White House)

by Donald M Suggs, St. Louis American

The fact that exit polls showed that Donald Trump received nine percent of the Black vote in 2016, the highest number since George Bush in 2000, and then won 12% in the presidential race in 2020 should be a cause for concern.

Moreover, some recent polls surprisingly showed that if the presidential election were held today, 17% of Black voters say they would vote for Trump—and even more troubling, 20% say they would vote for someone other than either Trump or President Biden.

Black voters have been the largest and most loyal voting bloc for Democrats for years, but there has been a shift in the number of Black voters who consider themselves Democrats.

That trend could be explained partially by a number of younger Black voters with no direct experience with the civil rights movement. They have scant knowledge and no direct personal memory. They feel disappointed with Democrats and the Biden administration and seem willing to consider Trump, despite his blatant and toxic racial baggage.

This disconnection with the Democratic party is felt most strongly with some young Black males, many in critical battleground states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina where Democrats need every vote. Most of these states have large concentrations of Black voters in their urban areas. This is a special issue in potentially close races like this one because the Electoral College gives Republicans a massive advantage in federal elections. This system allows them to govern with a minority of the popular vote.

However, there is also data that shows that the Democratic candidate for president over the last five presidential elections since 2000 has averaged 90% of the Black vote with an average of only eight percent for the GOP candidate. In addition, the overwhelming concern of most Black voters continues to be race and racism with a particular aversion to the reprehensible and duplicitous Trump who has shown repeatedly that he is an instigator of racial hate. Any relationship he has with Black voters has been deceptive and disingenuous.

Fortunately, the overwhelming majority of Black voters cannot be bamboozled or deceived because we know the record of his stance on health care with his recent attacks on Obamacare, opposition to greater diversity in the workplace and efforts to restrict our voting rights as well as his racist, conspiracist ‘birther campaign’ that sought to undermine the then-President Barack Obama.

Still, we can’t simply ignore the reports that Trump is possibly making inroads with Black voters while Biden is losing support from us. Granted polls have been shown not to be reliable predictors of what Black voters will do. Actually, our biggest worry should probably be third-party voting. Third party presidential candidates have no chance of winning. This is a binary election and only a Democrat or Republican can win. Potential voter apathy is also a concern, despite the high stakes in this contest to determine whether Donald Trump is elected again.

Clay Cane, a Sirius XM radio host, rightly said that the 2024 presidential election is not just a choice between the lesser of two evils. It is an election to see if we can stop Trump and his pernicious plans to institute a future dictatorship to carry out his vile policies. A Trump victory would be a grave threat to the well-being of Black Americans for certain.

In any case, the Democratic party must recognize the seriousness of the disenchantment of many Black voters who don’t feel motivated to make it to the polls and campaign more directly and intentionally in our community.

Furthermore, we ourselves must make an unprecedented and determined push to get to the polls in greater numbers to help stop this monstrous man and his MAGA minions from regaining control of the White House.

(Donald M Suggs is the publisher and owner of The St. Louis American.)

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