With the U.S presidential election nearing this November, everyone can agree that this presidential election is far from typical. One word to describe the last year in a half of the political arena is TRUMP. He won the nomination by stroking the flames of racism through speaking to the rural, white, underbelly of the Republican Party. Some might describe this group of voters as the "forgotten Americans". Quite frankly, I don't know how a rich, businessman who comes from wealthy background and has stiffed so many working-class Americans in his career resonates with this group of voters as the anti-establishment but for whatever reason, it works. Now in the general election, Trump is aware that the people who voted for him during the Republican Primary will not be enough to win him the presidency, so he's now "softening" his positions and speaking to the Black community as such:
What better way to reach out to a group of voters than by painting them all with one brush and essentially saying, the lives of African-Americans can't be any worse than it already is. How condescending? I don't think I've ever been more offended by a single speech. For a presidential candidate of a major party to insight stereotypes of African-Americans in delivering a speech to amajority, White audience is appalling. As if suddenly he would win the Black vote based on this message.
Now let me prefix my next statement with this, I am not now nor will I EVER be a Trump supporter or support ANYONE who values his ideologies, however his statement had me thinking about an issue that many Black political scientists have raised for years which is the role of the Black vote in the American political election process. African-Americans began voting Democrat after the Civil Rights Act mainly because policies that provided for equal (and I use this word loosely) rights were implemented by the Democratic Party.
We have continued to vote for the Democratic Party because the Republican Party has increasingly become more radical, conservative, and right-wing making it tough for most Black voters to vote Republican. Therefore, American-Americans participate in the democratic process in a distorted way. To Trump's point ( I can't believe I just said that, but go with me), the Democratic Party has taken the Black vote for granted. For lack of better alternatives, the Black vote has gone to the Democratic Party and the Party has not kept to its promises. Democratic politicians no longer need to fight for the Black vote, they only battle over which Democratic candidate Black voters will support. Once this is established, the next step is for the Party to focus more on encouraging Black voters to exercise their voting rights--why? Because they know where the Black vote lies. Like herding sheep to the polls. Meanwhile, there are not many examples we can point to show hard data of progressive changes in predominantly Black communities as a direct result of voting Democrat up or down the ballots. That's something we need to examine. Moreover, we need to reevaluate our loyalty to the Democratic Party if the relationship has not been beneficial. Don't get me wrong, I vote Democrat because I agree largely with the Party's stance on social issues. I will continue to vote Democrat unless better options are presented. This is not a pitch to move the Black vote across the aisle to Republicans, especially not during what I think is the most important Presidential election in modern politics. TRUMP IS NOT THE ANSWER!
"I am not now nor will I EVER be a Trump supporter"
This is also not a stab at Obama's presidency because God knows he has had a lot to deal with as the first Black president. This issue existed long before Obama's presidency. Maybe he could have done more during his presidency for African-Americans. I don't know. I'm only raising this issue of the Black vote and its allegiance to the Democratic Party because we need to make things better in our communities and start holding elected officials of the Democratic Party accountable at the local and federal levels.
The problem is the Democratic Party knows there are no consequences if they don't deliver on promises because we'll just keep voting Democrat anyway.