Black women ‘blue wave’ everywhere but California
African American voters need ‘proactive approach’
Manny Otiko OW Contributor | 6/14/2018, midnight
The election of President Donald Trump has caused many people to get politically active. Several political analysts have predicted this will lead to a “blue wave” in the fall, as Democrats strive to take back control of Congress.
In many states, Black women are at the center of this wave as candidates and activists. In Georgia, Stacey Abrams won the Democratic primary and has a chance of becoming the first Black female governor in the nation. In Alabama, Doug Jones became the first Democratic senator in 25 years, largely because of Black women working behind the scenes.
But this is not the case in California, where there are no black women running for state-level positions. Los Angeles-based political analyst Earl Ofari Hutchinson says this is mainly because of the state’s demographics.
“In California unlike say Alabama or Georgia, it’s a numbers game. Black women do not make up the same large voter base (realized or potential) as in those states. So their influence in the Democratic Party would not be the same here,” said Hutchinson.
Hutchinson said that because Latinos make up almost half of the state’s population, the Democratic Party is focused on getting their votes.
“It’s a number game. Latinos are well on their way to being a majority of the population in California, a majority of Democratic Party voters, so that’s only politically logical that would be the case,” he said.
Hutchinson said because of the political structure of both parties, Democrats often take Black voters for granted.
“Blacks year in and year out are Democrats and will vote Democratic no matter what,” Hutchinson said. “The GOP both statewide and nationally has slammed the door on Blacks.”
Hutchinson suggested that Black voters have to take a different, more proactive approach to working with the Democratic Party, if they want to get what they want.
“That means not being content with them coming to Black churches the Sunday before election day and never see them again. And even when they come to the churches don’t offer or address concrete needs and programs. It means doing report cards on their performance, demanding that they keep their constituents informed--newsletters, meetings, town halls etc,--and punishing those Dems who do not perform, even finding other candidates to run against them,” Hutchinson added.
“It’s absolutely absurd to see a Democrat in these Black districts run unopposed. When that’s the case, there is absolutely no incentive for them to do anything for their constituents other than mouth platitudes, get a few photo-ops in compliant Black newspapers and collect a check,” Hutchinson said.