In his usual mendacious fashion, President Trump recently said he could now count on 30 percent of the African American voting population to support him in his leadership of the country. That number (actually it was 36 percent) was recently reported by the Rasmussen media company in August, 2018. Rasmussen consistently puts out numbers not within the range of other respected national pollsters. For instance, Rasmussen also reported in the same information pool that Number 45 had a 49 percent approval rating among the American public. No other reliable source has reported more than a 46 percent approval (and 54 percent disapproval) rating for the president at his highest mark since his ”election.” Regardless, the president, FOX News, and various other entities have latched onto the Rasmussen numbers as if they really represent reality. However, at max, number 45’s support in the Black community MAY be at 11%, if that (the more respected Quinnipiac poll noted that Mr. Trump averaged 12 percent approval among Black voters during the last 2 years.). It is a fact that Mr. Trump got 8 percent of the African American vote in the 2016 election and there’s been no reason or rationale during his administration for that percentage to change much. (Rasmussen claims Mr. Trump has averaged 19 percent in the African American community for the past two years. Whew !!)
One noted adherent of the larger percentages is Charlie Kirk’s TURNING POINT USA, one of the faces of the Young Conservatives’ “movement,” including the Young Black Conservatives Summit which recently met the president in the White House. Mr. Kirk, who is Caucasian, has substantial funding from right wing donors and advocates to put continued pressure on public school and university professors for teaching so-called liberal viewpoints. The group has even compiled a hit list of teachers considered too left wing to be in classrooms, and the group was recently banned from speaking at Cal State Long Beach University. Candace Owens, the most recognizable black face of the organization, says that part of the aim is to get Black people to leave the Democratic Party in mass. She has been engaging with Kanye West recently to propagate and advertise a Black “Blexit” effort to accomplish that purpose. It won’t work, but more power to them.
So why are most African American voters so strongly attached to the Democratic Party, in spite of the many challenges in that relationship?
I’ve often told the tale to my students. The Republican Party was created in 1854 to end slavery and polygamy in America. The Republican Party, through its more radical elements, gave us the 13th amendment (nationally ending slavery), the 14th (that gave Black folk citizenship—and in fact, is the only part of the Constitution that defines what citizenship is), and the 15th amendment (which gave African Americans the right to vote). Republicans supported viable Black participation in this country’s political affairs until the 1930s. The Democratic Party, on the other hand, was birthed in the KKK-tinged South and supported the confederacy and white supremacy until the 1960s. Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal (which provided jobs for Blacks and Whites), his wife Eleanor’s tireless work for civil rights and Black inclusion, and later Lyndon Johnson’s support of the civil rights movement, all combined to get Blacks to abandon the Republican Party, which became synonymous with “the White Man’s Party.”
The marriage of modern Black political aspirations and northern liberal ideas is still going strong at this stage, and shows no signs of a pending divorce or separation. No matter what device, trick or slight of hand is used by the modern Republican Party, Black folks aren’t buying now and most likely won’t be buying in the future.
Black folks have never liked being urinated on and simultaneously being told to accept that it’s only rain.
Professor David L. Horne is founder and executive director of PAPPEI, the Pan African Public Policy and Ethical Institute, which is a new 501(c)(3) pending community-based organization or non-governmental organization (NGO). It is the stepparent organization for the California Black Think Tank which still operates and which meets every fourth Friday.
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