96% of black women voted for nominee Obama and then President Obama. About the same percentage of Black Women voted for Hilary Clinton. Black men meanwhile, voted at a slightly lower rate for President Obama, both times, and a lot less for Hilary Clinton – 88%, with a full 12% of Black men voting for Donald Trump.
Though in any election 88% is an overwhelming win for any candidate the question must be asked: Why don’t Black men vote more like Black Women?
Following the 2016 election post-mortem sessions discussed how such an unqualified person won the presidency. After the mainstream media finished reviewing the how’s and why’s common theme was shared from the findings:
Black Women carried the Democrats in 2016, propelling Hillary to a popular vote win margin by over three-million votes. Much to the dismay of Democrats though was the poor voting percentage for Hillary by white women, who voted somewhere between fifty-one and fifty-three percent in favor of Donald Trump – continuing a longstanding trend of the majority of white women voting for the republican candidate and aligning with white men who overwhelmingly always vote republican, i.e. for white men.
Black women are the most loyal block of democratic voters. Black women are also the most taken for granted, ignored, and who get the least from democratic or republican policies. These results are despite Black women absorbing the most public shame and scorn – from Reagan’s welfare queen slur, to Bill Clinton using Sista Soldier as punching bag, and the party continuously refusing to adopt platforms that center the needs of Black women.
One would expect the Democratic National Party to at least hire and position their most loyal and dependable voting block in key national positions, in statewide offices, and in other leadership positions befitting their out sized participation in electing democratic white men, white women, and Black men.
Black women were at the forefront of the women’s suffrage movement working to push the nation into modern times by allowing women to vote. Black women worked hand-in-hand with white women only to be betrayed and delayed when white women centered their whiteness over their gender and abandoned Black women.
Once Black women fought their way to the right to vote, they soon outvoted Black men and eventually began voting at a rate often equal and often than, white women.
Black voters carried Bill Clinton to two-terms with fully 85% of our votes before those historical totals were shattered by President Obama’s totals when 95% of Black voters went to Obama.
But even in that incredible number, there is a hidden strain that started to show itself.
98% of Black women voted for Obama. Black men less so. And by the time Hillary ran, Black men tailed off to *only 88% voting for Hillary.
It was the loss by Hillary (voter suppression included) that brought to life the phrase, “Vote like a Black woman” which was a direct challenge to white women who, as noted, voted at a higher rate for Trump than they did for Hillary, but also in the quote there is a challenge to Black men: Get your shit together and get in formation.
Vote like Black Women means to vote to improve the large and small, to hold government accountable, to share fairness, and eliminate waste, abuse – at home and by law enforcement – and taking a pragmatic and informed approach to problem solving.
Black women vote in their own self-interest and yours. But of all demographics, this group gets the least returned to it in terms of policy, laws, and changes for the better.
It is perhaps why Michelle Obama is held in such honor to Black women. The former First Lady – Forever First Lady as many Black women refer to her – spoke to and about her life as a Black woman. The attacks, being disregarded, criticized for her body, for her hair, for her toned arms, for her fist-bump, and worse.
With the worse criticism being how she is depicted online by white men and women. The online attacks are felt by Black women who are the most attacked group online.
The attacks intensified years ago when Black women were the first to report the growth of racism and racist online attacks. Black women were years ahead of the mainstream media in understanding what was happening online by racists, but true to form, they were ignored and ridiculed and told to shut up. And worse – many were doxxed, threatened, harassed, and chased off online platforms by white supremacists emboldened by the lack of interest by the mainstream media and platform owners.
And then the white nationalists and white supremacists took over the presidency and social media.
Black women warned everyone what was coming.
The abuse leveled at Black Women online is its own story such that when the New York Times writer Bret Stephens was called a “bedbug” online by a professor, he notified that professor’s boss and then later wrote a column on the genteel insult and equated it to the Holocaust.
Black women, and others, laughed about a famous conservative white man who often writes of his disdain for safe spaces, actually then quitting twitter because he was called a bedbug.
Black women shared stories and quotes of the hourly insults they receive online – all starting with the letters “N”, “C”, and/or “B.”
Hillary’s run for the presidency widened the gap between Black women Black men voters. There was a gaggle of Black men promoting Donald Trump, enamored with his TV persona, tough-guy image, and renown womanizing (despite multiple credible rape allegations, including that of teenagers).
Famous Black men such as Dave Chappelle, Steve Harvey, Kanye West, Van Jones, Rapper Killer Mike, and of course his cabinet member, Ben Carson, all publicly supported Trump despite his history of racism, sexism, and just being incredibly unqualified for the job.
Not to be left out of the pilgrimage to trump’s white house or tower were groups of Black pastors and religious leaders from many denominations who sat with Donald, publicly prayed for him, and admonished their followers to “give him a chance.”
Not lost of Black women was the fact that it is Black women who keep the Black male preachers and pastors employed and living a good life since most Black church members are Black women. Thus the money those Black pastors live on is supplied by Black women – the same women who universally rejected those pastor’s request to “Give Trump a chance.”
While Black men and Black pastors were prostrating themselves before the president, Black women were leading protests – before being sidelined by white women – for The Women’s movement, #metoo, and writing our history either in movies and specials –
One example is Ava DuVernay with Netflix’s The 13th and When They See Us – Five young Black boys (one Latino) who were charged with the rape of a young woman in Central Park, jailed, and served a number of years in prison for a crime they did not commit. A piece of the story involves Donald’s trump’s full page newspaper ads calling for the death penalty for the boys before they were even tried in court – something the Black men and pastors who supported Trump apparently forgot I guess.
Black women in the media continue to defend and protect Barack and Michelle’s reputations even while Black men seem to have forgotten Donald Trump started the racist birther movement against the first Black president.
And now Kamala Harris is running for president as a senator from the most populated state where she also served as Attorney General and here come Black men again who instead of supporting her candidacy are repeating Russian and GOP talking points for idiots to disparage her prosecutor background. Chanting “Kamala is a cop” at every online opportunity they get.
Kamala aggressively prosecuted men who abused women and kids, sex crimes, and other crimes where women and children were the victims. While she was slow to push back against an anti-cop narrative, her recent speeches and her online followers have provided meaningful context and support for her results in helping to lock of men – Black and white – who abuse women and children.
Historically in America a former prosecutor who runs for president is either applauded or ignored. With Kamala though, Black men have joined and are leading the complaints about Kamala’s background, by trying to link her the Black community’s neverending issues fighting back against abusive law enforcement.
Kamala now meets the misinformation head-on and with her online Black woman followers, she is effectively pushing back against false and misleading accusations while proudly stating her focus on child abuse and of preventing delinquency, which statistics show is a precursor to criminal activities.
If Kamala is going to make it out of the early caucus states, she will be faced with Southern states and their millions of Black voters. She is in a battle against Joe Biden for Black voters and to a lesser degree with Elizabeth Warren and if she is to make it to Super Tuesday and beyond, she will not only need Black women voters, she will need Black men to vote like Black women in numbers at least equal to Hillary.
It should not be a tough task to get Black men on board for only the second Black woman to run for president but as Black men’s history has shown, we expect one-hundred percent of Black women to support our everything while we don’t give our support back to Black women in equal measures.
© 2019 by Myron J. Clifton and Dear Dean Publishing. All Rights Reserved.