By Goliath J. Davis, III, Ph.D., Contributor
Folks are lining up across the country to vote in this year’s presidential election as well as for candidates at the state and local levels. Trump’s rallies and commercials showcase a smattering of Black folk who proudly profess their support for Trump and urge others to vote for him. These individuals represent the entire social strata — working-class individuals, celebrities, elected officials, young adults and seniors.
When I first heard the phrase “Blacks for Trump,” I thought it was a joke. In fact, it sounded oxymoronic. How could anyone of color support a candidate with Trump’s record and disdain for African Americans, Mexicans, Middle Easterners and others from what he termed “sh_t hole” countries? There is nothing about Trump’s record that warrants any support from African Americans with a sense of history.
As I explored the question “why,” I spoke with individuals I encountered and listened very intently as they expressed their views about the current political environment. And when I held my tongue, suppressed my surprise and avoided all statements that could be considered judgmental, I learned the reasons for supporting Trump ranged from naivety to selfishness.
Some had no concept of the voting rights struggle and the fact our ancestors and whites died to secure our right to vote. There was no understanding of the fact Trump and his campaign want to exploit Black faces to secure another term as president while at the same time suppressing the Black vote for fear the majority will vote for the democratic candidate.
Although Republicans have long relied on absentee mail-in-ballots and Trump himself votes by mail ballot, individuals I spoke with merely recited Trump talking points when confronted with his appointment of a postal executive to dismantle mail processing machines, delay mail delivery and remove mail drop boxes.
The Blacks for Trump I spoke with acknowledge the long lines in Atlanta, Texas, and other places across the country created by the Republican Party but dismiss them by saying whites are affected as well. They never made the connection between the long lines and the voting districts where they occur — namely, voting precincts that are primarily Brown, Black or Native.
The Affordable Care Act (Obama Care), pre-existing conditions, Roe V. Wade and COVID-19 don’t appear to matter to the individuals I spoke with. Trump, religious evangelists and his component of the Republican Party proudly proclaim their commitment to a pro-life agenda and, in doing so, amplify their hypocrisy.
They vehemently oppose a woman’s right to decide while at the same time resist funding for Planned Parenthood, birth control, welfare, Medicare and other programs to aid the economically disadvantaged.
More than 219,000 Americans are dead because Trump failed to develop a comprehensive national strategy while proclaiming to be pro-life. Yet, Blacks for Trump are not concerned.
Trump proudly expresses his commitment to abolish Obama Care, denying millions of Americans medical insurance, and Blacks for Trump are not deterred.
Trump boasts he had more than 12 doctors at his side during his bout with the coronavirus and received the most progressive medications available. People of color are disproportionately impacted by COVID, die at a higher rate, and do not have the level of medical care Trump and members of his party are afforded, and still again, Blacks for Trump do not care.
They are bullish about their support.
What then would move African Americans to support a man who put babies in cages, separated children from their families, support the racist clan and militia, appoint a Supreme Court Justice to strip away hard fought gains for Black and poor people and deny individuals wishing to immigrate to this country the same opportunities afforded his parents, his wife and her parents?
Among the individuals I spoke with, selfishness appears to be the dominant variable. More than one specifically stated they were voting their wallets. They like the stock market’s current behavior and its impact on their 401k retirement packages, failing to realize the market fluctuates, and today’s gains can easily be tomorrow’s losses.
More importantly, there doesn’t appear to be any appreciation for the blood, sweat and tears shed by civil rights pioneers, mothers, fathers and grandparents to make it possible for all of us to secure jobs with 401k retirement benefits.
Blacks for Trump seem to have little regard for the greater good. What happens to mama, daddy, siblings, grandparents and other relatives who need Obama Care and are classified as essential workers who do not have the luxury of working from home during the pandemic? What about the school children who are forced back into environments that are not ideal, and what about the educators who must teach them?
Some previously convicted of crimes allege Trump restored their rights. However, in Florida, the Republican Party filed suit to impede the will of the people who voted to allow non-violent felons to vote. Regrettably, some I spoke with are not fully aware of the issues and appear to be intoxicated with the idea of being associated with a platform and views espoused by a seemingly prominent “white man.”
I am fully aware everyone has the right to vote as they choose. However, I appeal to Blacks for Trump to take a very close look at the issues and reconsider your position, realizing so much and so many are dependent on affordable health care, a comprehensive plan to combat COVID, affordable housing, jobs and other life essentials.
To the Democratic Party, I suggest it is time for re-evaluation. While I do not agree with all the positions articulated by Bernie Sanders, he spoke to the young adults in my household and my broader family.
We can no longer ignore the 21-year-old plus generation and their points of view. Given the options facing us and the fact Bernie has endorsed the Biden-Harris ticket, my household and my broader family moved to Biden-Harris.
Hopefully, Blacks for Trump will realize we as a people cannot afford four more years of a repressive, racially prejudice, morally corrupt administration. Lack of veracity, support for racist organizations, disdain and disrespect for women, disregard for science and the health of the American people are just a few reasons not to vote for another Trump term as president.