More Minority Outreach from Republicans

Poor Candace Owens. She’s an African American woman whose Twitter profile says, correctly, that “black people don’t have to be Democrats.” Black people, of course, are and should be as free as anyone else to choose the political party they think will best advance the well being of them and their kind.

For reasons that are really obvious to lots of people besides Candace Owens, black, white, and every other shade, most black people are Democrats, whether because they fully support the Democrats, or are afraid of the other most viable option, the Republicans, is a question one would have to ask individual black people, but the evidence strongly indicates that black voters overwhelmingly choose not to follow Ms. Owens into the Republican fold. Only eight percent of black voters chose Trump in 2016. The Republicans more broadly notched that all the way up to nine percent in 2018. Wow.

In case you were wondering why, one could offer an explanation from today’s headlines. A story out of Wisconsin recounts how the black caucus in that state’s legislature offered a resolution honoring black leaders in recognition of Black History Month. But Republican leaders objected to the inclusion of Colin Kaepernick, a Wisconsin native, who has lately gained fame for kneeling during the national anthem before games of the professional football team he used to work for in protest against the violence African Americans suffer at the hands of trigger happy cops. They offered two other African American political leaders in place of Kaepernick.

The chair of the legislature’s black caucus, David Crowley, said during the contretemps that the Republicans’ action was a textbook example of white privilege and wondered why white Republicans seemed want black legislators to ask permission to include whom they wanted in their resolution.

For some time now, Republicans have exhorted black voters to “leave the Democratic plantation.” They keep saying this, even though all of the evidence indicates that it doesn’t work at all. Or, it works on about nine percent of black voters.

The “leave the Democratic plantation” doesn’t work because, which tone deaf Republicans can never figure out, it is fantastically patronizing. It amounts to telling black voters that, by voting Democratic, they are dupes who do not recognize their own best interests. This is especially amusing, except that it’s not funny, because it is actually the working class white people who fall for the dog whistle racism of the Republican Party who are the dupes here. Republican policies since the 1920s have only benefited rich people, so it’s nonsense for working class people to vote for them. The class interests working class white people have with most black people are much more important than the supposed racial solidarity that rich white people never really feel or act on with working class white people.

Maybe black voters should feel flattered that Republicans even try to lure them, but it looks mostly just insulting since they can’t be bothered to do a better job of it.

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Uppity gay, Buddhist, author, historian.

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