The black vote is extremely important…to Republicans. Republicans know that each and every single black voter is valuable. They believe this so much so, that they do everything that they can possibly do to stop as many black people from voting as possible. I won’t bore you with the Russian plot to suppress the black vote in the presidential election in 2016. Let’s talk today after we look at one data point.
According to Pew Research the black vote was 66.6% in 2012 and dropped to 59.6% in 2016. That is a 7 point drop and it is the biggest drop in 20 years. That is the biggest drop of any ethnic group. For further content that means in 2016 765,000 fewer black people voted in the presidential election. Do you remember how many votes helped Trump win in 2016?
Remember that Trump won the states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, Ohio, and Iowa, all of which were won by Obama in 2008 and 2012. When you breakdown Michigan (16 electoral votes), Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes), Wisconsin (10 electoral votes), and Ohio (18 electoral votes), it becomes obvious why Trump should not have won.
Trump won Michigan by 10,704 votes, Pennsylvania by 44,292 votes, and Wisconsin by 22,748 votes (77,744 votes total). According to the U.S. Census the black population in Detroit, MI in 2017 was 532,425. In 1999 there were 689,927 black people in Philadelphia, PA. Finally, the city of Milwaukee, WI had 233,100 black people in 2016. These three cities have a total of 1,455,452 black voters. If 5.3% more black voters had cast their ballots for Clinton, the last three years are very different.
The Trump administration knows this and they are doing everything that they can to either gain black voters, or stop them from voting. In an effort to encourage black voters to turn out for the Republican party in 2020 Trump routinely repeats that minority unemployment is the lowest it had been in 40+ years. Unfortunately for the Trump administration Axios reported in January that 85% of black Americans believe that Trump is racist according to a Washington Post-Ipsos poll. So they have moved on to plan B.
The Trump 2020 Presidential Campaign has allegedly gone as far as buying votes in partnership with Pastor Darrell Scott. If you are unfamiliar with Scott, take a look at him here. Scott works with another black Republican Kareem Lanier and together they co-founded the Urban Revitalization Coalition, Inc. (URC). Their organization was issued a $238,000.00 grant from America First Policies, the nonprofit arm of a pro-Trump super PAC.
What did URC do with the grant? Well in December 2019 they held a “Christmas Extravaganza” where they gave away $25,000.00 in amounts greater than $300.00 along with a gift of $1,000.00. That’s what Trump thinks about your vote. He thinks that he can give a few thousand dollars to a 501(c)(3) and buy your vote for a few hundred dollars each.
Is our vote for sale? Of course it is, but for equal education, access to capital, safe infrastructure, safe policing, safe driving water, etc. But are we really for sale for a gift card for a few hundred dollars? Trump’s supporters thinks so. And that’s the question. If Trump and the Republican party believe that allegedly spending money illegally will help them win in 2020, if they believe that our vote is so important that they need to disenfranchise us from our right to vote or beguile us to vote against our self interest, why don’t we give our vote the same worth?