How did 12 percent of Black men vote for Trump?
By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
Juan Williams posited that he’s a Black man born in a Latin country and grew up in a Spanish-speaking family.
The author and Fox News political analyst then stated a head-scratching fact that many still find difficult to rationalize.
“It stuns me to see that President Trump set a record last week by attracting the highest percentage of the non-White vote of any Republican presidential candidate in the last 60 years,” Williams wrote in an editorial for The Hill.
Perhaps most stunning, lamented Williams, “How did 12 percent of Black men vote for Trump?”
Although an overwhelming majority of Black men, 80 percent, voted for President-elect Joe Biden, support for the Democratic presidential ticket reached a new low among Black men in 2020, according to the NBC News poll of early and Election Day voters.
In the same poll, 8 percent of Black male voters were reported to have cast their ballots for alternative candidates.
In Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign, of all Blacks casting ballots, 95 percent of Black men and 96 percent of Black women chose him, NBC News reported.
Four years later, Black women’s support remained at 96 percent for Obama’s 2012 re-election. However, the Black male vote decreased to 87 percent.
In 2016, when the nominee was Hillary Clinton, Black men dropped even further to 82 percent, while Black women’s support for Clinton remained high at 94 percent. Biden came close to matching that this year, garnering the support of 91 percent of Black women.
“It’s a trust issue. I view the Black community’s relationship with the Democratic Party, for example, as sort of like a domestic violence relationship,” Demetre Coles, a 25-year-old African American who lives in Waterbury, Conn., told NPR.
Coles told the outlet he voted for Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins because Coles couldn’t connect with Democrats or Republicans.
“We’ve been giving our vote to them loyally for 55, 60 years, and we have got nothing in return,” Coles said. “And as for the Republican Party, I don’t feel as if they care about me at all. It’s just more blatant.”
While Coles expressed a reason for casting his ballot for an alternative candidate who had virtually no chance to win, his declaration didn’t explain why so many other Black men voted for Trump.
“Black men are hurting. Political parties mostly forget them, and then there’s this anger — whether it’s right or misguided — towards Biden for the 1994 Crime Bill,” said Unique Tolliver, a New York-based mathematician.
The 1994 Crime Bill, which was authored by then Senator Biden, and signed by President Bill Clinton, was crafted to address rising crime in the United States. The law contained numerous crime prevention provisions, including the controversial “three strikes” mandatory life sentences for repeat violent offenders.
The law, which also called for funding community policing and prisons, disproportionately punished African American men, and most observers said it caused mass incarceration.
“But, what Black people [today] fail to understand is that, at the time, there were all of these Black people, including the clergy, who supported the bill,” said Lenora Turner, a California-based psychologist.
“So, with Black men still smarting over that bill and holding it against Biden, and Trump repeatedly spreading the falsehood of how much he’s done for the Black community, you had quite the storm brewing among Black male voters,” Turner said.
“You also had respected strong Black men like Ice Cube — even though he said he didn’t endorse Trump — swaying Black men. I know that makes it sound like Black men don’t have a mind of their own, but think about what Ice Cube came out and said. He said the Democrats told him we’d talk later while Trump ‘listened’ and agreed to institute some of Cube’s initiatives in the President’s overall plan.”
Still, as Juan Williams noted in his editorial, Trump’s racism toward Blacks and Latinos is so well-established. “It’s sad to say, but a lot of Black and Latino voters, especially the men, got distracted by Trump’s boasts and bling,” said Williams.
Half of all Americans in a June 2020 YouGov/Yahoo News poll said outright that he is a racist, and another 13 percent could only say they are “not sure” whether he is a racist or not.
A Quinnipiac University poll in July 2019, found that 80 percent of Black people and 55 percent of Latinos said Trump is a racist.
A Fox News poll in July 2019 found 57 percent of Americans agreed that Trump has no respect for racial minorities.