It’s campaign season and that means it’s time to beg for votes from special interests. Democrats, though, this time around, seem to be struggling to pull the love from black voters. Has President Donald Trump, with his chugging economy and prison reform plan and immigration control stolen the left’s thunder?
Could be traditional Democrat-voting blacks are tired of being treated as if they’re, well, tokens.
“We’ve had this wild surge of new testimonials coming in the past few weeks, largely in the black community,” said Brandon Straka, founder of the anti-Democratic Party social media campaign called #WalkAway, the New York Post reported. “They feel taken for granted, manipulated and lied to by Democrats. They’re sick of the fear-mongering.”
They’re sick of being treated like they’re stupid is more like it. And honestly, the rest of America is sick of watching the Democrats treat black voters like they’re unthinking and inferior, as well.
Mayor Pete, anyone?
Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg made a hasty — and sudden, even shocking — retreat from the White House primary campaign stage just recently, tossing in the Super Tuesday towel at a time when many of his fans and followers were just cracking open his latest fundraiser envelope.
But aside from being gay, Buttigieg didn’t really have a lot of shiny political offerings to dangle at voters that differentiated him from the other Democrats — and particularly not to black voters.
“Pete Buttigieg is Biden without the black friends,” as one headline in The Guardian put it just a couple weeks ago.
That was after a darker than dismal January showing with black voters, where polls put him at a high of 2 percent with this population. And that was being generous. Buttigieg never could address the question of his nearly all-white South Bend police force to black voters’ satisfaction, telling one group at a Democratic debate over the summer that the assimilation was just something he “couldn’t get done.”
No duh, Dick Tracy. Speaking the obvious isn’t exactly smart politicking with people who want both answers and reform.
Then there was Tom Steyer, the billionaire liberal anti-Trumper who also just exited the race — whose exit from the race resonated about as loudly as butterfly wings alongside a pair of 747 jet engines. Steyer’s idea of reaching out to black voters was to dance madly on a South Carolina stage to “Back Dat A– Up” with rapper Juvenile. All he needed were a couple of basketballs bouncing alongside and a table set with fried chicken to complete the stereotype. As a matter of fact, picture Colonel Sanders getting jiggy with it, and that’s about what you had — a video well worth the 21-second watch.
Black voters, as you can imagine, weren’t so enamored as to keep his campaign alive.
Then comes former New York City Mayor and billionaire Mike Bloomberg, of stop-all-the-blacks-ages-2-and-up-frisk fame, and his obligatory appearance at what was probably penciled into his campaign schedule as “Some Black Church” in Selma, Alabama. Things, to put it mildly, didn’t go so well for him.
“Black Voters Turn Their Backs on Mike Bloomberg During Church Service,” is how Breitbart wrote it.
Then came the video.
“WATCH: Black church members turn their backs as Michael Bloomberg speaks on ‘Bloody Sunday’ anniversary,” Raw Story reported.
That can’t be good for the campaign. Then came Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, another failed candidate — another ended candidacy. But before she quit, she wasn’t doing so well with blacks, either.
“Amy Klobuchar Cancels Rally in Home State After Protesters Take Over Stage,” Time wrote in a headline.
Why? What happened?
A consortium of Black Lives Matter and other protesters took over the good senator’s stage in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, ruining her planned speech on why she is almost uncomfortable with socialism and forcing into the national campaign limelight questions about her prosecution of teenage Myon Burrell for murder.
Burrell, now 33 and convicted in 2002, has all along maintained his innocence, saying he was at a store with friends buying snacks when 11-year-old Tyesha Edwards was shot and killed by a stray bullet. And in the years since his imprisonment, others have corroborated Burrell’s account, while evidence from the original trial has also been showcased as shaky.
But this is all Klobuchar could muster, in a February televised defense of her part in the sentencing: “Of course, what we know now was not the same as what we knew then. And I have always been an advocate for criminal justice reform. That was a tough job.”
And all the black voters go: Not as tough a job as serving behind bars for a murder you didn’t commit.
Come on, Democrats. This is 2020. Blacks really aren’t that different than whites. Why, word is they even drink out of the same fountains as whites these days.
Speaking to blacks on the campaign trail shouldn’t have to drift into rapper shake-the-booty land. Honestly, it’s not that tough.
Black voters care about education, health care, security and borders, the economy — to include economic opportunities and regulatory atmosphere. They care about the Second Amendment and paying for prescriptions. They care about safe communities and controlling the surge of crime and trafficking and drugs seeping into their back yards.
Black voters also want honesty from their political leaders — honesty and straight talk.
That’s really no different from white voters. Or any other races of voters, either.
And seriously, if there’s one thing we can all agree on, race be danged, it’s this: Sixty-two-year-old pasty-faced white men really need to stay off the rapping stage. Hashtag: MakeItStop. Hashtag: BlacksArentStupid.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.
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