I was quite surprised recently, when I discovered a poll, indicating that 22% of black voters were now supporting Trump, which is a significant jump from the 8% he won in 2016. This also means that a significant number of African-Americans have fully embraced his presidency, despite his blatant dog whistles and outright racist comments, indicating his dislike for people of color.
Just last year, Trump collectively referred to several developing countries as “shitholes.” He also recently added Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, to his travel ban. Prior to becoming POTUS, Trump maniacally pursued a phony investigation of Obama’s birth certificate.
Trump swore that he had tangible evidence that would prove our first African-American president, was indeed born in Kenya — only to reluctantly admit that he had changed his mind.
As part of Trump’s phony investigation, he also implied that Obama’s college academics were suspect, and needed to be “looked into.”
For most black people, this would be a non-starter, questioning a respected black man’s birthright and his academic credentials — but apparently black Trump supporters are either willfully ignorant of his actions, or they’ve decided, like a lot of his white supporters, that they will overlook his past transgressions, for the sake of advancing their agenda.
That agenda has not historically included people of color, in fact, Trump’s entire political platform is built upon fear, hatred and division of races. It’s no accident that hate crimes have skyrocketed under this administration. Trump knows that many of his most ardent supporters are hardcore racists.
This is further highlighted by his recent awarding of the Presidential Medal of Freedom to renowned racist, Rush Limbaugh — tarnishing the legacy of the award while giving the middle finger to those who oppose his reign. Rush has a long history of demeaning and racist comments about people of color. He once told an African-American caller to, “Take that bone out of your nose and call me back.”
Yet, with all of these egregious incidents, somehow, a significant portion of the black community, decided to further embrace this presidency. It defies logic that a conscious black person would vehemently support a man, who clearly has no affinity or respect for his culture or his skin color.
I’ve seen many black Trump supporters online, who repeat Trump’s spurious claims about his impact on black unemployment — claiming that he’s done more for black people than Obama. The rate of black unemployment has decreased under Trump’s administration, but it’s most likely just a continuation of the economic policies that President Obama initiated while in office.
I personally believe that all presidents receive too much credit for robust economies. Thriving US economies are usually the result of a thriving global economy — but presidents can certainly have some influence on fiscal policies.
Historically, black voters have identified as Democrats — pragmatically deciding which less-than-perfect white candidate, they would support for POTUS. But black Trump supporters are an enigma, because they apparently believe that they are welcomed into the cult of Trump — that their values align with Trump’s base and that Trump ultimately respects them.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
It would not be an overstatement to say that, the balance of our democracy hinges on every breath that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg takes. With an already conservative leaning SCOTUS, Trump could put the final death blow into Roe v. Wade and almost every voting and civil rights initiative in the last 60 years.
Are black Trumpers aware of this? Are they really woke? Or have they simply made a moral bargain with themselves, to reconcile Trump’s hatred in exchange for a feeling of inclusion. A chance to be perceived as a rebel and a patriot, but most importantly to not be perceived as a liberal Democrat, like the majority of African-Americans.
Whatever their rationale, they must grapple with the fact that they support a demagogue, who would gladly deny them their basic civil rights. Many of the black Trump supporters I’ve engaged with online are uneducated. I don’t completely determine a human beings’ worth, based upon their education, but it’s no coincidence that the least educated black folks are his strongest supporters.
“If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” — Malcolm X