The political and media environments routinely create a narrative about black voters (and black people in general) that does not line up with reality. They get away with it because they are counting on you to not know enough about us to be able to call them out on it.
According to Pew Research Center, 43 percent of Black Democrats (!) self-identify as “moderate” and 25 percent self-identify as “conservative”. Also according to Pew, almost eighty percent of Black Americans identify as “Christian” and only 3 percent identify as “atheist” or “agnostic.”
Politically, 58 percent of Black Democrats support charter schools. Republican Ron DeSantis is governor of Florida today as a direct result of black women voting for him in unusually large numbers over the issue of school choice. Also, over 62 percent of Black voters in Georgia support requiring an ID in order to vote. Only 28 percent of Black Americans support “Defunding the Police.” Only 19 percent of Black Americans said that they wanted police to spend less time in their area.
In other words, far-left political viewpoints are a distinct minority in the Black Community. But if you judged us based on what you hear from most national black political commentators, you would never know that. The Mainstream Media elevates some of the most politically extreme viewpoints in our community while presenting them as representative of the community as a whole. It is not. The people in power know it. But both political parties have an incentive to keep the charade going.
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The powers that be on the left want to present their views as part of the black mainstream (even when it isn’t) because it gives those views credibility. If you push back, they get to frame opposition to their viewpoint as opposition to black people. The political right (who plays a version of the same game by elevating their own black people with extreme views) also benefits because it allows them to blame their poor performance with black voters on the voters themselves and not on their own ineptitude.
The people who have been in charge of the Republican Party for years do not want their grassroots to know how many black moderates and conservatives actually exist. If you knew how much of their poor performance among Black voters was their own fault, many of you would challenge Republicans in power on their incompetence. They do not want a bunch of white conservatives showing up to town hall meetings demanding that they put forth a serious effort to attract black voters.
So Republicans in power pretend that black voters are unwinnable. Black voters interpret that as “you don’t want us” and therefore continue to vote for the people who will at least give enough of a damn to show up.
There are plenty of places that elevate black far-left views. Many outlets on the right (when they have black voices at all) do the same in the opposite direction. But who represents the voice of the Black majority?
This site has done an exceptional job elevating and supporting the voices of the Black majority. My network has also fought to elevate those voices. But there needs to be more. We are working against the tide as long as there are incentives in place to encourage the elevation of the extreme at the expense of the majority. You can remove the incentive by refusing to allow the people in power to keep playing the game. They know what they are doing, and they are counting on you to not recognize it or call them out. Political parties fear nothing but the anger of their grassroots. Do not allow them to continue to get away with lying to you about black people.
I personally think that most of the time, both political parties are trash. However, as a black man, I also believe strongly that it is not in the best interests of black people to have all of our political capital invested into only one party. Doing so creates the dilemma that we have today, where one party ignores our issues and the other one exploits them. The only way to provide better political outcomes for black people is to have competition for our votes. If you care about the future of this country, you should want that competition to take place. A strong Black America is good for all of America.
Darvio Morrow is the CEO of the FCB Radio Network, which hosts RedState Editor at Large Kira Davis’ “Just Listen to Yourself” podcast, RedState Senior Contributor Sarah Lee’s “Marble Halls and Silver Screens” podcast, and the “Sounds Right With Jen and Scott” podcast, hosted by RedState Managing Editor Jennifer Van Laar and Contributor Scott Hounsell.