One of the big questions surrounding this election is whether black voters will support Biden or whether there’s any truth to the “blacks-for-Trump” narrative.
Some claim that blacks are a monolithic voting block in support of Democrats. But if recent trends are accurate, not only are black voters not a shoe-in for Biden, but also black support for Trump is as internally varied as is white support for Biden.
Of course, I must admit up front my biases and amateur status with the topic:
- I’m white.
- I grew up in New York City in the 1960s and ’70s, and every one of the dozen or so times I was mugged or attacked as a kid it was by blacks or latinos. This might translate into residual bitterness or guilt-driven pandering because of my comfortable childhood.
- I voted for Trump in 2016 and most likely will again on November 3, so I am prone to have confirmation bias to justify my decisions.
- I am not a professional researcher and can’t determine how many outliers are acceptable in a dataset before those outliers are not “outliers” anymore, but:
- In my field of nonprofit fundraising I’ve demonstrated my pattern recognition ability by proving an area of business as a leading indicator of year-end charitable giving, and
- It’s this ability in pattern recognition that I’m relying on.
Therefore, I’d like to offer the following analysis, opinionated and biased as it may be, and forecast that black voters will be one of three key groups swinging the election in Trump’s favor.
(The other two, I would argue, are Independent or Democrat voters living in major cities — especially in cities like New York, where there is demonstrable disgust with Democrats at all levels — and voters associated with law enforcement and the military.)
Blacks for Trump: Fake
I’ll mention only in passing fake pro-Trump social media accounts, because they are so easily fabricated to be meaningless. This Washington Post article notes that many of the fake accounts even have the same tagline.
What’s more interesting to me is to see verified black supporters of Trump and those in favor of some of his policies and how different these supporters are from one another.
Each in their own way seems like an anomaly, an outlier. But how many anomalies are we willing to accept before we see a pattern in the data?
As I outlined in this recent post, very different kinds of black individuals are backing Trump.
We white people can easily overlook this: we see blacks as a monolithic group in behavior and attitude. And I’d go a step further: watch how many white conservatives — and I am a registered Independent, by the way — will let black Trump supporters speak for themselves, as I do below — versus white progressives, who often speak for blacks with a certain patronizing urgency.
In other words, white progressives will often say, as if speaking truth, “Trump hurts blacks because of ____” and then outline the policies, data, and polling they read or see, some of which is most certainly biased or incomplete. White conservatives, on the other hand, will often say, “Listen: here’s what black voters themselves say about Trump.”
So let’s take a look at what some black voters say about Trump.
Blacks for Trump: Real
I’ve found from following black Trump supporters that they are as varied in the reasons for their support as are white supporters of Biden. Most of them would likely not be found at the same cocktail or tailgate parties.
- Hodge Twins — these Trump-supporting retired Marines have a YouTube account with more than 1 million subscribers. Surely this includes a vast majority number of non-black Trump supporters, because the videos are hugely entertaining for people of all races, and they also appear to confirm for whites like me that there is black support for Trump. Their twitter account has more than 700,000 followers. Scrolling down the list of followers, you’ll note that most are white or undetermined (they have some random image, etc.).
- But let’s continue to triangulate this pair’s support with the others.
- Antoine Tucker — (Pronounced ANN-tone.) An underdog congressional candidate for AOC’s seat (NY-14), Tucker not only reminds us that he would be the first ex-felon to be elected to Congress — though Congress almost certainly has felons in office who just haven’t been caught yet — but also that he doesn’t want to be grouped with other conservatives, part of what he calls “Conservative Inc.” He has nearly 250,000 twitter followers, points to support by Trump and is an independent voice. Some might say too independent. He’s a write-in candidate, and it will be interesting to see how he does on November 3.
- Intellectual Thomas Sowell, while he hasn’t endorsed Trump to my knowledge, has claimed that a Biden administration could spell doom for the country.
- Ice Cube has 5.6 million twitter followers and, I’d argue, is a bellwether of the varied black support of Trump:
- Sifting through this twitter thread should convince any white person that “the black vote” is a myth. Even I erroneously talk about the “black vote” shifting toward Trump, which is one more example of identity politics. Cube is one voice of many showing that there is, in fact, no “black vote,” but rather there are various people with dark skin — dark-skinned Cubans living in Miami who are die-hard Trump supporters alongside Snoop Dogg roasting him — whom white people treat as one group. As Ice Cube puts it, “there’s a system…that is designed with a dedication to keeping [blacks] at the bottom of this country. …I don’t trust none of [the presidents]. No president has done right by us.”
- To unite blacks with very different party affiliations around policy matters that he would say inordinately affect blacks, Ice Cube presented his Contract With Black America (CWBA).
- Although there are progressive-sounding parts to this document, like the “Baby Bonds” called for in the Federal Funding section, the 13th section is called “Black Responsibility” and includes this line: “As we gain social and economic equality, we must begin to dissolve any bitterness in our hearts for past wrongs.” This is sure to raise the eyebrows of whites and blacks alike.
- By the way, there is a common misconception that Ice Cube has endorsed Trump. This is untrue, according to Black Enterprise‘s coverage of the rapper’s statements.
- What is true is that the Trump Campaign sat down with Cube to discuss the CWBA and ultimately used part of the CWBA in Trump’s Platinum Plan (black communities’ access to $500 billion in capital for job creation, confirmed by Snopes.com). Biden’s campaign deferred a meeting with Cube until after the election.
Ice Cube has shattered the myth of “the black vote.”
In sum, consider other Trump-supporting black Americans you wouldn’t necessarily find at the same cocktail or tailgate party: Candace Owens, Christian Walker, the two ladies of Diamond and Silk and — need we mention? — Kanye, who once backed Trump and now apparently doesn’t.
The “black vote” is neither a monolithic block for the Democrats nor monolithic within its support of President Trump. If there’s a “pattern” here, it’s that black support of Trump is a loose patchwork of differing views, arguably more so than white support. Some are die-hard (Hodge Twins, Diamond and Silk), others are flip-flop (Kanye), others are cautionary (Sowell) and still others (Ice Cube) seek common cause with whoever can deliver the goods.
“Blacks for Trump.”
Fake or real?