2020-11-03 03:05:48 UTC
WASHINGTON - Longtime Black Democratic congressional leaders Reps. Maxine Waters
and James Clyburn are troubled by the possibility that more Black voters could
reelect President Donald Trump for a second term.
"I don't even know where any Blacks would be coming from that would be voting
for Trump," Waters, D-Calif., said in a Friday interview with SiriusXM's Joe
Madison. It just hurts me so bad to see Blacks talking about supporting Trump."
While Black Republican voters have always been around, Black voters, especially
Black men, appear to be stepping closer to conservative principles. The stamp of
approval from some famous, wealthy rappers, such as Ice Cube, Lil Wayne and 50
Cent, has pushed talk of Black conservatism and Black class priorities back into
the national conversation.
Those individuals are only thinking about themselves and not the Black community
as a whole, Waters and Clyburn, D-S.C., say. A vote for Trump would be a vote
against themselves and their better interests, the politicians said in separate
interviews over the weekend.
Trump has engaged in divisiveness and racial dog-whistling to the right wing and
to white supremacists who are emboldened by his rhetoric, according to Waters.
It's imperative for Black voters to uplift former vice president Joe Biden and
vote Democratic as they usually do, Waters said, if Trump is to be ousted from
the White House.
But the hold that the Democratic Party has had over Black voters might be
loosening, making it harder for Biden to grasp victory.
Black women are more likely than Black men to vote Democrat, according to the
Pew Research Center. The gap between Black women and Black men identifying as
Democrats in 2018 and 2019 was the widest to date.
Waters said younger Black men lack a greater understanding about how systems
work in the country and the channels to break favoritism that largely excludes
the typical American, pointing to her and Rep. Nydia Velázquez, D-N.Y., blocking
big restaurants and hotels from taking up all the Paycheck Protection Program
"I will never ever forgive them for undermining the possibility to help their
own people and their own communities," she said of young Black men choosing
Trump. "It is absolutely unconscionable. It is shameful."
Trump won 8% of the Black vote in 2016, and the threat of his gaining a point
more from Black men holds serious consequences for Black families, according to
"They have a price to pay for years to come if they help put Trump over and help
get him elected. They will go down in history as having done the most despicable
thing to their families and to their communities and to their mothers and their
grandmothers," she said. "This man is about doing away with Social Security as
we know it. And their grandmothers who are sitting there waiting on those Social
Security checks every month or they couldn't eat. Doing away with Medicare, as
we know it, they will shamefully be accused of having attributed to the lack of
a quality life for the people they claim to love so much."
A Fox News poll projected that Trump could win as much as 14% of the Black vote,
a baffling figure that clashes with other poll projections, Clyburn said in an
interview with Fox News on Sunday.
"I can tell you this sincerely. I'm the father of three Black women. I am the
son of a Black woman," he said. "If any Black man can go in a polling place and
cast a vote for a man who referred to a Black woman as a dog on national
television, I'm going to have to pray for them."
Trump stirred accusations of racism in 2018 when he called former White House
staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman a dog after her ousting from his
administration. He has used the term often to describe people no longer in his
favor, but directing the insult to a Black woman appeared to have layers of
vitriol to some critics.
When a Fox News anchor accused Clyburn of pushing the same rhetoric as Biden,
who received backlash this year for questioning a Black person's racial identity
if they don't vote for him, Clyburn clarified that his comment was not about
checking who is Black and who is not.
"Any man that calls one of my three daughters a dog, I will never vote for
them," Clyburn said. "All of us that I know are products or sons of Black women.
I don't stand for that kind of insult for my mothers, for my sisters or my