Politics/Elections

Can Black Voters Reject Democrats and Vote Republican?

By Maria-Paula

 

For the first time in history, Census Bureau recent reports are showing a population decrease in  the U.S. white population with a decline in its electorate share in the past decades. This has sent shock waves through the Republicans camp while prompting celebration among some Democrats.

This is because the Democrats’ promising demographic trends and increase in diversity may continue to positively impact the party in the near future.

As President Joe Biden won nearly nine out of ten Black votes in the 2020 presidential elections, the Republican dash this year to pass what most Democrats call, new restrictive voting laws, indicate panic as the Republican party has only won one popular vote contest in the previous eight presidential elections.

In this tag of war, either party can win the allegiance of Black voters in the future as the Republicans will clearly not sit and watch Democrats turn the tables against them. The enactment of policies that benefit the African American community remain the key to any of the parties winning the Black community’s loyalty.

 Bishop E.W. Jackson of Chesapeake, however, shares a different sentiment. He has, for years, been persuading Black voters to renounce the Democratic Party. Through his STAND Virginia PAC, he argues that the talk should be about policies which unite Virginians, to uphold Virginia’s Judeo-Christian heritage and values of faith, freedom and family.

He thinks the Democratic policies have been devastating to the Black community, economically, educationally  and culturally. His first video on the topic – “Exodus Now” – was released in 2010 and watched by two million people.

Jackson says that black and other minority voters are turned off by the far left politics of former Gov. Terry McAuliffe(D) who is running for governor again in November, and recently announced that he would not allow parents’ opinions in what public schools teach their children.

But, is this even possible? Here’s a glimpse on what the journey has been so far.

In 1929, after almost 100 years of support, Black voters in unison ditched the Republican party when the federal government failed to enact laws that protected them against discrimination and lynching. Most Americans probably didn’t foresee the sudden political  shift before it happened.

“It took nearly 40 years for Black voters to shift from being Lincoln Republicans to Roosevelt and Kennedy Democrats,” says Jackson. “America’s inner cities are beset by an epidemic of crime, violence and failing schools. Instead of addressing these issues, Democrats have focused on radical sex education for children as early as preschool. Roosevelt and Kennedy would be kicked out of today’s radical Democrat Party.”

Ads which touch on crime, school choice, safety and the “anti-Christian” agenda of the Democrat Party, according to Jackson, started running on Tuesday, Oct. 19 on gospel radio stations in Richmond, Norfolk and other urban areas in Virginia  

From the East St. Louis of 1917, the Red Summer of 1919, the Tulsa massacre of 1921, Rosewood of 1923, Herbert Hoover’s (R) support for the “lily white” movement and response to the “Great Depression” together with the Republicans’ association with the Ku Klux Klan, were all clear indicators of the growing violence against people of color. This then prompted a change of guard in Hoover’s defeat to a Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) as president to play in as a majority of Black voters felt abandoned with no civil rights laws in their favor.

The Democratic wave of change continued as the only Black Republican congress representative and an aggressive Roosevelt supporter, Oscar De Priest of Chicago, lost his seat to Black Democrat Arthur Mitchell, for opposing New Deal programs. Eventually, in 1935, Mitchell became the first African American Democrat to serve in Congress after years of Republican dominion.

African Americans then started leaving the Republican Party in their numbers. This trend handed Roosevelt the first Democratic presidency in 1936 with 71 percent of Black votes.

 As Roosevelt focused on courting the party’s southern whites while enacting the New Deal coalition, he lost the Black focus agenda. This resulted in the exclusion of domestic work and agriculture from, key programs like Social Security and the National Labor Relations, disproportionately affecting the Blacks who dominated these industries. His refusal to honor Jesse Owens, a winner of four gold medals and other Black Olympians in the White House after the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, continued to punch his already damaged image amongst the Black community.

Also, despite Roosevelt seeking the counsel of advisers known as his “Black Cabinet,” he resisted calls to appoint an African American to serve in his actual Cabinet. This portrayed him as a Democrat president who left his own out.

The following years remained uncertain with the obstruction of civil rights progress by the southern based lawmakers in the Democratic party.

In 1956, the Black southern base shifted to Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a win attributed to weaknesses on the Democratic party’s contender.  

By 1960, the two parties had inched more on the emerging civil rights issues with defender Martin Luther King, Jr. in jail. King believed that the absence of positive leadership from Washington was not confined to one political party. Democratic nominee John F. Kennedy’s purported concern call to King’s wife, Coretta Scott King persuaded the influential King, to support the Democratic candidate in that years election.

Following decades of uncertainty, Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson is seen to have ended the racial arrangement when he signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. One political party, for the first time since Reconstruction, had delivered major concrete legislation to help Black people. African Americans were keen enough, and surprised as Johnson went ahead to sign the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968.

 As Black voters find themselves once again re-evaluating their political pacts. A number of factors notwithstanding, Blacks today, just like their predecessors, feel increasingly unprotected the same way it was a century ago.  

After giving their votes to Democratic candidates almost exclusively for 60 years, they wait to see if the positions have been changed between the two parties and the true stand will only be known November 3, following the general election.

 

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.