By now, you must have heard and read about all the thanks black people got for overwhelmingly voting for Democrat Doug Jones in Alabama’s senate election. This is not the only election this year in which black people have turned out in droves to put a Democrat in the winning seat. A similar thing happened in the Virginia governor race back in November. Of course, for years, Democrats have had (almost) a monopoly on the black vote.

A little history…

Most black voters backed the Republican Party since Abraham Lincoln and up to the early part of the 20th century. Back then, the Democrats ruled the Southern states and did not even welcome blacks into the party up until 1924. Things started to change in the 1930s with FDR’s New Deal and the desegregation of the military in the late 1940s.

black vote, black voters, why do blacks vote for democrats, blacks and democratic party, black excellenceThe mass exodus to the Democratic Party intensified when the Civil Rights Act passed in 1964 under President Johnson. Since then, no Democratic presidential candidate has received less than 82% of the black vote.

The numbers…

black vote, black voters, why do blacks vote for democrats, blacks and democratic party, black excellenceThe problem…

The problem is that black people are so darn loyal to their party affiliation that the Democratic party takes the black vote for granted every election year. And that is frustrating beyond words.

Ok, first, let’s make one thing clear. We are not, in any way,  saying the Democratic Party is equal to the Republican Party. For years, the Republican Party has alienated black voters through even more unfair policies and out right divisive and disrespectful rhetoric. President Trump did not grow in a vacuum. Although he has taken it even further than expected, the toxic soil, sunshine, oxygen, and water that is the Republican Party made his existence and flourish possible.

black vote, black voters, why do blacks vote for democrats, blacks and democratic party, black excellenceYes, Democrats have not openly and vulgarly disrespected blacks. But they have done it by turning their backs on us after we get them into office. In what ways?

  • Putting Wall Street ahead of main street, where a lot of people of color live.
  • Mass incarceration laws that have devastated black families. You know what Clinton did.
  • Large cities across America, led by majority Democratic mayors and city council members, facing wider and wider economical gaps what have left the black community crippled. Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Baltimore,…
  • Shutting down more progressive candidates and moving the party closer and closer to the center and right, right to where most of the problems start

The list is long.

Granted, the Democratic Party has given us the first black president, and we cannot forget all the positive legislation that has come out of the party. And the party is more racially diverse than the Republican Party. But that’s simply not enough anymore. It feels like the black community has been left behind. Just like they court Wall Street for money and Wall Street gets bailed out, the black community should be courted and get something in return for our votes. Just simply being better than the Republican Party is not enough.

 

RELATED: 30 Years After The First Black Billionaire, What’s The State of Black Wealth?  

The fix…

We are NOT advocates for not voting at all.  Staying out of the polls is the worst thing we can possibly do.  The better of two evils is still better, much better. And we are not foolish enough to suggest that a third party candidate should be getting your vote when third parties, like the Green Party, have not positioned themselves to the point where they can take the presidency, the governorship, or to get to Congress.

Here is what we advocate for:

  • Blind loyalty to the Democratic Party must end! Outside of voting for your Democratic candidate every two, four, and six years, ask what they have done for your community and hold them accountable. Giving them a vote they don’t have to work for is only going to put us in their back burner, again and again. No more!
  • Do your research when it comes to third parties and vote them into office in local elections first. Put them in a positions where the party can steadily grow in local, state, and national politics.
  • Support black candidates BUT make sure they represent your interest.  We need to put ourselves into power so we can change it from the inside too.

The best possible scenario is that we turn out for the Democratic Party and they turn out for us. But if they don’t, we have to look out for our own interest. Show up like Chance the Rapper to your local city, town, state meeting and ask questions and demand for what your community needs. We have to be our own advocates and make our money and effort talk and our voices heard.

 

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Author

Roman Debotch is a filmmaker, photographer, and co-founder of blackexcellence.com. Through the platform that is Black Excellence, she has been able to marry her passion for story telling with her passion for issues affecting the black community. Roman earned her B.A. in Film and TV Studies and ventured into the world of video production after college. She produced music, corporate, and event videos for years before co-founding BlackExcellence.com. Since then, she has been working as a contributor to the platform as well as continuing her video production business. The very limited time Roman is away from either writing or shooting a video, she can be found hiking or enjoying one of Southern California's beautiful beaches.

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