“If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t Black.”
— Joe Biden
The former vice president made that bigoted remark a few months ago on a radio show called “The Breakfast Club.” He has also claimed that Republicans would like to put African Americans “back in chains.” In early August, Biden told the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials that, in contrast to the Latino community, there is virtually no diversity of thought among Blacks.
Biden’s outrageous statements, of which these examples are but a tiny fraction, cause little more than an occasional ripple of controversy. The mainstream press habitually ignores or downplays gaffes and racist comments from their party’s nominee.
It might come as a shock to Mr. Biden, but the African American community is not monolithic. A few weeks ago, in response to the former VP’s most recent asinine remarks, Condoleezza Rice weighed in to set the record straight.
The former secretary of state told The New York Times, “I would like to get to the place that, when you see somebody who is Black, you don’t have preconceived notions of what they’re capable of, who they are — by the way, what they think, which is, I think, a problem of the left.” Such are the consequences of identity politics, the lifeblood of the Democratic Party.
Democrats take the Black vote for granted. But African Americans have gained nothing from their blind allegiance. Quite the contrary. If we look at cities dominated by progressives — Minneapolis, Portland, Chicago, Seattle, New York City, Baltimore — it is apparent that Democratic policies are ruinous.
During its convention two weeks ago, the Republican Party made a long-overdue, serious pitch to Black voters. Several African Americans, including Sen. Tim Scott, Herschel Walker, Kim Klacik and many others enjoyed prominent speaking slots.
Among them was Clarence Henderson of Greensboro sit-in fame, who pointed out that President Trump has done more for Black people in four years than Joe Biden has in 50.
In 2004, an obscure state senator from Illinois gave the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention. That speech propelled Barack Obama into the national limelight, and eventually, into the White House.
Two weeks ago, the GOP introduced an equally obscure figure. He, too, instantly became the “rising star” of his party, seemingly destined for higher office. His name is Daniel Cameron, and he’s the attorney general of Kentucky.
Never heard of him? You will.
Cameron’s remarks at the RNC were brief, but uncommonly eloquent and devastatingly effective. This passage, aimed directly at Biden, was the highlight: “Mr. Vice President, look at me. I am Black. We are not all the same, sir. I am not in chains. My mind is my own. And you can’t tell me how to vote because of the color of my skin.”
Had there been a live audience, the roof would have been blown off the building.
“It’s the Democrats’ worst nightmare: an empowered Black community that will never again fall victim to their empty promises and false hope.” So wrote the late Herman Cain two years ago. Those words might have been prophetic.
Donald Trump received 8% of the Black vote in 2016 — not very impressive, but more than Mitt Romney’s 6% in 2012, and more than John McCain’s 4% in 2008. Some recent polls suggest a significant surge in support for Trump among Black voters. According to The Hill, during the RNC, Black support for Trump increased by 9%.
A sizable increase in Black support would virtually guarantee Trump’s reelection, which would improve the future prospects of African Americans.
Charles Davenport Jr. is a News & Record columnist. His column runs the first and third Sundays of the month. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org