Election 2020PoliticsStacy M. Brown

‘How Did 12 Percent of Black Men Vote for Trump?’

Juan Williams posited that he’s a Black man born in a Latin country who grew up in a Spanish-speaking family.

The author and Fox News political analyst then dove into a head-scratching fact that he, and perhaps many others, found difficult to digest.

“It stuns me to see that President Trump set a record last week by attracting the highest percentage of the non-white vote of any Republican presidential candidate in the last 60 years,” Williams wrote in an editorial for The Hill.

Maybe most stunning, Williams laments, “how did 12 percent of Black men vote for Trump?”

Support for a Democratic presidential candidate reached a new low among Black men in 2020, according to an NBC News poll of early and Election Day voters.

In Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign, 95 percent of Black male voters and 96 percent of Black women chose him, NBC News reported.

Four years later, Black women’s support remained at 96 percent for Obama’s 2012 reelection, while Black men slid to 87 percent.

In 2016, when the nominee was Hillary Clinton, Black men dropped further to 82 percent while Black women’s support for Clinton remained high at 94 percent. Biden came close to matching that this year, garnering the support of 91 percent of Black women.

But 12 percent of Black men voted for Trump, according to exit polls.

“It’s a trust issue. I view the Black community’s relationship with the Democratic Party, for example, as sort of like a domestic violence relationship,” Demetre Coles, a 25-year-old African American who lives in Waterbury, Conn., told NPR.

Coles told the outlet he voted for Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins because Coles couldn’t connect with Democrats or Republicans.

“We’ve been giving our vote to them loyally for 55, 60 years, and we have got nothing in return,” Coles remarked. “And as for the Republican Party, I don’t feel as if they care about me at all. It’s just more blatant.”

While Coles expressed a reason for casting his ballot for an alternative candidate who had virtually no chance to win, his declaration didn’t explain why so many Black men voted for Trump.

“Black men are hurting. Political parties mostly forget them, and then there’s this anger, whether it’s right or misguided, toward Biden for the 1994 Crime Bill,” said Unique Tolliver, a New York-based mathematician.

The crime bill authored by Biden and signed by President Bill Clinton was crafted to address rising crime in the United States. The law contained numerous crime prevention provisions, including the controversial “three strikes” mandatory life sentences for repeat violent offenders.

The law, which also called for funding community policing and prisons, disproportionately punished African American men, and most observers said it caused mass incarceration.

“But what Black people fail to understand is that, at the time, there were all of these Black people including the clergy, who supported the bill,” said Lenora Turner, a California-based psychologist.

“So with Black men still smarting over that bill and holding it against Biden and Trump repeatedly spreading the falsehood of how much he’s done for the Black community, you had quite the storm brewing among Black male voters,” Turner offered. “You also had respected strong Black men like Ice Cube, even though he said he didn’t endorse Trump, swaying Black men. I know that makes it sound like Black men don’t have a mind of their own, but think about what Ice Cube came out and said. He said the Democrats told him we’d talk later while Trump ‘listened’ and agreed to institute some of Cube’s initiatives in the president’s overall plan.”

Still, as Williams noted in his editorial, Trump’s racism toward Blacks and Latinos is so well-established.

Half of all Americans in a June 2020 YouGov/Yahoo News poll said outright that he is a racist, and another 13 percent could only say they are “not sure” whether he is a racist.

A Quinnipiac University poll in July 2019 found 80 percent of Black people and 55 percent of Latinos saying Trump is a racist.

A Fox News poll in July 2019 found 57 percent of Americans agreed that Trump has no respect for racial minorities.

“It’s sad to say, but a lot of Black and Latino voters, especially the men, got distracted by Trump’s boasts and bling,” Williams said.

Stacy M. Brown

I’ve worked for the Daily News of Los Angeles, the L.A. Times, Gannet and the Times-Tribune and have contributed to the Pocono Record, the New York Post and the New York Times. Television news opportunities have included: NBC, MSNBC, Scarborough Country, the Abrams Report, Today, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Imus in the Morning and Anderson Cooper 360. Radio programs like the Wendy Williams Experience, Tom Joyner Morning Show and the Howard Stern Show have also provided me the chance to share my views.

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