As the first reports emerge of falling black turnout in early voting — a threat to Hillary Clinton’s ambitions — the New York Times Magazine has published an essay by a black reporter arguing that Donald Trump is right about at least one thing: Democrats have abandoned black voters.
Nikole Hannah-Jones, a civil rights reporter, argues in “Donald Trump’s Inconvenient Truth” that while Trump is wrong about a great many things, and the Republican Party is working to make voting more difficult for blacks, the essence of Trump’s critique of the Democratic party rings true.
Moreover, she says, Trump has done more than point out that Democrats are failing to serve the needs of poor black people. He has also, Hannah-Jones writes, integrated the black working class into the mainstream of “hard-working” Americans. In that way, she says, he has put black Americans into a position where they have real political power, if they want to use it.
Whatever his motives, Trump was talking about the black working class in a way that few national politicians do.
… Trump, at least rhetorically, did something the Democrats and Republicans have largely failed to do — he took black citizens into the ranks of “hardworking Americans” worthy of the government’s hand.
What I am saying is that when Trump claims Democratic governance has failed black people, when he asks “the blacks” what they have to lose, he is asking a poorly stated version of a question that many black Americans have long asked themselves. What dividends, exactly, has their decades-long loyalty to the Democratic ticket paid them? By brushing Trump’s criticism off as merely cynical or clueless rantings, we are missing an opportunity to have a real discussion of the failures of progressivism and Democratic leadership when it comes to black Americans.
Trump is not wrong when he says that black Americans have suffered in a particular way in blue cities and blue states. (Of course, they suffer in red states as well.)
While Republicans rarely make any effort to court black voters, Democrats do reach out to them. But Democratic politicians have also shown again and again that they will sacrifice the needs of their most loyal constituents in order to win larger political points.
Read the whole essay here.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.