WASHINGTON, May 18, 2016 — Black voters have rescued Hillary Clinton’s political bacon this year, helping her to her place in American history as the first female presidential candidate to be nominated by a major party.
Clinton has taken a battering from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, but her black firewall has held. But for their remarkable support, Clinton might well have been reduced by now to just an interesting historical footnote. Why are black voters so willing to carry her political water?
Had Clinton done something extraordinary for black Americans, had she led a legislative victory that unchained them from their urban plantations, raised their standard of living or reduced their rates of imprisonment, their support would be easy to understand. But she has done nothing that should shackle black voters to her. Where is the Clinton political beef for minority voters in America?
When pollsters ask black voters why they’ve voted for Clinton over Bernie Sanders, their remarks are borderline unbelievable. “She’s been with us.” “She’s on our side.” “She will help us.” They offer only a list of non-accomplishment that goes on and on. They cannot name one thing that she has done or even championed that has helped a single black family, black youth or black child.
Thus Hillary gets millions of black votes for just seeming rather than truly being for black people.
The black vote is simply taken for granted in the presidential race. Clinton and her advisers and mainstream media supporters have already taken the black vote as a done deal. Sanders never had a chance because their vote was never up for negotiation.
For decades, black voters, who once supported Republicans, have been solidly on the Democratic plantation. The shift began when Democrats got smart and offered walking around money to black preachers, beginning in the 1932 presidential election. Black preachers began to steer their black congregations in the direction of their benefactors, Democrat-run unions and Democratic office holders.
By the 1960s, savvy Democratic and liberal leaders gave black America laws that seemed to enhance black political power, at the same time creating laws that slammed shut the doors of economic opportunity. Then they invited black “leaders” into the manor and passed out handouts to poor black people to support them through the ebbing tide of opportunity. They deftly turned black Americans into dependents and black leaders into overseers.
A little money and a lot of graft, and the black vote was locked in.
Black voters have become less concerned about their own families, neighborhoods and opportunity and more concerned with how to prosper through political patronage. They wonder how to make a buck by voting for Democrats who will eventually steal their tax dollars and dreams.
How could Sanders, a white, Jewish, Democratic socialist begin to compete?
Black voters in this year’s primary elections, especially in the South, have gone en masse for Hillary. They aren’t buying what Sanders is offering because they don’t like or know Sanders. They have erected a firewall against him and anyone who would dare stand in the way of the wife of their so-called “first black president.”
How could Bernie ever compete with that? Unlike Clinton, who has practiced the art of racial manipulation for decades, Bernie is colorblind, from one of the whitest of states in America.
That point was hammered home again and again in state primary after state primary. It was not race-baiting as much as it was voter manipulation, and the black voter firewall held. In New York, which Hillary desperately wanted to win, Sanders took a small majority of the white vote, but Hillary crushed him in the black and Hispanic vote, taking 75 and 63 percent respectively.
Whether Sanders speaks to audiences in the South, the North or the Midwest, his accent and speech patterns don’t change to suit his audience. He’s no boneless, soulless shape-shifter, becoming whatever his urban or black audience might want to project onto him. Wrong move, Bernie. Black America has grown used to the patronization and pandering that the folksy Clintons have mastered, and they eat it up.
Did Hillary Rodham or Bill Clinton ever put their lives or their political futures on the line to protest civil rights injustice, as Sanders did in the 1960s? Were they ever arrested for standing up for civil rights as Sanders was? No. It might have helped Sanders more had he been arrested with Georgia Congressman John Lewis or even the younger race-baiter in the making, Jesse Jackson. But for Sanders, no such luck.
Hillary is on a glide path to finally capture her heart’s desire, the presidency, and the black political firewall will not be shattered by Sanders.
The general election may be a done deal for black voters as well. Clinton’s support among blacks was much lower in Michigan and Wisconsin than in Alabama, and her nationwide lead among non-white voters declined between February and April. But Clinton’s opponent in November won’t be Bernie Sanders, but Donald Trump.
Black support for Clinton could change if voters finally asked themselves a few simple questions: What has Hillary done for me, my family, my community that I can see? Did she reduce black-on-black crime when she was a U.S. senator or pass legislation that created more jobs and helped more black kids graduate from high school?
Maybe once they arrive at their answer, the political firewall that has protected Hillary Clinton will come tumbling down.