Al Sharpton warned Democratic leaders about fading support for black voters

Civil rights leaders say the party must increase its appeal or risk Trump or other Republicans making inroads

Rev. Al Sharpton has warned Democratic leaders they must increase the party's appeal to African-American voters or risk Donald Trump or other Republican leaders making bigger inroads with black voters ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

Speaking to the Guardian from the Harlem headquarters of his civil rights group, the National Action Network (NAN), in New York City, Sharpton, 68, said Trump's meager 2020 support among voters in certain minority demographics should set off alarms. for Democratic Party strategists.

"We didn't see that coming. We have to be very careful not to neglect it.” Black voters have been critical to Joe Biden's success in 2020, both in securing the Democratic nomination and in his victory in the November general election.

Partly in recognition of such support, the president proposed that South Carolina, a state with a majority of Black Democratic voters, should be promoted to hold its first nominating contest in the 2024 primary.

Polls from the 2020 presidential contest showed that Trump increased his support among black men by six points during his 2016 appearance. The increase was recorded despite Trump's hostility toward minorities during his time in the White House, including a ban on immigration travel from Muslim-majority countries. , attacks on prominent black leaders, and flirtations with white supremacist organizations.

Sharpton commented in 2019 that Trump has a "special poison" for people of color.

A more detailed study of 2020 voting patterns by the Pew Research Center and AP VoteCast found Trump's increase in support among Black voters to be less pronounced, increasing from 6% of the Black vote in 2016 to just 8% in 2020. The shift is much more prominent among Hispanic Americans, with Trump's share of that disparate electorate increasing from 28% to 38% over four years.

Sharpton spoke with the Guardian ahead of the release of the Loudmouth cinematic, a new documentary about his life and civil rights struggles. The film follows his long record of activism, beginning with a 1970s confrontation against racial violence in an all-white New York neighborhood and leading to the speech he gave at George Floyd's funeral after the black man was killed by a white police officer. officers in Minneapolis in 2020.

Sharpton said his own conversations led him to believe that a small percentage of black voters remained on board with Trump's politics and that should be an issue for Democratic party leaders. "When I go around nationally, people might say they are a little bit more conservative, especially black men," he said.

Some of Trump's exclamations could be dismissed as misogyny, Sharpton suggested. “I got it on my radio show. 'A black woman appointed justice? a black woman as vice president? what about black men?'”

Sharpton said he also feels some disconnect, for example, between black male voters in Georgia and the governorship bid for Stacey Abrams, the Democratic challenger who lost this year's midterm election to incumbent Republican governor Brian Kemp. Weeks before the November election, there were reportedly concerns within Abrams' camp that his support among black men had softened since he previously ran against Kemp, narrowly losing in 2018.

Anti-immigrant sentiment, fueled by Trump's false narrative that migrants entering across the southern border are taking jobs from Americans, including African Americans, is also a factor, Sharpton believes. As part of his justification for building a barrier along the vast US-Mexico border, Trump has frequently spoken of black and Hispanic Americans in the US being hit hardest by "uncontrolled illegal migration" that is driving down jobs and wages.

Sharpton said: “That's one of the reasons I go to the Texas border to stand with migrants. That's misinformation. People should hear other arguments, say no, this is not true."

Sharpton, now hosting MSNBC, urged Democratic leaders to focus more directly on the concerns of black voters. “They did better, but they didn't do their best. I want to see them do a lot more. The party must show not how smart it is, but how committed it is.”

Trump and Sharpton, both prominent New Yorkers who grew up outside, have long crossed paths. They used to think of each other as friends – Sharpton flew in Trump's helicopter, Trump headlined the NAN event – but after Trump officially switched from business to politics, they became rivals.

Sharpton said Trump encouraged him to remain actively involved in civil rights work. "No one can stand against Trump like I can, because I know him," he said. "Now I'll see what happens after '24 - I want to be here in '25."

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post

Contact Form