PBS host Tavis Smiley penned an opinion piece in USA Today where he breaks down the reasons why black voters could possibly support controversial Republican candidate Donald Trump.
With Hillary Clinton racking up more overwhelming victories in Super Tuesday primaries thanks to the overwhelming support of African-American voters, the conventional wisdom is that she has the black vote on lock down. She might be wrong.
Clinton has already been endorsed by most members of the Congressional Black Caucus, many big city black mayors and other notable black elected officials from California to the Carolinas.
Additionally, she’s also getting not so subtle signs of support from Obama White House insiders and a few shout-outs from President Obama himself. Initially, the president promised to remain neutral until the primary season was over, but he recently appeared to ever so gently open the door to an endorsement of his former secretary of State sooner than expected.
Personally, I never thought Obama would wait that long, not after what Bill Clinton did for him at the Democratic National Convention in 2012 to help energize his re-election campaign. I suspect Obama would love nothing more than to even the score by repaying the debt he owes the Clintons. Politics is funny. First, they run against each other in a nasty campaign with racial overtones, then they feign friendship and work together, then Bill gallops in to help Barack win a second term, and now Hillary needs the president’s support to win the presidency. Talk about triangulation.
Nonetheless, the conventional wisdom is that black voters have forgiven the Clintons for their attempt to diminish Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, and this time around, they’ve got Hillary’s back. Except everyone knows that in this presidential election cycle, conventional wisdom left the building long before the train ever left the station. Something tells me that if Donald Trump is indeed the Republican nominee, it might be a miscalculation for Democrats to assume that black voters are a lock for their nominee, even with the first black president and Barack Obama both campaigning for her.
For starters, charisma, charm and likeability aren’t transferable. While the chance to elect the first woman president is indeed tantalizing for many, in black America specifically, it’s not exactly the same as watching an African-American first family taking up residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Indeed, even women haven’t as yet rallied en masse around Hillary the way black folk did around Obama.
Second, the number of everyday black voters who we assume will dismiss Trump because of his anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim attacks might well be inflated. While I certainly have had my say about Trump being a “religious and racial arsonist” (and he responded quickly on Twitter), not everyone in black America agrees with me. I have been taken by myriad conversations I’ve had with black folk who don’t find those comments by Trump necessarily or automatically disqualifying. In the coming days, we will see whether his initial refusal last Sunday on CNN to disavow the endorsement of David Duke, the Ku Klux Klan and white supremacy might anger black voters. Interestingly, almost two months ago, CNN ran a story about a white supremacist group doing robocalls for Trump in Iowa. He didn’t denounce them then and seems to not have suffered for it.
Continue reading the full article here.
What do you think about Tavis’ take? Would you consider supporting Donald Trump?