I tried to stay quiet…I promise I did. But I’m two glasses of wine in and there are too many Black men who need to hear this. So here the f**k we go…
To the Black men who voted for and support Donald Trump: For you, this is not wasted breath. To you, I write the following Op-Ed.
In these closing days of the 2020 presidential campaign, a remarkable and surprising measure of campaign attention is falling upon African American voters — specifically a small and typically overlooked segment: young Black men. Several recent polls have found that Trump actually has more support from Black men now than he did in 2016 — an estimated 17% compared to the previous 14%. (The Hill).
I have seen your posts, your comments, your memes. I have seen your support for this man. So rampant, so passionate, up and down my newsfeed, like a true Karen. But it’s not Karen. It’s you. My Black brotha, my fellow millennial. It’s YOU!
At first, I was too infuriated to listen, too pissed to try and understand your point of view. But, I’m ready now. For you, I’m ready to listen, to learn. And thus far, this is what I have gathered:
You Don’t Like Kamala Harris – Or better yet, you don’t think she likes you, a Black man in America. And let’s be real according to her track record, you have good reason not to be a fan. Given her early departure from the Democratic Presidential ticket, her record, in some senses, escaped a thorough vetting. And even though she is now on track to be our next VP, we are still waiting for answers. And here come those Democrats, urging you to push aside your feelings on her record to VOTE! “Vote like your life depends on it!” a popular phrase that Kamala has coined. But as far as you’re concerned, you are! So let’s talk numbers. Let’s talk facts. FACT: During her time as San Francisco’s district attorney, the conviction rate jumped from 52% to 67%. FACT: From 2002–2005, during her tenure, Black people made up less than 8% of the city’s population but accounted for over 40% of its police arrests. FACT: While she was attorney general for the state, her office oversaw over 1,900 marijuana convictions— convicting people on marijuana charges at a higher rate than under her predecessor. FACT: One of the biggest criticism of then-Attorney General Harris was in 2011, when she openly defied U.S. Supreme Court orders to reduce overcrowding in California prisons and argued against expanding an early parole program in court. FACT: For many of these reasons, she was not my Democratic nominee either homie! I wanted Buttigieg, but ya’ll ain’t ready for all that! LOL! But seriously bro, I hear you. I do. But let me ask you this: Why is it that time and time again white men have been able to sit behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office for more egregious offenses in their past? Why is it that they can be forgiven for their past transgressions with an apology? An apology, that in most cases, wasn’t even asked for?! Most importantly, why is it that when these things happen, they are so quickly dismissed as just politics? Why is it just politics for him, but not for her?
I’ll tell you why. It’s because the most disrespected, unprotected, neglected person in America is the Black woman (MalcomX).
You think Trump’s got your back on criminal justice reform? The man who is all about being “tough on crime” and “the death penalty” ? And sure bro, it’s played out, but for good reason…his role in “The Central Park Five,” sends chills down my spine every time I read about it. And please! Take a look at his First Step Act. Which rather than reforming the system itself, mostly involves backend reforms that affect those who are already incarcerated. It does not address frontend solutions to the issues that funnel people of color (YOU AND ME) into the justice system in the first place. Issues such as over-policing, bail reform, racial profiling, mandatory minimums, all of which are left unaddressed. And don’t get me started on Mike Pence and House Bill 1006! Which he only agreed to sign after lawmakers made changes to make the bill tougher on offenders convicted of drug crimes. Forcing them to serve 75% of their time opposed to the original 50%. So now Black residents in 23 counties in Indiana are three and a half times more likely than white residents to be arrested for marijuana possession, despite having similar marijuana usage rates. FACTS.
So if you truly think that Trump and Pence are the ones to lead us toward real criminal justice reform — let alone govern for the next 4 years with us in mind, you got it all the way twisted bro… (Level – Why Black Men Don’t Like Kamala Harris — And How It Can Stop).
To be continued…