Three weeks ago in this space, I asked whether blacks in Florida would vote for a liberal black candidate over the educational interests of their children.
The black liberal Democrat was Andrew Gillum who wanted to eliminate a program that funded vouchers for mostly low and moderate-income minority students so they could attend private schools to appease the state teachers’ union.
They rejected a white Republican candidate, Ron DeSantis, who wanted to expand the program.
Because Gillum is a liberal progressive black Democrat.
Given the choice between a white Republican who supported a program to help black and low-income children and lower taxes — Ron DeSantis — and a black liberal progressive Democrat — Andrew Gillum — who wanted to abolish the program and raise taxes, they chose Gillum over low-income children.
According to a November 13, 2018, Wall Street Journal editorial, Harvard’s Education Next Journal survey last month showed “56% of blacks and 62% of Hispanics favored private school vouchers for low-income families.”
Regarding Florida it said: “More than 400,000 kids … attend charters or receive tax-credit scholarships. Nearly 70% of scholarship recipients… are minorities.”
How ironic — and sad — that black liberal progressive Andrew Gillum was against a program supported by a majority of blacks and Hispanics. That’s probably one reason why, according to the same editorial, that “44% of the Latinos and 14% of blacks backed Mr. DeSantis compared to 38% and 12% for Gov. Rick Scott” in 2014.
These numbers show that on school choice and basic pocketbook economic issues, Hispanics got it — blacks didn’t!
If DeSantis had invested significant resources into sending a “save the children” message to Florida’s black voters through black owned media that reach the majority of Florida’s black voters, I would wager that he would have gotten more than the 14 percent noted above — and most likely enough to make his victory beyond question and above a recount margin.
But, as usual, GOP and conservative strategists and big donors treated black voters as being invisible and not important! They had the money but not the will!
While Gillum’s big donors — George Soros and Tom Steyer — new the importance of backing a black progressive, GOP big donors apparently did not urge or provide specific resources for DeSantis to reach out to black voters.
From the very beginning of the campaign, Gillum used every opportunity to play the race card and accuse DeSantis of appealing to racists.
Of course, former President Barack Obama was right there leading the Gillum cheering squad and keeping blacks in the back of the political bus. In Florida, and Georgia, blacks allowed Obama and other national Democrats and entertainers to drive their political bus into what appears to be the ditch of defeat.
Already a minority of a minority in a GOP-controlled Florida legislature, blacks are now most likely going to be locked out of the halls of the Executive branch controlled by a Republican Governor, assuming the DeSantis vote numbers will not significantly change after recounts.
Democrat leaders knew that blacks still revered Obama even, as I have stated, he did more for almost every other ethnic group during his presidency than he did for them.
As the Heritage Foundation’s Stephen Moore wrote last August in The Hill, between Obama years of 2009 to 2014, incomes "fell more for blacks than any other racial or ethnic group." Many black Republicans and conservatives feared that Gillum’s far left policies would do the same for blacks in Florida.
And then we had Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., dealing from his own race card deck. He told The Daily Beast: “…there are a lot of white folks out there who are not necessarily racist who felt uncomfortable for the first time in their lives about whether or not they wanted to vote for an African-American,” referring to the close contests in the Florida and Georgia governor’s races.
What a ridiculous accusation!
What about all of those whites who voted for Barack Obama — twice? What about the whites who voted for Gillum and Adams? Neither of them would be in close races if not for white voters. Just as with Obama, black votes alone could not give them a victory.
And let’s not forget the white voters in the Michigan U.S. Senate Republican primary who voted for John James, the black Republican candidate allowing him to win the primary. He went on to lose the general election to Democrat Debbie Stabenow 52.2 percent to 45.8 percent
I guess Sanders would say James lost because not enough Michigan white voters felt comfortable voting for a black military veteran and businessman.
I am sure most of those who voted for James were white since blacks in Michigan, like other states, are still trapped on the Democrat plantation voting for Democrats who have done nothing for them for decades. Just look at Detroit. As Jason Riley writes in the November 13, 2018, Wall Street Journal, it has “the worst urban public-school system in the nation…”
So much for the Sanders’ race card ploy.
Meanwhile, in the Florida Governor’s race, blacks, Obama and the race card were the apparent losers. The big winners — Hispanics and educational opportunity for low income minority children.
Clarence V. McKee is president of McKee Communications, Inc., a government, political, and media relations consulting firm in Florida. He held several positions in the Reagan administration as well as in the Reagan presidential campaigns. He is a former co-owner of WTVT-TV in Tampa and former president of the Florida Association of Broadcasters. Read more of his reports — Go Here Now.
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