First, it was #Walkaway. Now, it’s #Blexit. Black Americans are finally unashamed to espouse their support for President Donald Trump and his policies — an omen that the Democratic Party’s most faithful base of support is cracking.
While #Blexit puts a new name on what could be a mass movement, blacks have been trickling away from progressive politics for some time now and the flow will only swell.
Each time a black person voices opposition to progressive politics and independence from the Democratic Party, black leaders and elites are quick to attack them.
Maybe it is to silence them and maybe it is out for fear that others may follow.
For example, a group of young blacks gathered in Washington, D.C. last week for a leadership conference that included a televised visit to the White House to meet President Trump. The Rev. Al Sharpton denigrated this meeting as a "shameful" photo-op and claimed these students were just being used as props.
Kanye West visited the White House earlier this month to discuss black unemployment, manufacturing, and criminal justice reform.
A CNN panel of black intelligentsia attacked Kanye calling him "anti-intellectual," the "token Negro of the White House," and "an example of what happens when Negros don’t read."
Black pastors and civic leaders, who once marveled at Dr. Ben Carson’s achievements and touted his unlikely journey to medicine, have cut ties with him because of his conservative views, suggesting he has lost the sense of "who he is."
The underlying assumption is that being black means sharing the same experiences, espousing the same view of American society as discriminatory, believing that liberals offer the best policy subscriptions for the black community, and voting Democratic.
Most certainly, it means hating President Trump.
Shifting polling indicates just how wrong these assumptions are.
One year ago, President Trump’s favorability among blacks was 11 percent up one percentage point from when he took office. Favorability for Democrats was 55 percent and Republicans 12 percent (up two points from the start of 2017). Their most important issue was Social Security.
Today, the President’s favorability has doubled to 22 percent. Favorability for Republicans is up to 21 percent, although it’s also up for Democrats to 62 percent. This Economist poll indicates that healthcare is now the top priority, followed by the economy.
The signs of trouble for Democrats have been brewing for a while. The Congressional Black Caucus was presented with a survey in 2017 that found 63 percent of black Americans felt taken for granted by the Democratic Party.
Last year, a poll of black female voters revealed an 11 percentage-point drop in support for the Democratic Party as best representing their interest. Republicans did not capture that lost support as these women don’t see either party representing them well. Still, it’s an opening for Republicans.
Going into next week’s midterm elections, according to Rasmussen, the economy is top of mind for black voters (31 percent) above all other issues, including Obamacare (22 percent) and President Trump (16 percent).
That bodes well for President Trump under whose watch black unemployment fell to the lowest level in recorded history at 5.9 percent in May and was at its second-lowest level last month.
News outlets like this rush to divert attention away from the rock-bottom black unemployment rates toward gaps in unemployment and wealth. It’s true that blacks still have higher unemployment than every other demographic, but even those gaps are slowly closing.
Blacks are walking away from the Democratic Party and progressive agenda because they are tired of the solutions that erode independence and leave black families and communities worse off.
From high unemployment to underperforming schools, the left has not promoted good solutions, only greater spending on public assistance and failing schools and greater regulations that drive up the costs of everyday items for black families.
The right is scaling back the unnecessary red tape that inhibits work, entrepreneurship, and private enterprise. Conservatives provided black homeschooling families tax relief and push for school choice so that kids are not limited by their zip code.
The Trump administration is trying to bring back manufacturing with good-paying jobs, encouraging the private sector to invest in retraining workers, and boosting apprenticeships for younger workers.
We need more of these kinds of policies and black communities must demand better than what they've tolerated from the left in the past.
#Blexit may be the watershed moment for blacks and it’s long overdue.
Patrice Lee Onwuka is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Independent Women’s Forum and a contributor to Bold Global Media. Onwuka has worked in the advocacy and communications fields for more than a decade. Prior to joining IWF, she served as national spokeswoman and communications director at Generation Opportunity, and worked at The Philanthropy Roundtable and the Fund for American Studies in policy and media roles. She was also a speech writer for a United Nations spokesman. Onwuka is a regular guest on Fox News, Fox Business News, MSNBC, and PBS programs. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Hill, Bloomberg, The Washington Times, the New York Post, the Christian Science Monitor, and other outlets. She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Tufts University and a master’s degree in economics and international relations from Boston College. Follow her @PatricePinkFil. To read more of her reports — Click Here Now.
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