A Lot to Lose
To paraphrase President Donald Trump, African-Americans, what the hell do you have to lose?
Well, voting rights for one thing.
For years, the Republican Party and some of its most vocal pundits like Candace Owens have tried to get African-Americans to leave the Democratic Party for the GOP.
However, the Republican Party and all of Owens’ Blexit (Black exit from Democratic Party) supporters have to realize that suppressing African-American voters makes it totally impossible for any intelligent African-American voter to support the party.
And the fact that America will become blacker and browner in the coming decades, the Republican Party will find itself on the losing end of many future elections because it decided to totally get into bed with a racist commander-in-chief like President Trump.
For decades, the Democratic Party has almost owned a monopoly when it comes to African-American voters.
Every presidential election season, African-Americans often vote for the Democratic candidate approximately 90 percent of the time.
Unfortunately, this produces a dilemma for the African-American community.
To paraphrase baseball legend Jackie Robinson, why should the Democratic Party do anything for the African-American community when they know they will automatically get our vote?
Likewise, why should the GOP do anything for the African-American community when they know they will automatically not get our vote?
But if the Republican Party wants to convince African-Americans to leave the Democratic Party for the GOP, they can start by not taking us back 60 years to the days of literacy tests, poll taxes and grandfather clauses.
Although the right to vote comes from the 15th Amendment, many states in the South created requirements for voting, which in essence ensured the disenfranchisement of African-American voters.
Literacy tests were not in fact tests to determine if one could read.
Often, African-Americans seeking to register to vote would have to recite the United States Constitution verbatim.
If the applicant omitted a word or did not pause long enough at a comma or period, they were often deemed illiterate and not allowed to register to vote.
In the years after the abolishment of slavery, if people wanted to register to vote, their grandfather had to have been registered to vote.
The problem for African-Americans at that time is that many of their grandfathers had been enslaved, meaning they would not have been eligible to vote because they were considered property before emancipation.
If all else failed, voters had to pay a fee to vote.
Since many African-Americans came from meager backgrounds, paying a poll tax proved too expensive.
Therefore, for close to 100 years after slavery most African-Americans could not vote until the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
The fact that the GOP is trying to return to the days of disenfranchisement based on color proves they do not care anything about the African-American community.
Therefore, why should they expect our vote in 2020 or for decades to come?
Thanks to their entanglement with Trump, the GOP will suffer some bleak days as this country continues to grow more diverse by the decade.
Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign is in trouble.
Quite, simply he will not win on his own.
Therefore, the GOP has tried to limit voting or cast doubt on the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election from state to state.
The effort actually began years ago with voter purging, the closing of polls in predominantly African-American communities, gerrymandering for racial purpose (disguised as gerrymandering for political gain, which is legal), voter ID laws that adversely impact the poor and the elderly, slowing down the mail service to negatively impact absentee ballots, encouraging right-wing militiamen to watch over the polls (also known as voter intimidation), poll taxes in Florida for former felons and limiting absentee ballot drop boxes to one per county like Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
All of this is done, obviously, to limit voting.
The fewer people that vote probably helps the Republican Party.
When voter participation and registration surges, it often helps the Democratic Party.
Do GOP leaders actually believe African-Americans will forget this in the years to come?
Some GOP leaders are so determined to get Trump re-elected, or to stay on his good side like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), that they are almost guaranteeing their own political demise.
Trump has made it clear that his definition of making American great again is making America hate again, or at least making it very White again.
He retweets his supporters shouting, “White power.”
The president seems to condone the violence coming from the radical right.
He criticizes the Black Lives Matter movement.
Trump tweets the term “law and order” randomly.
Former President Richard Nixon popularized the term “law and order” during his 1968 presidential campaign as a means of suppressing Black militancy.
And to make matters worse, the compliant GOP powerbrokers continue to suppress African-American voters because they are aware that their days in the White House are coming to a close.
The GOP has to realize that it is more important to win the war than to win the battle.
Winning the war means diversifying your appeal as the country continues to become more diverse.
In laymen’s term, the GOP needs to appeal to African-American voters and they are failing miserably because they do not have the guts to disavow Trump or at least disagree with him sometimes.
My cousin Pastor Christopher Walls, Sr. once told me never make short term decisions that have long term consequences.
Trump is short term, like until January 2021.
But the GOP has the rest of their existence to lament the mistakes that they have made over the last few years discriminating against African-Americans and other minorities.
Unfortunately, that decision will guarantee a loss of their relevance in the very near future.