In the 2008 presidential election, black voter turnout surpassed white voter turnout for the first time, as black voters came out to vote for the first black president. In 2012, that trend continued; in fact, black voters were 13 percent of the 2012 electorate, despite making up only 12 percent of the population.
However, as we approach the 2016 election — after two terms of the first black president — Democrats have serious reason to worry about black support this year.
Rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs put into words what appears to be a widespread sentiment among many blacks, telling the Rev. Al Sharpton blacks got a “little bit shortchanged” by Obama — and, moreover, they won’t get fooled again.
Via Page Six:
Sean “Diddy” Combs said Sunday that black voters won’t get fooled again — insisting that Hillary Clinton has to prove herself before she gets the African-American vote since “[blacks] got a little bit shortchanged” by President Obama.
“My number one thing, though, to be honest, is black people,” the rapper turned mogul told the Rev. Al Sharpton on his MSNBC show Sunday. “I feel like we put President Obama in the White House. When I look back, I just wanted more done for my people because that’s the name of the game.
“This is politics. You put somebody in office you get in return the things that you care about for your communities. I think we got a little bit shortchanged. That’s not knocking the president. …He’s done an excellent job, you know, but I think it’s time to turn up the heat because the black vote is going to decide who is the next president of the United States.”
Diddy, who just opened up a charter school in Harlem, apparently isn’t buying Clinton’s wide lead among African Americans over GOP opponent Donald Trump. Clinton’s spent many Sundays visiting black churches and made gun violence and police shootings a platform of her campaign through talks with African mothers whose children were killed.
Wonder what Puffy thinks about Obama’s black attorney general, Eric Holder, bringing a lawsuit against the State of Louisiana for its school voucher program, designed to enable more equality of educational opportunity and allow blacks choices such as charter schools, like his own?
Diddy, an Obama supporter who also donated money to Clinton’s New York Senate race, said it’s time for black voters to get something in return for their political support.
“The heat has to be turned up so much that as a community we got to hold our vote,” Diddy said. “Don’t pacify yourself, really revolutionize the game. Make them come for our vote. It’s a whole different strategy but I think we need to hold our vote because I don’t believe any of them.”
“That’s a big announcement,” Sharpton marveled.
“You can get the vote. It doesn’t have to be held that long. But you have to come get it. …You have to bring something with it.”
Combs’ words reflect what is being expressed among young black voters as well. As The New York Times reports, many young black voters don’t care for Trump, but are nonetheless not giving Hillary Clinton a free pass — and, in fact, actively don’t like the Democrat presidential nominee.
But when the participants were asked about Hillary Clinton, their appraisals were just as blunt and nearly as biting.
“What am I supposed to do if I don’t like him and I don’t trust her?” a millennial black woman in Ohio asked. “Choose between being stabbed and being shot? No way!”
Young African-Americans, like all voters their age, are typically far harder to drive to the polls than middle-aged and older Americans. Yet with just over two months until Election Day, many Democrats are expressing alarm at the lack of enthusiasm, and in some cases outright resistance, some black millennials feel toward Mrs. Clinton.
The question of just how many young African-Americans will show up to vote carries profound implications for this election. Mrs. Clinton is sure to dominate Mr. Trump among black voters, but her overwhelming margin could ultimately matter less than the total number of blacks who show up to vote.
And, judging from what other black leaders are saying about Hillary Clinton, she has serious reason to worry. As we reported previously, Alicia Garza, the founder of Blacks Lives Matter, sees right through the Clinton pandering to blacks:
“The Clintons use black people for votes, but then don’t do anything for black communities after they’re elected. They use us for photo ops,” Garza said.
Towards the end of the interview, Garza declared that the black community is not “indebted” to the Democratic party in any way.
President Lyndon B. Johnson famously declared his Democrat policies would have “them n****rs voting Democratic for the next two hundred years.” We’re now about 50 some-odd years into that. Could it be that Johnson’s prediction of black voting Democrat could be cut short, as black voters wake up to how Democrat policies have failed them?
As GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump says, what do blacks really have to lose from trying something different?
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]