Recently, the Emerson College, Rasmussen and most recently, the Marist polls came out with a bombshell(!) result showing that 34% of African American voters approve of Trump’s job performance. Naturally, this has caused a great deal of alarm among Democrats and their allies in the media and entertainment.
Radio and television personality, and author, Lenard Larry McKelvey, also known as “Charlamagne tha God” is one individual who is very unhappy at the prospect of African Americans possibly reconsidering their sixty years of being the Democrat Party’s most loyal demographic.
So, at the recently held AfroTech Conference in Oakland, California, Charlamagne issued this warning to African Americans; a re-elected Donald Trump would bring back slavery.
It’s not worth it … I don’t think that we have gotten to the point in our society where we can take … chances on a president who may be putting money in our pockets but rolling back all of our other civil rights … I don’t care how rich you are. If you don’t have civil rights, what’s the point? Who wants to be a rich slave?
Let’s have some background here …
It’s common knowledge in the world of politics that without at least 85% – 90% of the black vote, Democrats would find many statewide races – outside of lily white progressive states like VT, RI – out of reach. So a Republican Presidential candidate actually winning just 25% of the black vote, with the prospect of these numbers translating down the ballot, poses nothing less than an existential threat to the Democrats’ viability as a party.
And since the easiest way of sustaining 70 point margins is by stoking up fear and hatred, we have folks like “Charlamagne tha God” (and others before him) solemnly informing black voters that the only thing between them and becoming property is their absolute and unquestioning loyalty to the Democrat Party.
Lest one is inclined to point out that Charlamagne is just another vapid liberal celebrity, remember that Joe Biden, as the sitting Vice President of the United States stood before a black audience to warn them that a Mitt Romney Presidency would put them “back in chains.”
In other words, Democrats telling African Americans that a Republican President means the imminent repeal of the 13th Amendment and the rounding up and enslavement of African Americans is not unique to the 2020 election cycle. It’s not, as the typical NeverTrumper would argue, unique to Donald Trump.
In fact, “back in chains”, “slavery”, “turn back the clock”, “concentration camps”, etc. has been a staple of nearly every major Democrat election campaign in the past 40 to 50 years.
In fact, this “Republicans will bring back slavery” language is now so par for the course that FOX News was the only news network of any type that apparently thought that Charlamagne’s statements were, at the very least, somewhat controversial, and invited Horace Cooper of Project 21 and Democrat activist Leo Tyrell to talk about it.
What ensued, as far as I’m concerned, was a series of missed shots by Cooper, especially given the massive openings created for him by Tyrell. This is not a knock on Cooper, who has my utmost respect for being an out and proud Republican in the public sphere, and who was actually quite effective at making his points on the economic gains made by the black community in the Trump era.
But … the actual issue that needed addressing wasn’t the economic gains. Even Charlamagne was forced to grudgingly admit that Trump was “putting money in our pockets”, so pointing out how well the economy was doing for black folks, even though important, should have taken a backseat to bringing the patently ridiculous “slavery” charge front and center and forcing Leo Tyrell to defend it.
When Tyrell demanded a reason for black wealth still being only 10% of whites’, Cooper failed to see the opening for a knock out blow; “Well, one reason is that your party, the Democrats, have had 100% of the political power in the black community for the past 60 years! Why are you blaming Republicans when you’re the ones in charge?”
As I’ve written before, if the GOP wants to break the Democrats’ lock on the black vote, Republicans have to be willing to attack the Democrats’ record and place the blame squarely and entirely where it belongs after 60 years of uncontested power in the black community.
The Republican Party needs to convince black folks of the fact – with 60 years of evidence backing them up – that being politically uncompetitive is a dead end. It means neither party will pay the black community any attention because one party takes it for granted because there’s no consequence for incompetence and failure, because they know they have it locked up before campaign season even begins, while the other takes it as a lost cause because there’s no reward no matter the effort.
Equally, Republicans need to publicly confront the Democrats’ decades of incendiary language on race. The notion that Republicans want to bring back slavery (or even segregation) is so patently absurd and ridiculous that the typical Republican campaign consultant may reasonably think confronting such charges is a waste of resources, not to mention wanting to avoid the optics of engaging in a fight with “black leaders” and “civil rights” organizations.
But the reality is that there’s opportunity here. The reality is that statements like Charlamagne’s are borderline insane, and the people who make them know it. The only reason they keep making them is that no one has ever challenged them on it. That needs to change.
Republicans need to not just hammer Democrats on their race baiting but also make it clear that the Democrats’ constant screams and shouts about incipient “slavery” is an admission of failure. Democrats can’t really point to anything positive they’ve done in 60 years of having all the power so they have to resort to fearmongering and the demonization (e.g. “Uncle Tom”) of black people who dare to look at the Democrats’ 60 year record of failure and wonder if there’s another option.
Last but not least, as RedState’s own Jeff Charles points out, Republicans actually need to start campaigning in the black community – in black neighbourhoods and in black media. The Trump Campaign, to its credit, has invested an unprecedented amount of money in advertising directed toward African Americans.
Which brings me back, again, to “Charlamagne tha God”. His charge that electing Trump would bring back slavery is the sort of thing that should draw a response by the Trump Campaign. In an ideal world, the next time he is hosting “The Breakfast Club” should have had him getting a call-in from Brad Parscale or Stephanie Grisham asking him if he really believes Trump wants to bring back slavery. He would certainly not like that. The other thing is to ask if he would be willing to have Trump come to his show so the President can put his slavery fears to rest and answer other questions.
Samuel L. Jackson offered the same opportunity a few months ago – interestingly on the same “Breakfast Club” where he not only insisted that everyone who voted for Trump hate him and want him poor, but that Trump wants to bring back Jim Crow. Again,the Trump Campaign publicly responding to him as if his charges were made in all seriousness and inviting him to meet with the President to receive assurances that no one is bringing back Jim Crow would have put him on the spot for his rhetoric, and made an impact in the black community.
The endpoint is that the Trump Campaign should realize that rhetoric such as Charlamagne’s present an opportunity to tear down the conspiracy of acquiescence that has protected the Democrats from the consequences of their hate and fearmongering on race, and, breaking precedent with previous Republican campaigns, getting on black media and speaking directly to the black community.