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Opinion | Failing to Decipher Black Voters - The New York Times
By Charles M. Blow
Opinion Columnist

Nov. 21, 2019

much of the Democratic field is still struggling — and failing — to decipher what animates the bulk of black voters. As much as I believe in polling and its ability to uncover information, I don’t believe that the way black people are polled is sufficient and comprehensive.

As I’ve mentioned before, the black vote is multifaceted, like any group of voters. Young black voters see things differently from older ones. There is a slight but statistically significant difference in the way black women vote compared with black men. And black voters in the South see things slightly different from the way black voters in the North and West see things.

Let’s focus here on black voters in the Deep South states, those along the Black Belt, because that’s where black voting power is strongest in the primaries.

Specifically, I’m talking about Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina and North Carolina. (I’m from Louisiana, and trying to define the Deep South is a subject that can spark a bar fight. I include North Carolina, while many do not. I do not include Florida or Texas. Geographically they are Deep South, but culturally they are different.)

In any case, understanding the South here is important. ....... people’s relationship to power informs the way they see national politics in general and presidential politics in particular.
White working-class voters in the Rust Belt behave one way because they feel that they are losing power. Black voters in the South behave differently because they feel that they are gaining it......
Southern black voters are in control of the power structure most intimately affecting their lives — local government. However, they often live in states controlled by white Republicans. That is often the most important conflict. The federal government has often been the instrument to prevent or relieve state oppression.

The other thing to remember is that this rise in municipal black power and black self-determination in Southern cities is only a few decades old, dating back to about the 1970s.

Those voters may be less excited by a national revolution because they are living through a very real revolution on the ground. 
African-Americans  Campaign_2020  Charles_Blow  Democrats  GOP  multifaceted  political_power   the_South   voters  
12 weeks ago by jerryking
The Other Inconvenient Truth - The New York Times
Charles M. Blow AUG. 17, 2017

The GOP's devil’s dance back to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the emergence of Richard Nixon. After the passage of the act, the Republican Party, the party of Lincoln to which black people felt considerable fealty, turned on those people and stabbed them in the back.

In 1994 John Ehrlichman, Nixon’s domestic-policy adviser and a Watergate co-conspirator, confessed this to the author Dan Baum:

“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or blacks, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”......The policies are the poison.

And yes, this is all an outgrowth of white supremacy, a concept that many try to apply only to vocal, violent racists but that is in fact more broadly applicable and pervasive.

People think that they avoid the appellation because they do not openly hate. But hate is not a requirement of white supremacy. Just because one abhors violence and cruelty doesn’t mean that one truly believes that all people are equal — culturally, intellectually, creatively, morally. Entertaining the notion of imbalance — that white people are inherently better than others in any way — is also white supremacy.

The position of opposing racial cruelty can operate in much the same way as opposition to animal cruelty — people do it not because they deem the objects of that cruelty their equals, but rather because they cannot countenance the idea of inflicting pain and suffering on helpless and innocent creatures. But even here, the comparison cleaves, because suffering black people are judged to have courted their own suffering through a cascade of poor choices.

This is passive white supremacy, soft white supremacy, the kind divorced from hatred. It is permissible because it’s inconspicuous. But this soft white supremacy is more deadly, exponentially, than Nazis with tiki torches.
African-Americans  Richard_Nixon  Donald_Trump  GOP  racism  Southern_Strategy  Charles_Blow  Watergate  white_supremacy  civil_rights  1968  imbalances 
august 2017 by jerryking
Trump’s Obama Obsession - The New York Times
Charles M. Blow JUNE 29, 2017

Obama’s blackness [is at] the front of Trump’s mind, but Trump also appears to subscribe to the racist theory that success or failure of a member of a racial group redounds to all in that group. This is a burden under which most minorities in this country labor.

Trump’s racial ideas were apparently a selling point among his supporters. Recent research has dispensed with the myth of “economic anxiety” and shone a light instead on the central importance race played in Trump’s march to the White House. As the researchers Sean McElwee and Jason McDaniel reported in The Nation in March:

“In short, our analysis indicates that Donald Trump successfully leveraged existing resentment towards African Americans in combination with emerging fears of increased racial diversity in America to reshape the presidential electorate, strongly attracting nativists towards Trump and pushing some more affluent and highly educated people with more cosmopolitan views to support Hillary Clinton. Racial identity and attitudes have further displaced class as the central battleground of American politics.”

Trump was sent to Washington to strip it of all traces of Obama, to treat the Obama legacy as a historical oddity. Trump’s entire campaign was about undoing what Obama had done.
blackness  Donald_Trump  Charles_Blow  Obama  disrespect  legacies  birthers  racial_resentment 
june 2017 by jerryking
Harry and Sidney: Soul Brothers - The New York Times
Charles M. Blow FEB. 20, 2017

Belafonte and Poitier demonstrated over a lifetime how celebrities could embody activism as well as the quiet power of dignity and grace.

King once said of Poitier: “He is a man of great depth, a man of great social concern, a man who is dedicated to human rights and freedom. Here is a man who, in the words we so often hear now, is a soul brother.”

In fact, I think that is what Poitier and Belafonte found in each other: a soul brother. Happy birthday, gentlemen.
'60s  actors  African-Americans  Caribbean  celebrities  Charles_Blow  civil_rights  dignity  friendships  iconic  trailblazers 
february 2017 by jerryking
Drip, Drip, Drip - The New York Times
Charles M. Blow FEB. 15, 2017
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Charles_Blow  Donald_Trump  Russia 
february 2017 by jerryking
A Lesson in Black History - The New York Times
Charles M. Blow FEB. 6, 2017

Let’s be absolutely clear here: Frederick Douglass is a singular, towering figure of American history. The entire legacy of black intellectual thought and civil rights activism flows in some way through Douglass, from W.E.B. DuBois to Booker T. Washington, to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to President Barack Obama himself.

Douglass was one of the most brilliant thinkers, writers and orators America has ever produced. Furthermore, he harnessed and mastered the media of his day: Writing an acclaimed autobiography, establishing his own newspaper and becoming the most photographed American of the 19th century.
history  Frederick_Douglass  Charles_Blow  legacies  19th_century  African-Americans  MLK 
february 2017 by jerryking
Laquan McDonald and the ‘System’ - The New York Times
NOV. 30, 2015 489 COMMENTS
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Charles_Blow  racial_disparities 
december 2015 by jerryking
Suicide of a Dishonest Officer - The New York Times
NOV. 4, 2015 388 COMMENTS
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november 2015 by jerryking
Jeb Bush, ‘Free Stuff’ and Black Folks - The New York Times
If you let people talk long enough, the true self will always be revealed. Not only is there a supreme irony in this racial condescension that casts black people, whose free labor helped establish the prosperity of this country and who were systematically excluded from the full benefits of that prosperity for generations, as leeches only desirous of “free stuff,” this line of reasoning also infantilizes black thought and consciousness and presents an I-know-best-what-ails-you paternalism about black progress.
Charles_Blow  Jeb_Bush  Campaign_2016  African-Americans  James_Baldwin 
september 2015 by jerryking
The Soft Bigotry of Ben Carson - The New York Times
SEPT. 23, 2015
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Ben_Carson  Charles_Blow  Campaign_2016  GOP  African-Americans  bigotry 
september 2015 by jerryking
Confederate Flags and Institutional Racism - The New York Times
JUNE 24, 2015 | NYT | Charles Blow.

Aspen Institute’s definition: “Institutional racism refers to the policies and practices within and across institutions that, intentionally or not, produce outcomes that chronically favor, or put a racial group at a disadvantage.”
Nikki_Haley  racism  institutional_racism  Charles_Blow  the_South  Confederacy  flags  Charleston_shootings 
june 2015 by jerryking
In Charleston, a Millennial Race Terrorist - The New York Times
JUNE 21, 2015| NYT | Charles Blow.

Who radicalized Roof? Who passed along the poison? We must never be lulled into a false belief that racism is dying off with older people. As I’ve written in this space before, Spencer Piston, an assistant professor of political science at Syracuse University, has found that “younger (under-30) whites are just as likely as older ones to view whites as more intelligent and harder-working than African-Americans.”..... there is a widely published photo of Roof sitting on his car with an ornamental license plate with Confederate flags on it. That is the same Confederate flag that flies on the grounds of the state Capitol. What signal is South Carolina sending?

There is the thread of couching his cowardice as chivalry, framing his selfish hatred as noble altruism in defense of white femininity from the black brute. So much black blood has been spilled and so many black necks noosed in the name of protecting white femininity, and by extension, white purity. Roof is only this trope’s latest instrument.
Charleston_shootings  Charles_Blow  racism  South_Carolina  terrorism  Confederacy  white_supremacy  millennials 
june 2015 by jerryking
Not Afraid to Talk About Race - NYTimes.com
June 7, 2012, 12:24 am
Not Afraid to Talk About Race
By CHARLES M. BLOW
race_relations  Charles_Blow 
june 2012 by jerryking
The G.O.P.’s ‘Black People’ Platform - NYTimes.com
January 6, 2012 | NYT | Letters to the editor in reaction to an article by CHARLES M. BLOW
Progressive Power
Florida

Todays GOP is in large part the same constituency that made up the Dixiecrats during Jim Crow...and the old Democrat Plantation owners who formed the confederacy and committed treason against the United States -a crime for which they were never held fully accountable nor punished even by confiscation of their ill-earned Manses...the Southern Strategy is , sadly, alive and well...with a nation-wide appeal to frustrated whites seeking a scapegoat .
This vitriol is made all the more dynamic by having an African-American President who serves as a lightning rod for all their pent up hatred....(BTW: Isnt it interesting that they never point out that our president is also half white-Irish , no less!)

Jan. 7, 2012 at 5:09 p.m.
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Claire
Chevy Chase MD

This reminds me of the slave owners who while watching their slaves in the fields, would complain about how slow and lazy the slaves were.

If white people had less wealth than any other group in the US, we might wonder how the hell could that be? As white people we have dominated every piece of legislation, directed wealth to our own communities, decided who can or cannot participate in government... had our schools and residences built by black people while denying them use and entrance (except to clean), even though we forced them to pay taxes for public buildings and services, we prohibited their use, we told them they were inferior, ran from communities when they 'integrated' our neighborhoods, encouraged European immigrants to discriminate against black people, only gave them the lowest paying, most dangerous jobs, while closing our country club doors to them.

How in hell could black people not be at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder? We've created a world where those of us with white skin have been given every advantage and privilege. The generational wealth alone of whites will keep black people at the bottom for centuries.

Jan. 7, 2012 at 5:09 p.m.
letters_to_the_editor  Charles_Blow  GOP  African-Americans  slaveholders  white_privilege  generational_wealth  Southern_strategy  constituencies  Dixiecrats  Jim_Crow 
january 2012 by jerryking

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