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Thu Mar 3, 2016, 10:37 PM

Why black voters vote the way they do? (and advice on how to win them)

I am publishing this new Daily Kos post by my friend, dopper0189, in GD as opposed to GDP because it is really not intended to be a "rox/sux" type of post but is an effort in education about how and why black voters vote the way they do.

I will post two excerpts from this very, very long, detailed, and comprehensive piece which, perhaps, communicates things a little better than I ever did.

Peace!

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/3/3/1492931/-Why-black-voters-vote-the-way-they-do-and-advice-on-how-to-win-them#

Why black voters vote the way they do? (and advice on how to win them)

Iíve been a member of Daily Kos for many years, and over the years Iíve generally stayed away from meta wars. That is I avoid them, until I think the fights are reaching a point where theyíre damaging to this site, the party, or the progressive movement. In this case I see two sides arguing, with little attempt to find common ground. Because the argument is now over black voting patterns, I think I have a lot to add.

Before I begin let me give some of you who donít know me some background. Iíve done GOTV (Get Out The Vote) work for over 20 years, with a focus on minority voters. Iíve done GOTV focused on black voters in; largely black areas (Detroit, Flint), in mixed areas (largely Massachusetts and phone banked in Connecticut) as well as largely white areas (New Hampshire). Over the years Iíve worked both a number of primaries and general elections. Just to be clear by GOTV, I mean Iíve done door knocking, drive to the poll, cold calls, etc. That means Iíve had to deal with convincing people face to face to vote for a candidate. Iím not saying I know everything, but Iíve had to do more than convince true believers to vote. Iíve had to work with both the indifferent and the hostile.


Now, of course issues like healthcare, the economy, war and peace, and taxes play as big a role in the black community as it does in America at large. This discussion is more a list of the special voting considerations. But I feel there is a basic HUGE misunderstanding of the black vote on places like Daily Kos. But Iíll give a few key points.

1) MOST BLACKS DONíT LIVE IN POVERTY.

Repeat that to yourselves several times a day if youíre doing GOTV. The black poverty rate is ~27% compared to the white rate of ~11%. So yes because the black poverty rate is high, black voters tend to care a lot about poverty alievement. But that also means 73% of black voters DONíT live in poverty, the ghetto, or whatever other term is casually thrown around. If you assume most black voters live in poverty, youíll very much insult your target audience. The plurality of black people around 42% are working class, and more blackís, ~30% are middle class than poor.

As of the 2010 Census, black households had a median income of $32,068. 15.2% of black households earn an income between earn between $50,000 and $75,000, 7.6% earn between $75,000 and $100,000, and 9.4% earn more than $100,000. In other words in 2010 (still in the heart of the recession) 32% of black households made $50,000 or more annually. As of 2010, the poverty rate among African Americans was 27.4%. In other words more blacks are middle class than poor.

Far too many discussion begin with the assumption that black voters are overwhelmingly poor. Yes there is a much larger wealth gap than there is an income gap, but most blacks arenít poor. Further more since voting rates strongly correlates with education and income it stands to reason black voters are generally even wealthier than the statistics I listed above.

2) POOR BLACK PEOPLE AND MIDDLE CLASS PEOPLE ARE FRUSTRATED BY POLICE MISCONDUCT FOR DIFFERENT REASONS.

Poor black people living in segregated areas feel like they are being kept in an open jail by police heavy handed patrols. Middle/working class folks feel they have done the ďright thingĒ stayed out of trouble, working, got educated and still are being harassed. The two issues may seem to outsiders to be the same, but they arenít.

Think of the difference between Ferguson and Professor Henry Louis Gates. The anger generated from both was about racism, but the origins of the anger actually come from two different places. One is a battle to stop police from terrorizing an entire community, one is a battle for police to respect individuals who have earned their way into the middle class.

3) BY AND LARGE BLACK AND WHITES VIEW ďBEING A RACISTĒ VASTLY DIFFERENTLY

In general most blacks view people racism as being on a gradient. On one end you have the KKK on the other you have a Saint, but realistically most people fall somewhere in between. Racism isnít pregnancy, where you either pregnant or youíre not. So statements like I donít have a ďracist bone in my body,Ē just doesnít mean much. Everyone has or said something racist in their life (yeah that includes black people). Also we recognize that people can have been more racist in the past, but are less racist now.

White people are for more likely to try and make statements like ďIím not a racistĒ. Black people generally just donít view racism as a binary condition. Granted this is a generalization, but itís a good rule of thumb.

4) BLACK DEMOCRATIC VOTERS VALUE A NUMBER OF LONG TERM RELATIONSHIPS.

There is a historical feeling that many white Democrats have always just shown up at the black churches 2 weeks before the election and then arenít seen again. There are also long standing bitter feelings that white Democrats havenít helped black Democrats with fundraising to the level that would help them become viable statewide candidates. This is particularly a major issue with the black political establishment, and this feeling trickles down. Wrapped up in this is a feeling of a lack of respect. So telling black voters some variation of ďif you knew what is good for you, you would support candidate XĒ usually turns black voters off. This especially true if black voters feel the person saying this hasnít been invested long term in the black community. There is almost invariably a backlash of ďwho are you?Ē ďJust showing upĒ and ďpreachingĒ. When you have not bothered to build relationship to the community you get ignored with the quickness.

Speaking of long term relationships, Black middle class voters especially care about the support of black establishments like the HBCU schools (The 105 historically black colleges and universities ). Places like Howard University etc, still supply something like 40% of all black doctors, they have been badly underfunded compared to comparable white schools. If this issue isnít on your radar, you should get familiar with it.


There's so much more to this, do surf over and read the entire piece.

Again, I come in peace.

11 replies, 1391 views

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Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why black voters vote the way they do? (and advice on how to win them) (Original post)
Chitown Kev Mar 2016 OP
Jester Messiah Mar 2016 #1
Chitown Kev Mar 2016 #2
SusanCalvin Mar 2016 #3
scarletwoman Mar 2016 #4
noretreatnosurrender Mar 2016 #5
Chitown Kev Mar 2016 #6
noretreatnosurrender Mar 2016 #7
Chitown Kev Mar 2016 #8
Arazi Mar 2016 #9
Erose999 Mar 2016 #10
aikoaiko Mar 2016 #11

Response to Chitown Kev (Original post)

Thu Mar 3, 2016, 10:41 PM

1. Thank you. This furthers the cause of understanding. n/t

 

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Response to Chitown Kev (Original post)

Thu Mar 3, 2016, 10:43 PM

2. I am going to add the formatting and links

to the best of my ability; there are certain things that were emphasized.

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Response to Chitown Kev (Original post)

Thu Mar 3, 2016, 10:53 PM

3. This is great. Thank you.

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Response to Chitown Kev (Original post)

Thu Mar 3, 2016, 10:59 PM

4. Rec & kick - thank you so much for posting this!

I so appreciate the education, I really hope others will appreciate it, too.

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Response to Chitown Kev (Original post)

Thu Mar 3, 2016, 10:59 PM

5. Thank you

For posting a link to this excellent piece and please thank your friend dopper0189 for taking the time to write it.

Finally I want to speak directly to Sanders online supporters. There is no polite way of saying this, stop with the skewing of polling data. Itís one thing to advocate for your candidate, itís another to try and fire up your supporters; but by misleading people into think there isnít a messaging and communication issue with the Sanders campaign and black America directly hurts his campaign. It clearly wasnít a ďthey donít know himĒ or weíre ďwinning younger African American votersĒ from the data. When you donít acknowledge you have a problem you canít work to solve it. Furthermore when voters are expressing misgivings, and you donít address them there is a negative reaction. Campaigns are about advocating for your candidate to voters. When a campaign has a communication issue a good advocate works to bridge that gap, not pretend it doesnít exist.


Good advice.

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Response to noretreatnosurrender (Reply #5)

Thu Mar 3, 2016, 11:04 PM

6. Yeah, dopper (who also happens to be my sort-of "editor") had some specific

stuff to say to Sanders but much of this information can be used in future campaigns by anyone...in that spirit, if anyone wants to read some of his specific criticisms and suggestions of the Sanders campaign, you can hit the link but it's not a part of this OP here at GD

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Response to Chitown Kev (Reply #6)

Thu Mar 3, 2016, 11:26 PM

7. I always want to read the entire thing (lol)

I liked the whole piece and as a Sanders supporter I was certainly interested in the advice he gave to my candidate of choice and to his supporters. It's breaking my heart that my candidate has been unable so far to earn more of the black vote. Building a coalition is hard work (as we all know). Not everyone hears the same thing or in the same way but having good people offer sincere, constructive criticism on how to communicate more effectively can be very beneficial if one is willing to listen. Thanks again for posting.

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Response to Chitown Kev (Original post)

Fri Mar 4, 2016, 12:29 PM

8. kick

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Response to Chitown Kev (Original post)

Fri Mar 4, 2016, 01:01 PM

9. Great analysis! Thanks for this

Im a Sanders supporter who's said for months now that he has a problem with POC. I've appreciated every article and OP designed to truly address that

This article is designed for any candidate really. Great addition to the discussion

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Response to Chitown Kev (Original post)

Fri Mar 4, 2016, 01:19 PM

10. Great post. I found from my experience phonebanking and canvassing in GA that older Black folks


aren't necessarily keen on younger white people with clipboards telling them about the civil rights movement either. They lived it. And while they're happy that young people are on board there's a feeling of "who are YOU to tell me about the history of my generation" when younger people discuss, say, Bernie's participation in protests.

What would really help would be if they saw/felt themselves represented. I think it's cool that Bernie is working with people like Cornell West and Killer Mike, but the field office where I was at was overwhelmingly white in one of the Blackest cities in our state.

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Response to Chitown Kev (Original post)

Fri Mar 4, 2016, 01:44 PM

11. Thank you.



Point #4 and for related reasons number #1 helps explain Black dedication to HRC especially among leadership. They have been giving jobs and leadership positions to qualified Black professionals, facilitating Black community leadership goals, and more funding POC initiatives with their foundation for the last 15 years.


The Clintons have effectively built mutually beneficial relationships with Black leadership on the national level for 24 years.



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