The fate of Karen Whitsett, a black Democratic representative to the Michigan House of Representatives, who was censured by her fellow black Democrats from Detroit, for developing good relations with President Trump, speaks volumes. It tells us, if any further proof were required, how deeply American blacks hate the Republican Party and any black person who does not share this loathing completely.
Although Ben Carson may be the famous success story produced by a poor black family in Detroit, this distinguished surgeon and cabinet official was denied the privilege of having a school in his old neighborhood named after him. Carson’s sin is having served in a Republican administration.
In 2014, Tim Scott became the first black Senator from South Carolina since Reconstruction. But since Scott was a Republican, he won only 10 percent of the black vote in his state, while carrying 88 percent of the white vote. After Scott’s victory, South Carolina black Democratic Congressmen James Clyburn immediately denounced him as a race traitor who was against “the interests and aspirations of 95 percent of blacks.” In an optimistic moment, Scott predicted that Trump would increase his share of the black vote in this year’s election by 50 percent. Fascism: The Career of... Best Price: $41.28 Buy New $40.07 (as of 03:55 EST - Details)
That share, according to Scott, would rise from 9 percent to 14 percent; and this was to be considered a vindication for a Republican president who (before COVID-19 hit) had improved the job prospects of blacks more than any other president, including his black Democratic predecessor Barack Obama. The Hill reports that an “overwhelming majority of blacks will vote for any Democrat against Trump” and put black hostility against Trump at 85 percent, which is actually saying the same thing as Scott, albeit in a less positive way.
The black vote normally goes at a rate of 90 percent or more to Democratic candidates for any office. Not even Obama won a significantly higher percentage of the black vote than other Democratic presidential candidates. Although Obama turned out black voters in higher numbers in his presidential bid than John Kerry or Al Gore, he won the black vote against his Republican opponent by only a few points more than other recent Democratic presidential candidates.
Encounters: My Life wi... Best Price: $5.20 Buy New $5.60 (as of 08:10 EST - Details) In 2008, three black Republican candidates, including the Pittsburgh Steelers legend Lynn Swann, lost their races for the governorship, with the black vote going heavily against them. If Swann had won, he would have been the first black governor of Pennsylvania. But black voters turned against their onetime sports hero because of his Republican affiliation. Apparently voting for Swann or another highly qualified black Republican gubernatorial candidate running that year, Kenneth Blackwell in Ohio, was not deemed a racial breakthrough. The problem in both cases was the black politician belonged to a national party that blacks abhor.
The intensity of this hatred has remained for me a mystery. I still recall a black girlfriend of my daughter at the University of Michigan who went into a rage because the school had dared to invite as a speaker President George H.W. Bush. This friend considered this unsettling invitation to be an act of disrespect against her race. Curiously, the same black student was a fundamentalist Christian and fierce opponent of abortion, yet she ritualistically voted for the Democrats because she considered the Republicans a living reproach against blacks.
I won’t go into the usual GOP song and dance about all the civil rights legislation that the Republicans supported at a higher percentage than Democrats or that Republicans had once freed black slaves. What is hard for me to figure out is why this hatred has developed and grown more intense over time.