The Democratic Party and Black Voters

Throughout modern history African-Americans have largely voted Democrat. Whenever a democratic candidate loses an election the common reaction of blacks is to scold their race for not voting in high enough droves to help the Democratic candidate emerge victorious. However, contrary to popular belief, black people actually vote at higher rate than any other minority group in the country.

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Could blacks vote at a higher rate? Absolutely. However, if any minority group is to be ridiculed for not exercising their right to vote it is certainly not African Americans. This begs the question, is it African-Americans' job to prop up the Democratic Party or should the Democratic Party improve to give black voters something to get excited about and support?

Many people view non-voters, especially black non-voters, as direct disrespect to their ancestors that fought, bled and died for enfranchisement. There’s certainly merit to this; however, this issue does not simply come down to blacks being uninterested in participating in American Democracy. The Democratic Party has not traditionally proposed exciting enough policies to galvanize their voting base; especially black voters.

The modern day Democratic Party hasn’t been proposing big and bold ideas until just recently. The 2016 primary candidacy of Bernie Sanders was the catalyst for this change. However, the progressive “leftist" wing of the party that includes people such as Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar aren’t a majority of the leadership, and they are often treated as extremists. This is puzzling seeing that virtually all of their ideas and proposals poll very favorably among the American public. This is a direct result of the Democratic Party being more vested in corporate interests than in the interests of their constituencies. In a 2015 poll conducted by the New York Times and CBS, 84% of people think that money has too much influence in politics.

Democrats have routinely relied on blacks to win key elections just to turn around and work against them. The Democratic Party has not only passed legislation that directly hurt the black community (1994 Crime Bill) but they’ve also failed to pass legislation to rectify these issues. Before demanding our votes, the Democratic Party needs to prioritize our needs in hopes of earning our votes. That’s how democracy works.

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