I must admit African Americans who are supporting Donald Trump fascinate me. These are the brown faces in a sea of thousands of white faces that are jampacked in concert-like arenas.
To be clear, I am all for the diversity of thought and as a Black conservative (who is not supporting Trump, by the way), I can appreciate swimming upstream when it comes to not being a part of the status quo. But to be Black and to be a Trump supporter is something that is so unique, I think it’s worth talking about.
Why is that some African Americans are attracted to a candidate that openly talks about violence at some of his rallies? Or that he talks about building a wall between Mexico and the United States, which in effect is turning away people of color who are searching for a better life. What is it about a presidential candidate in Trump where he mildly accepts the endorsement of KKK member David Duke or retweets tweets that have racial undertones? Yet still a handful of African Americans still come to Trump’s rallies and proudly pronounce that they will vote for him.
I think part of the reason why is that they — and we — are searching for someone that is from the outside. Who is not a career politician. Someone who has experience in fixing things and someone who is not beholden to anyone. That part I get. In many ways, it’s the same reason why so many people are attracted to Bernie Sanders. Sanders, like Trump, represents something different in politics and they seem to enjoy swimming upstream. In other words, they march to the beat of their own drum, and many people, including African Americans, feel like finally, someone is listening to them. Things will get better. My response? They may. But demand more facts. More figures. More information before you decide on Trump, or even Sanders for that matter.
With Russia, China and North Korea playing games on the national stage and with another ISIS terrorist attack a few days ago in Belgium, on-the-job training as a foreign policy leader is not what we need, nor should we want in our next president. With looming deficits, a crumbling infrastructure and entitlement reform spiraling out of control there is a lot at stake.
Our next president — and according to the polls, Trump has a realistic shot at occupying the Oval Office — has to be ready to confront these issues and many unforeseen more within hours of assuming office. African Americans who are supporting Trump and the other presidential candidates should ask themselves if they think their candidate can assume the position and the issues that we face. If the answer is yes, then fine, please vote for your candidate; but if there is any doubt, that we must as a community demand more clarity around the issues that we face.
This is not a knock on African Americans who are supporting Trump; rather it’s a knock on Trump and other candidates who have not offered specifics to our problems and for not pushing back more strongly on racial undertones.
The time for action is now.