The Republican Party was created in 1854 and was in support of African American equality for the first two decades. Abraham Lincoln, who was known as the 16th president of America, and other “radicalized republicans,” worked hard to eliminate slavery and grant Black men citizenship. As time moved on, GOP leaders began to forget about Black Americans.
No matter what the conversation is, race seems to be a factor, especially when it comes to politics. Today, we have seen the circus of politics and how it impacts everyone. We have seen it bring people together, and we have seen it rip people apart. When it comes to Black men and women, there is a house divided. Black men are now more likely to vote Republican than Black women, who are more likely to vote Democratic. According to Pew Research, about one-in-ten Black adults identify with or lean toward the Republican party.
It has been noted that the Black male vote for democratic party has decreased since 2012. In the Obama reelection, 87% voted to reelect Obama, which was a drop down from 95% in 2008. For ages 18-30, only 30% vote for Obama. Whereas 96% of Black women voted for Obama in 2012, which is up from 92% in 2008. When it came to the Trump election in 2016, Black male voters grew to 10% in 2016, and Black women at only 6%. Black women are the demographic group that are least likely to vote for a Republican candidate.
So why the shift and gaps between the genders? In particular, why did we see this increase surrounding the Trump administration despite the racial comments and behavior the former president has shown? Trump has done more for White nationalist than he has for any Blacks. However, some Black men have overlooked this notion and still identify as Republican. This can be due to his individualism, the freedom he had to express his thoughts, and his pro-capitalist rhetoric. Trump was able to say what he wanted, and it was acceptable by most in society, and some Black men may gravitate towards this ideology.
In addition, some of the Black males that identify as Republican may feel as though they have “made it.” If they are able to get the approval of the White man, who has been controlling society since slavery times, then they feel “accepted.” We have seen this with Clarence Thomas, Ye (also known as Kanye West), and Herchel Walker. It was noted that in the 2022 primaries, it was a record-setting year for the Republican party, which fielded “81 Black candidates,” according to the National Republican Congressional Committee. Little do they know that they are just puppets in this game of control. They hold no real power and will never be able to get away with half of what Trump has done. Some Black men believe in a system that wasn’t designed to include them or look out for their best interest.
For Black women, The Atlantic mentioned how Black women decide their political beliefs and decision making “in policies that benefit public interest.” They are more concerned about the community as a whole rather than individualism. They consider all factors, and these decisions can be made based on their class, socioeconomic status, and region. It was noted that 93% of Black women voted for the Biden-Harris ticket that far exceeds the parameters of any one presidential election cycle.
The main difference between Black men and Black women when it comes to the two parties is that Black men are willing to leave the democratic party to satisfy their political needs. Whereas Black women are willing to stay within the democratic party and work on improving it through reforms, building relationships and connections, and so much more. The Atlantic gave an example of what Black women accomplished that have made differences in the Democratic party. Despite little support from the Democratic National Committee, Black women helmed grassroots organizations such as Fair Fight Action, the New Georgia Project, and Black Voters Matter that were ultimately responsible for the Biden-Harris victories in swing states.”
Regardless of how one may vote, we are seeing political and mental shifts in Black male voters. They care more about the individual of a candidate than Black women, who care about the community. Much of this is due to identity, race, and culture. In the words of Monica Crowley, “Voting is as much an emotional act as it is an intellectual one.” No one can tell you who to vote for, but you should vote for someone who has a platform that will better our communities and our future.