Before fire will devour thousands of properties across the United States, and that the Army occupied Washington as if it were Kabul, we were already tired of seeing History unfold before our eyes. “Lord Jesus Christ, please don’t teach me anything new today,” said influential presenter Oprah Winfrey. The African Americans were already the community most affected by the pandemic and the economic debacle, and the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, has only been the trigger for the accumulated fears and anger. A tragedy that has brought the sins of the country and the aspirations of its largest minority to the forefront.
In 3 1/2 years, I’ve done much more for our Black population than Joe Biden has done in 43 years. Actually, I’ve set them back big time with his Crime Bill, which he doesn’t even remember. I’ve done more for Black Americans, in fact, than any President in U.S. history, with …
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 3, 2020
“In three and a half years, I’ve done more for the black community than Joe Biden in 43 years. ”President of the United States, Donald Trump, tweeted, adding that he was perhaps the president who has done the most for this minority since Abraham Lincoln.
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Based on the voting figures of the last half century, Trump’s words will go nowhere. Black majority membership in the Democratic Party dates back to the mid-1960s, when President Lyndon Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and the Voting Rights Act the following year. Since then, over 85% of African Americans have voted for progressives.
Many see the riots of the past few days as yet another chapter in the long struggle for civil rights. A race to overcome an endemic inequality that has been reflected again in the coronavirus crisis, which has proportionally punished more African-Americans. In Chicago, for example, even though blacks are just under a third of the population, they have accounted for 60% of deaths from covid-19. A situation similar to that of New York: Blacks and Latinos are twice as likely as whites to die of covid-19.
The front line jobs against the virus, delivery people, cashiers, nurses or public transport drivers, are occupied in greater proportions by African American citizens. Hence, in the job destruction that started in mid-March, blacks have been hit hardest.
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These differences are stacked on top of each other. As Greg Ip points outThe African American community has been the slowest to recover from the 2008 crisis. The median income of the black household has fallen 5% in the past 20 years. The median income of the white household, on the other hand, has risen 6%. The African American household earns $ 18,000 annually; white, almost 10 times more.
The disadvantages are palpable in practically all areas. According to data from the Sentencing Project, a group that advocates for criminal reform, one in 10 African-American thirties is in prison. Justice Department data they reflect that the rate of incarceration among black men is double that of Latinos and is five times higher than that of whites.
Explanations for this disparity sink into the history of the United States. In one of the old videos of the civil rights struggle that emerged these days, the Rev. Martin Luther King blamed, in part, an original disadvantage: “No other ethnic group has been a slave on American soil,” he said in 1967. When Lincoln emancipated the slaves, “he did not give them land or, in fact, anything to start with. At the same time, America was handing over millions of acres of land, in the west and midwest … to the white peasants of Europe. ”
Several studies have reflected persistent discrimination against blacks, for example, when looking for a job. The National Bureau of Economic Research He found that people with names associated with black skin, such as Lakisha or Jamal, receive half the calls from potential employers than if their CV had a typical white name, such as Greg or Emily.
For decades, Democrats, despite having taken, in the case of the Clinton Administration, unpopular measures like the tightening of drug possession sentences, have carried the civil rights banner. And they have continued to enjoy the electoral loyalty of the colored groups.
Paradoxical Democratic rule
Democratic dominance of votes, however, is as undeniable as it is paradoxical. Although nine out of 10 blacks vote progressive, their religious and family values, taken together, indicate conservative positions. According to a Pew Research Center survey55% of blacks believe that “to be moral it is necessary to believe in God”, a proportion five times greater than among whites. Only 29% of black Democratic voters consider themselves “progressive,” compared to 55% of whites.
Some African American politicians and militants have relied on these perceptions to claim black conservatism, more individualistic. A skeptical stance with the rhetoric of oppression that we see deployed these days, in groups like Black Lives Matter, and that has also managed to make some noise.
“Black boys in Chicago are killed every day. Where is Black Lives Matter in Chicago? When blacks kill blacksThey don’t come out to make this ridiculous, ”a black woman reproached a protester against police violence. “It’s wrong for a white cop to kill a black person, that’s for sure. But if it matters, it should matter at all times. ”
While nine out of 10 blacks vote progressive, their religious and family values, taken together, indicate conservative positions
The video went viral in conservative circles because it featured a alternative story to the one that dominates the protests against police brutality and racist crimes. A story that questions the rhetoric of inequality and structural oppression, and that emphasizes meritocracy. “I am black and I am not oppressed,” said the woman. “I am free and I did what I wanted to do. I am licensed”.
On this less collectivist side, Trump’s policy toward African-Americans has been reduced to a pure and simple economy. The reason he claims to have done more for blacks than almost any other president is because the African American unemployment rate fell to 5.6% last February, the lowest figure since the early 1970s.
Conservative black leaders, given the voting statistics and popularity of Black Lives Matter, are far fewer: Republican Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, decorated General Colin Powell or neurosurgeon Ben Carson are the champions of this minority sensitivity within a minority, in addition to groups related to the current president.
The most controversial is Candace Owens, a ‘millennial’ activist and leader of Blexit, a group that promotes, in the style of the United Kingdom against the EU, the exit of blacks from the Democratic Party. Owens, who has come to refer to his congeners such as “trained chimpanzees” Because of his Democratic loyalty, he has seen his account canceled on Twitter for spreading disinformation and his comments have been many times denied. When Blexit came out, he said his “friend Kanye West,” a Trump supporter, had designed the logo. The rapper denied it the next day.