What is it about black Trump supporters that warms my heart?
I’m white and my parents separated (later divorced) when I was very young. My mom later took up with a black man, who eventually moved into our house and, years later, married her. I lived with my stepfather longer than my natural father, and he was more of a father to me than my “real” dad.
He had a son, my stepbrother, who lived with us part-time and became close to me and my sisters. We’re still in touch and see each other a few times a year (in non-pandemic years).
I had three girlfriends while growing up, none of whom were white. My first and only white girlfriend was in my twenties. After that I dated two other non-white women, the latter of whom I married.
A funny thing happened to me after I grew up: I became a Republican. Does this mean I became a racist? Race never entered the picture; it was all about abortion. When President Clinton was up for re-election, although I had voted for him the first time, I couldn’t do it again. So I voted Republican for the first time, but not for Bob Dole. I still had this anti-conservative residue in my psyche that made Dole unpalatable; he was too much of a typical, old conservative. So I voted for a black (and Catholic) Republican named Alan Keyes. Again, it was never about race.
Since then I’ve voted for every Republican presidential nominee, with one exception: Trump. I just couldn’t do it. He was too crude, lewd, and petty. Too playground-like with his name-calling and verbal pigtail-pulling. I didn’t sense any strong principles underlying his policy positions and his conduct. He struck me as a loose cannon, and with his hands on so much power, what might he not do?
Still, he was right when it came to immigration. On that topic as on others, he was crude and puerile. But he was the first serious presidential candidate who dared to say outright that immigration was out of control and needed to be reigned in; that it was absurd that anyone who managed to get across our border, legally or not, was entitled to benefits at our expense; which, logically, meant that the American taxpayer owes benefits to the citizens of any and every country on earth, so long as they manage to set foot on our soil.
I was also sick of being told that my position on immigration made me a racist. And it seemed to me that the main reason Trump was called racist was because of his immigration stance. So I sympathized with him.
For all that I don’t like Trump and his style and seeming lack of principle, I didn’t like Hillary’s style and lack of principle either. And Trump at least is willing to appoint people who are openly anti-abortion to cabinet positions and judgeships. So I didn’t cry when Trump won.
Lately I’ve been watching YouTube videos of black Trump supporters. Of course everyone has heard of Candace Owens and I like her alright. There are other black conservatives too who post videos regularly and have fairly large followings. But what I’m talking about now is interviews of black Republicans on the street and at rallies and so forth, as well as #WalkAway videos by black conservatives.
[NOTE: The original video linked in this post was removed from YouTube, I’m guessing as part of The Purge. I’m linking another video below that includes the same interview that was featured in the original one.]
They absolutely warm my heart. Why is that?
I think it stems from the constant accusations of racism against white conservatives by the media and academics. Trump’s election was a surprise largely because whites (though not only whites) were shy about expressing support for him, in polls and otherwise, so that his support was underestimated. People hide their support for Trump for fear of being harassed or boycotted, or of harm to their careers. This is because the overwhelming message from news outlets and social media is that Trump is racist, and therefore all other Republicans are too.
But along come these black Republicans, and put the lie to the accusation that only a racist could support Trump. The more blacks come out publicly in support of Trump, the harder it gets to support that insinuation.
There’s a second element to it as well. Since the ubiquitous message is that Republicans are racist, and 90% of blacks vote Democrat, it follows (or at least it feels like it does) that 90% of blacks think I’m a racist. Therefore black people are off-limits when it comes to discussing politics. They’re people with whom I need to tread lightly, not only because they oppose me politically, but because they themselves are the victims of the racism inherent (as they see it) in my political views.
What’s happening, of course, is that I’m racially profiling blacks. But is that due to my own racism? Not at all. It’s because of the message that has been drummed into me by the liberal media and academia, that the mere fact of my being a Republican will (or should) be deeply offensive to virtually any black person I might meet.
But if there are black Republicans, then this doesn’t hold water. This means there are blacks that I don’t have to tread lightly around, but can talk politics with like anyone else. Liberalism has created a situation in which I’m brainwashed into thinking of blacks as “other” — because they purportedly see me as “other” — but when I see a black Republican I no longer see “other,” I just see a guy. I can be myself with him because I don’t have to assume that he thinks I’m a racist.
And that’s a beautiful thing.
When I was a little white kid going to backyard barbecues at my black relatives’ house in South L.A., I never worried about this stuff. I had a black cousin close to my age, and we were like peas in a pod. I loved his mom and dad (my aunt and uncle) dearly. We might have a gang of 10 or 11 kids running around playing football or hide-and-seek, of which me and my sister were the only white kids, in a virtually all-black neighborhood, and the idea of race, or any kind of uneasiness on account of it, never entered our heads. Those ideas don’t occur naturally, they’re drummed into us.
Nowadays, it’s not conservatives who are doing the drumming.