African Americans do not understand their power
By Roger Caldwell
There is something happening in America, and it starts with the power of Black women. It started a long time ago when they were queens, and we see the evidence in their work ethic and their ability to achieve under impossible odds. When Black women are behind you, their passion and drive can move mountains.
In the 2017 Alabama senate race, the largest voting segment of the population was Black women, in which 98% of that group voted Democratic. Black men voted at 93%, and together they were the largest core group of Democrats in the election, and many experts think this was the reason Doug Jones won the election.
“We learned valuable lessons last month and last night – we invest early and in our communities, we win. The DNC knows Black voters are a force to be reckoned with at the ballot box, and that’s exactly why we used a nearly $1 million investment to mobilize Alabama’s African American, millennial, and faith communities. And to help boost turnout, we made sure we had our own staffers on the ground engaging Black leaders and implementing organizing programs,” says DNC Black Caucus Chair, Virgie Rollins.
Democrats now have a template that they can use around the country to get the Black vote out. Investing a large part of $1 million into the Black community is a significant amount of money that will change Black voting habits during mid-tern elections. When Black voters are informed and mobilized, they vote.
According to the New York Times, “the Black voters turned out in force, handing Mr. Jones a decisive lead in Alabama’s cities and predominantly Black rural counties. In Jefferson County, home to Birmingham and its whiter suburbs, turnout exceeded the 2014 governor’s race by about 30%, and Mr. Jones nearly matched Hilary Clinton’s vote total there. Other populous, heavily African American counties, including Montgomery and Dallas County, where Selma is, also exceeded their 2014 turnout.”
As I talk to many African Americans in Orlando, many have a pessimistic attitude about organizing and mobilizing the Black vote in 2018. Many think we have lost our excitement with the voting process, and even with the Democratic Party.
But I believe the problem in the Black Community is leadership, financing and supporting the Black media. In order to galvanize our community, our leadership must agree on a strategy, communicate the information with our media, and stay organized and be determined.
“And so for all little girls out there who need somebody to believe that you’re better than your circumstances. I need you all to remember that Black girl magic is real,” says newly elected Mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms.
Many experts expected Keisha Lance Bottoms to lose this election to a White candidate, but she won by 800 votes. She won with help from the hip hop community, and a collaboration of progressive Whites, Black women, Hispanics, and the LGBT community.
The African American community is making the difference if a candidate wins or loses an election all around the country. The Democratic Party understands the power of the Black vote, but Black folks are not in the powerful executive positions and the leaders are reluctant to spend money in the Black community.
But if the Democratic Party during the mid-term elections spends millions of dollars in the Black community and treat us as the cornerstone of the party, the results will be phenomenal. Democrats have the opportunity to win back the Senate, and make the House more competitive and closer in terms of numbers.
There is power in the Black vote, and the Black community is not taking full advantage of their influence and power. Once the Black community takes full advantage of their power, there will be a major transformation in American politics. Our leaders must work for the majority of the American people, as opposed to the rich and major corporations.