Saturday, September 18, 2021

California Recall: It Must Be The Fault of Black Men

As you may have heard the petition to recall Democratic California governor Gavin Newsom and replace him with noted nutjob Republican Larry Elder failed spectacularly. 
About 64% of the electorate voted "no" on the recall. 36% voted "yes". 
As California is a heavily Democratic state while Elder is an odious person, even for a Black Republican, the results aren't that surprising. 
What is also unsurprising is that the New York Times found a way to take shots at Black men voters. You see, per CNN exit polls, 89% of Black women voters voted "no" on the recall. 
This was the group with the highest "no" voting proportion. But according to NYT columnist Charles Blow, there is something wrong with Black men because:
But there is a worrisome detail in the data, one that keeps showing up, one that Democrats would do well to deal with: Black and Latino men are not hewing as close to the party line as Black and Latina women.
In CNN’s exit poll, nearly half of the Hispanic men surveyed and nearly a quarter of the Black men voted to support the recall. The largest difference between men and women of any racial group was between Black men and Black women.
For one thing, never underestimate the communion among men, regardless of race. Men have privileges in society, and some are drawn to policies that elevate their privileges.
The question for Democrats is how do they lure some of these men back without catering to the patriarchy. From a position of principle, the party can’t really appeal to them; it must seek to change them.

My my! There's a lot to unpack there. Well whenever someone rings the alarm bell, I want to find out if there really is a fire. Because my experience has been that some people just like using certain groups as scapegoats. 
It is true, as I stated, that Black women voters in California had the highest rate of support for the Democratic position, "no" on recall. What's also true, and yet goes completely unmentioned in the Blow column, is that Black men voters had the second highest rate of support for the Democratic position!!! 
Every other group detailed was less likely than Black men to support the Democratic position. See the data for yourself below:

Gender by race

3,266 total respondents

White men

24%

White women

32%

Black men

4%

Black women

4%

Latino men

12%

Latino women

12%

Other racial/ethnic groups

12%

No54%62%77%89%55%64%56%
Yes46%38%23%11%45%36%44%


 




So just in terms of the data, Blow and the editors at the NYT are being stunningly dishonest. Black men voted to oppose the recall at 77%. 
This is 22-23 points more than Latino or White men and 13-15 points more than Latino or White women!!! Let's say that again for the people in the back. 
White and Latino women, a whopping 44% of the electorate, were less likely to oppose the recall than Black men. Almost 4 in 10 White or Latino women supported the recall.
So did Latino or White women have higher support for the recall because they were in "support of the patriarchy"? That must be the conclusion according to Blow's logic, right?  
And yet somehow Blow didn't write a column blasting Latino or White women for not voting in lockstep with Black women. Latino men and White men voted more closely together than Black men and White men or Black men and Latino men. This is also something that Blow overlooks.
Saying that Black voters had the largest gender gap without also pointing out that Black voters also were the smallest group at 8% of voters and had the highest support for the Democrats is just plain deceitful. 
It's like the proverbial car salesman who tells you that he can get you a 50% price cut on the extended warranty without also mentioning that (1) he just raised the price of the extended warranty by 200% and (2) the extended warranty doesn't cover what you think it covers. 
Or as Mark Twain put it, "Figures don't lie, but liars figure". 
The real issue here, which Blow dances around, but can't bring himself to engage with in any real way is that Democrats have gone all in on appeals to women, in particular Black women, in a way that limits outreach to men. 
There's an inability to admit that men, as men in general, or as Black men or God forbid White men, have any legitimate interests that might not line up perfectly with the dominant discourse around feminist/LGBTQ/neoliberal policies and framing which the Democrats have chosen. 
In Blow's mind apparently the only role that Black men have is to show up and vote for whatever the Democratic position is in the EXACT SAME PROPORTION as Black women or be dammed to burn in everlasting hellfire.

Stating that the party must seek to change voters, rather than listen to what voters want and respond to them is just so incredibly entitled and arrogant. 
Voting is an exchange. 
If you want my vote you need to listen to what I say my issues are and explain how your proposed policies and stances align with my needs and my values. There will be some give and take.
Just saying that the other fellow is worse so f*** me if I don't vote for you is not a long term winning strategy.
The Democrats and their shills in the NYT need to stop being so entitled to the Black vote. They need to stop acting as if Black women are the only Black people who vote or that Black women get to define the interests of the Black community. 
If Democrats continue to explicitly pander to women and Black women, they will continue to struggle with male voters, some more than others. If Republicans continue to explicitly pander to white nationalists, they will continue to struggle with Black voters, some more than others. It's not that complicated folks. 
Lastly the proposition that in America Black men have privilege is a pretty freaking stupid idea. But that's what you get from intersectional feminism.
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