November 22nd 2023.
As the 2024 Presidential election approaches, political campaign experts are issuing a warning that a lack of focus on issues affecting Black men could leave them feeling left out and subsequently not voting. Mondale Robinson, the founder of The Black Male Project, spoke to The Hill about the lack of representation of Black men in the political space.
"There's never been a point where Black men's issues were put front and center for any political party in a real way," Robinson said. "These brothers don't see themselves represented or cared about in the political space. They don't hear people screaming about what's important to them."
A report conducted by the NAACP in September 2022 indicated that 41% of Black men surveyed felt that President Joe Biden was not doing enough to address their specific needs. Additionally, the poll from NBC News suggested that 20% of Black voters could vote for Donald Trump in the forthcoming election. However, Robinson asserted that this number is unlikely to be accurate.
“The idea that 20 percent of Black men are going to support Trump — that was borne out of Trump saying that he’s gonna get 20 percent,” Robinson said. “They said the same thing about [former President George W. Bush]. Twenty percent of Black men supporting Republicans never bears out.”
Darryn Harris, a former chief of staff for Rep. Karen Bass and a current candidate for California State Senate, also shared his opinion on the issue. He said that the Republicans have done well with their messaging around the economy and that it resonates strongly with Black men. Harris suggested that the Democrats should use more grassroots tactics, such as knocking on doors and phone banking, as well as new school text messaging campaigns.
Robinson further pointed out that polling can be misleading when it comes to Black men's views on public safety. According to Robinson, they don't necessarily want more police officers, but rather they want to be policed in the same way as white people.
Ultimately, Harris believes that Black men are not voting for the Republicans because they can't speak to racial justice issues, but they also don't trust the Democrats are doing enough to represent their needs either.
"Black men are just going to start sitting at home and just watch the polls," Harris said. "Democrats are not giving us what we want, [and] Republicans are racist. Both parties are not good for us."
It is clear that in order to ensure the voices of Black men are heard in the 2024 Presidential election, both the Democratic and Republican parties need to start addressing the issues that are important to them.
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