June 25, 2020

WHY ARE DEMOCRATS BLOCKING CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM? BECAUSE THEY KNOW THEIR BLACK CONSTITUENTS ARE UNHAPPY WITH THEM, AND THEY DON’T WANT TO GIVE TRUMP A CHANCE TO SHOW MORE RESULTS THAN THEY HAVE. Politico: Black voters in Detroit are disgusted with Democrats, and sure that Trump will win.

“We look at Joe Biden and see more of the same. It’s about the era he came up. It’s about his identity—he’s a rich, old white man. What are his credentials to us, other than Obama picking him? It’s nice that he worked with Obama. But let’s keep it real: That was a political calculation. Obama thought he needed a white man to get elected, just like Biden thinks he needs a Black woman to get elected. We can see through that.”

These sentiments resurfaced in almost every conversation I had. First, that Biden choosing a woman of color might actually irritate, not appease, Black voters. Second, that the inferno of June would flicker by summer’s end and fade entirely by November. And third, that Biden does little to inspire a wary Black electorate that views him as the status quo personified. It was thoroughly convincing. Here were high-information voters, giving their personal opinions while also analyzing the feeling of their community, all making the same points in separate conversations.

“We’re all Democrats, but we’re all Black Democrats. So, we can see things for what they are,” explained URSURA MOORE, a 53-year-old real estate agent. “Some people thought just because we had a Black president, he was going to make things better for Black people—he was going to free Black prisoners, wipe out Black debt. That was just ignorance. But the disappointment some of us felt with Obama—more so with the Democratic Party—that was real. And it hasn’t gone away. So, people start to wonder whether the outcome even matters. They wonder whether they should bother voting at all.”

She stopped herself. “I’m going to vote. But Trump’s getting back in office either way.”

This was another recurring theme of my conversations: a fatalism about defeating Trump this fall. Not a single person I spoke with at the cookout told me they believed Biden would win.

Plus:

“If he puts Michelle on the ticket, everybody turns out.”

This much the table agreed on. But there was no such unanimity on Biden’s actual shortlist. In fact, the harshest criticisms were reserved for the person widely viewed as the frontrunner, California Senator Kamala Harris.

“She’s fake. She’s phony. She’s not one of us. She built a political career by over-prosecuting Black kids,” Neal said.

And:

“We’re always the fucking help! And I’m tired of being the help!” she cried. “Don’t wait until it’s an election year, until you’re in trouble, to come to us and ask for help saving your asses. They always say it will be different after the next election. But it never is. And we’re sick of it. And it’s why—”

Neal completed the sentence: “That’s why Trump’s gonna win again.”

The table fell hushed. I asked if anyone disagreed with that prediction. Not a single person did.

Honestly, Trump’s already done more for black Americans than Obama did, and more than Biden would do. But the Democrats are doing their best to make sure he can’t do any more before the election. You sure you want to turn out for them?

And, just because: “Don’t bring some 27-year-old white kid from Oregon, with skinny jeans and an iPad, into my fucking neighborhood in Detroit and tell me how to get out the vote!”

And a question for Pelosi, et al.: You had a supermajority under Obama. Why didn’t you do anything about criminal justice reform then?

Read the entire article — there’s much more than these excerpts, and it’s all really good reporting.

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