For generations, Democrats have taken the black vote for granted. Comments like Joe Biden’s claim that black Americans “ain’t black” if they don’t vote for him show just how entitled Democrats feel to their support. As a black Republican in Congress who voted for President Trump, this is offensive. Democrats claim to be champions of our community, but they’ve done little to earn our loyalty. As we celebrate Black History Month, Democrats should take note.
Earlier this week I joined RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel on her podcast “Real America” to talk about how Democrats are leaving black Americans behind. Democrats have taken the challenges faced by the black community and exploited them to the detriment of the people they say they’re helping. They stoke division by teaching Critical Race Theory in the classroom, indoctrinating students to believe our country is inherently racist and view fellow Americans as either oppressors or oppressed. They rail against voter ID laws and smear anyone who opposes a federal takeover of elections as white supremacists.
This isn’t a winning strategy. Black Americans’ support for Biden dropped 19 points since April according to a recent survey, and another poll found an even steeper drop-off, with Biden’s approval with black Americans plummeting 34 points over his first year in office.
It’s easy to see why. Democrat policies have disproportionately hurt black communities. Black neighborhoods have gotten less safe thanks to Democrats’ “defund the police” agenda. In deep-blue Chicago, the percentage of murder victims who were black jumped from 70% in 2020 to 81% in 2021. In Milwaukee, that number surged from 60% to 90%. And in Pittsburgh, black people represented 90% of murders between January and April 2021. Obviously, anyone who talks about being soft on crime or defunding the police either didn’t grow up in an inner city or has ulterior motives.
Meanwhile, Biden’s reckless economic policies are causing prices for everyday goods to skyrocket. Gas has spiked by 40% since last year, making it more expensive to drive to work and school. Essentials like chicken and eggs are up 10% and 13%, respectively. Biden’s Chief of Staff Ron Klain may think inflation is a “high class problem,” but for families on a budget, it’s an everyday struggle.
And when it comes to education, Democrats like Biden too often oppose school choice policies that have been a godsend to children trapped in failing school districts, many of whom are black. The education gap has only gotten worse since the pandemic. A McKinsey report found that because of the past two years of school closures and online learning, black students will experience a 3.3% loss of income per year in their adult lives — the worst of any group. As the son of a single mother, I saw my mom fight for school choice long before it was popular. She pulled me out of our public school, sacrificed and ensured I received a quality education. For thousands of moms and dads across America, that’s all they want for their kids. This is personal to me, and I am proud that my wife is leading the fight for educational choice for Florida parents while Democrats block school choice options.
Democrats have failed black Americans, and yet they continue to expect our allegiance. But the tide is turning.
In 2020, President Donald Trump gained more support from black voters and earned the highest share of the minority vote of any GOP candidate since 1980. Record numbers of black Republicans are winning elections up and down-ballot. In Virginia, Winsome Sears became the state’s first black woman lieutenant governor, while A.C. Cordoza won his election to the Virginia House of Delegates. And in Kentucky, Donald Douglaswas elected to the state Senate.
As we gear up for the midterm elections, the Republican Party will continue to make inroads with the black community. The RNC has made a multimillion-dollar commitment to opening Black American Community Centers in key states as part of their effort to build relationships with minorities. Offices in Ohio, Georgia, Wisconsin and here in Florida are already serving local black communities, and more are slated to open later this year. And with over 50 black Republicans running in GOP primaries for both state and federal office in 2022, the momentum is only building. I look forward to welcoming more black Republicans to Congress.
Republicans are making gains with black Americans because our message of economic opportunity, safe communities, and school choice transcends skin color. Better yet, our policies work. In the months leading up to November 8th, I’m excited to watch our Party grow. Democrats are in for a rude awakening.
Byron Donalds represents Florida’s 19th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives.