Pandering to the minority voters is standard practice when election season comes around. Doing the latest urban dance moves, attending historically black colleges and universities and repeatedly referencing the detrimental effects the War on Drugs caused for black men and women. All and all, it comes down to believability and relatability.
President Barack Obama brought the highest black voter turnout for the 2008 and 2012 election. Being the first black nominee for a major party then becoming the first black U.S. President, President Obama offered hope and opportunity embodied in his first campaign slogans, “Yes We Can” and “Change.” Simply being black did not seal his fate with black voters as demonstrated by the lack of support given Herman Cain in 2012 and Ben Carson in 2016.
Sexual misconduct scandals, proclaiming that black democrats were “brainwashed” and comparing social security to slavery were just some of the of the problems that plagued Cain’s road to presidency. He was the Donald Trump of 2012 with controversial statements and alienating crusades. Being out of touch seems to be the largest problem facing GOP candidates who disregard to racial disparities that affect minorities socially and economically.
Even for Democrats, pandering the black vote can be hard. Hillary Clinton is working overtime with references to her time spent with Black superstars Beyoncé and Jay-Z while Bernie Sanders highlighted his arrest in 1963 during a demonstration protesting the city’s segregated schools. With Black Lives Matters continuing to press on, being able to understand and relate to movement is another crucial point.
Donald Trump is the leading GOP candidate though the party vehemently can’t stand him. Bernie Sanders has the youth rallying for socialism. Political memes are flooding social media and facts have become commodities rather than necessities. Getting that black vote requires more than slang and eating soul food but empathizing and understanding that being Black in America is not always easy while also coming up with solutions to deal with the violence, poverty, racism and other issues plaguing the Black community without simply blaming hip-hop and violent video games.