One of the biggest stories in this election is how President Trump, whom leftists and their media allies have constantly called a “racist,” made great inroads with minorities. The left is clearly shocked. Rather than humbly spending some time on self-reflection, however, they are doubling down on identity politics by blaming minority Trump voters.
Since Election Day, leftists have been attacking minority Trump voters from two angles. First, they claim minorities who voted for Trump are “white” voters who shouldn’t be classified as minorities. This nonsense is nothing new. Prior to the election, Joe Biden famously said black voters who vote for Trump “ain’t black.”
Immediately after the election, this nonsense came up again courtesy of none other than Nikole Hannah-Jones, the creator of the now-debunked 1619 Project. When it became clear that Trump would win Florida thanks to enthusiastic support from Latino voters, Hannah-Jones tweeted: “One day after this election is over I am going to write a piece about how Latino is a contrived ethnic category that artificially lumps white Cubans with Black Puerto Ricans and indigenous Guatemalans and helps explains [sic] why Latinos support Trump at the second highest rate.”
National Public Radio’s Gene Demby quickly endorsed Hannah-Jones’ assertions. In an NPR post-election segment, titled “Who is the White Vote?” Demby said:
It’s important that, you know, we think about the ways that there are many, many white Latinos. And because whiteness so thoroughly informs voting behavior, we should probably be asking better questions about Latino voters, like whether they identify as white or not. That might be more illuminating than simply whether someone refers to themselves as Latino in some ways.
No, Democrats Don’t Own Brown People
Here is the thought process behind these kinds of comments Only white people vote for Republicans. Since skin color trumps ethnicity, of course, light-skinned minorities would vote for a Republican candidate because of their “whiteness.” They shouldn’t be counted as minority voters at all.
This thought process is deeply flawed. Dividing the Latino community by skin color is possibly the most racist thing to do. Latino voters are unique, both as individuals and based on their diverse Latin American countries of origin, but it’s wrong to use colorism to explain Latino voters’ behaviors. Regardless of skin color, many Latino immigrants have suffered or watched their families suffer under socialist policies in their home countries. Many came to America to escape socialism, so naturally, they will not vote for Democrats, whose party enthusiastically embraces it.
Further, claiming skin color drives a voter’s behavior is an insult to minority voters’ intelligence. During Trump’s first term and prior to the pandemic lockdowns, both black and Hispanic unemployment rates were at historic lows. The black and Hispanic household median annual income increase (adjusted for inflation) more than doubled during Trump’s term compared to the Obama years. Minority voters, like any other voters, will naturally support the candidate whose policies have benefited them.
By the same token, minority voters will reject candidates whose policies might bring them harm. Domingo Garcia, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens, explained to a puzzled NPR journalist why Biden lost Latino support in Texas. “For example, a lot of the Border Patrol law enforcement are heavily Latino in the Rio Grande Valley,” Garcia said. “So when you are talking about defunding the police, and you don’t stand up to those types of rhetoric, then it leaves an opening for Republicans to come in and take advantage of that.”
When will leftist pundits such as Hannah-Jones and Demby ever realize it is the radical policies and ideas they support that have driven away minority voters?
The Left Believes Minorities Have No Agency
Apparently, blaming minority Trump voters’ “whiteness” doesn’t go far enough for some on the left. Charles M. Blow, a New York Times columnist, complained that some minority Trump voters have Stockholm syndrome, a psychological response that occurs when abuse victims bond with their abusers.
There’s more. According to Blow, the number that really put him on his heels was “the percentage of L.G.B.T. people voting for Trump doubled from 2016, moving from 14 percent to 28 percent. In Georgia, the number was 33 percent.”
Although none of the statistics Blow presented even remotely support the title of his piece, “Exit Poll Points to the Power of White Patriarchy,” he found a way to blame white patriarchy and demean minority Trump voters in the end. According to Blow, Trump’s widening support across racial and gender groups “points to the power of the white patriarchy and the coattail it has of those who depend on it or aspire to it. … Some people who have historically been oppressed will stand with the oppressors, and will aspire to power by proximity.”
In the eyes of leftists such as Blow, nonwhite voters and non-straight voters who supported Trump are nobody but coattail riders who have neither personal agency nor the ability to make it on our own in the world. I had never read anything more racist, more divisive, and more insulting than this, and I am not the only one. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a human rights activist and a fellow at the Hoover Institute, tweeted: “This is the dumbest, most divisive drivel I’ve read in a long time. We should be talking about what unites us now. Not doubling down on ID-Politics. Shame on you!”
Minorites Had Good Reason to Vote for Trump
They thought that after repeating “Orange Man Bad” day after day for four years, the electorate would just follow their lead. They have no clue why someone they despised so much could have attracted even more minority votes this time around. Since they are unable to come up with any reasonable explanation, let me shed some light on the matter.
Minorities like me voted for Trump because we like his policies: lower taxes, fewer government regulations, and strong national security. American people, especially minorities, have seen real economic benefits during Trump’s first term. He stands up to socialism and promises, “America will never be a socialist country,” and his unconventional foreign policy approach has brought a historical breakthrough of peace in the Middle East.
We want a safe environment to raise our families. We don’t want to see our cities burned, our shops looted, and our statues toppled. We want good-paying jobs so we can enjoy the lifestyle we desire through our own hard work. We want all families, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to be able to choose the best school that matches their children’s educational needs. We want to continue to express ourselves without being censored or canceled.
We certainly don’t believe race and sex are the roots of nor the answer to every social ill. We are tired of identity politics, critical race theory, and cancel culture, all of which have sucked the fun out of life and shut down the exchange of ideas. We know our country has room for improvement, but it is not a racist nation. We take pride in being Americans and in all the progresses our nation has made, and we are tired of the left condemning our country’s founding and the American ideal.
As long as leftists continue to weaponize identity politics and dress us down as if we are mindless cattle, their candidates will continue to lose our support.
Helen Raleigh, CFA, is an American entrepreneur, writer, and speaker. She’s a senior contributor at The Federalist. Her writings appear in other national media, including The Wall Street Journal and Fox News. Helen’s new book, “Backlash: How Communist China’s Aggression Has Backfired,” is available for pre-order with a release date of October 20, 2020. Follow her on Twitter: @HRaleighspeaks.