On Wednesday, October 28th, AAPF hosted our eighteenth episode of our hit series, Under the Blacklight, titled “Black Men For Trump? The Overdue Conversation on Patriarchy and Misogynoir in Black Politics.”
In this special “barbershop edition,” AAPF Executive Director Kimberlé Crenshaw passes the mic to AAPF Co-Founder Dr. Luke Charles Harris, who is joined by Wade Davis, Kiese Laymon, Marlon Peterson and Alvin Starks. Together, they unpack the reasons why as many as a quarter of Black men are likely to support a President who seems to be in such direct opposition to the interests of Black men and their communities. In doing so, the panel delves into the historical and contemporary implications of Black men’s complicity in patriarchy, misogynoir, and other forms of subordination. And, with a view to the election and the political landscape after it, we discussed how we may begin to react to this troubling threat before it threatens to be decisive—if it is not already.
The social and political urgency of this moment was not lost on our panelists. Only a month ago we learned from Channel 4 News that the 2016 Trump campaign created a digital strategy to deter at least 3.5 million African-Americans from showing up at the polls. This voter suppression campaign targeted Black voters—and Black women in particular—with negative messages designed to discourage them from voting.
It should be no surprise, then, that the Trump campaign is at it again. But this time around, there’s a slight but significant difference: This time around, the goal is not just to suppress but to push up Black support for Trump—and a few percentage points may make a big difference. Evidently, Black men have a particular susceptibility to swinging their votes to Trump or being turned off to voting altogether. Data suggests that while Trump won 8% of all Black voters in 2016, he won 13% among Black men, more than three times the support he got from Black women. That support, contrary to popular belief, has only increased in the last four years.
The most recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that 24% of Black men approved of Trump’s job performance—400% greater than the 6% of Black women who felt the same. In fact, some predict that Trump may gain more Black male support than previous Republican candidates Romney, McCain, and Bush. Trump-friendly advocacy from Black men like Kanye West, Ice Cube, and 50 Cent further amplifies this gender gap in Black politics.
Our goal was to understand it.
This group of male leaders, writers, thinkers and activists helped guide us through exploring what genuine self-love looks like for Black men, the relationship between racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia in the Black community, and how we can imagine different, more empowering futures for ourselves and our communities.