Monday, September 5, 2016

The Black Millennial Blame Game

Whenever the polls get close as they have recently with the switch from registered voters to likely voter models, the media starts looking for "answers" other than the obvious like "switch from registered voters to likely voter models".  That doesn't sell copy, so there's been a lot of effort to find instead someone to pin the blame on in case Clinton loses.  Jonathan Martin of the NYT confirms that group is black Millennials in 2016.

When a handful of liberal advocacy organizations convened a series of focus groups with young black voters last month, the assessments of Donald J. Trump were predictably unsparing.

But when the participants were asked about Hillary Clinton, their appraisals were just as blunt and nearly as biting.

“What am I supposed to do if I don’t like him and I don’t trust her?” a millennial black woman in Ohio asked. “Choose between being stabbed and being shot? No way!”

“She was part of the whole problem that started sending blacks to jail,” a young black man, also from Ohio, observed about Mrs. Clinton.

“He’s a racist, and she is a liar, so really what’s the difference in choosing both or choosing neither?” another young black woman from Ohio said.

Young African-Americans, like all voters their age, are typically far harder to drive to the polls than middle-aged and older Americans. Yet with just over two months until Election Day, many Democrats are expressing alarm at the lack of enthusiasm, and in some cases outright resistance, some black millennials feel toward Mrs. Clinton.

Their skepticism is rooted in a deep discomfort with the political establishment that they believe the 68-year-old former first lady and secretary of state represents. They share a lingering mistrust of Mrs. Clinton and her husband over criminal justice issues. They are demanding more from politicians as part of a new, confrontational wave of black activism that has arisen in response to police killings of unarmed African-Americans.

“We’re in the midst of a movement with a real sense of urgency,” explained Brittany Packnett, 31, a St. Louis-based leader in the push for police accountability. Mrs. Clinton is not yet connecting, she said, “because the conversation that younger black voters are having is no longer one about settling on a candidate who is better than the alternative.”

The question of just how many young African-Americans will show up to vote carries profound implications for this election. Mrs. Clinton is sure to dominate Mr. Trump among black voters, but her overwhelming margin could ultimately matter less than the total number of blacks who show up to vote.

To replicate President Obama’s success in crucial states such as Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, she cannot afford to let the percentage of the electorate that is black slip far below what it was in 2012. And while a modest drop-off of black votes may not imperil Mrs. Clinton’s prospects, given Mr. Trump’s unpopularity among upscale white voters, it could undermine Democrats’ effort to capture control of the Senate and win other down-ballot elections.

Elon James White, in particular, has been taking this approach, that real criminal justice and mass incarceration issues are the main thing for black voters in this election.  That's fine, he lives in California, a state that Clinton is in precisely zero danger of losing, it's good to spread awareness.

But these are black Millennial voters in Ohio, North Carolina, Viginia and Missouri we're talking about here. And the thing is Hillary Clinton has put her plans for addressing these issues right on her website.

"People are crying out for criminal justice reform. Families are being torn apart by excessive incarceration. Young people are being threatened and humiliated by racial profiling. Children are growing up in homes shattered by prison and poverty. They’re trying to tell us. We need to listen." 
Hillary Clinton, July 8, 2016

The United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population but almost 25 percent of the total prison population. A significant percentage of the more than 2 million Americans incarcerated today are nonviolent offenders. African American men are far more likely to be stopped and searched by police, charged with crimes, and sentenced to longer prison terms than white men found guilty of the same offenses.

To successfully reform our criminal justice system, we must work to strengthen the bonds of trust between our communities and our police, end the era of mass incarceration, and ensure a successful transition of individuals from prison to home. As president, Hillary will focus on a few key areas.

And then it lists exactly what she plans to do about improving conditions with reforming police, to use the kind of collaborative policing approach that has worked here in Cincinnati, and to end the era of mass incarceration.   That's been there since July, and it's one of the major reasons I'm voting for her, not "against Trump" but for Hillary Clinton.

But nowhere in the article does Jon Martin mention this.

In Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, 70 percent of African-Americans under 35 said they were backing Mrs. Clinton, 8 percent indicated support for Mr. Trump and 18 percent said they were backing another candidate or did not know whom they would support. In 2012, Mr. Obama won 92 percent of black voters under 45 nationally, according to exit polling.

Over 25 percent of African-Americans are between 18 and 34, and 44 percent are older than 35, according to 2013 census data.

“There is no Democratic majority without these voters,” Mr. Belcher said. “The danger is that if you don’t get these voters out, you’ve got the 2004 John Kerry electorate again.”

In Ohio, for example, blacks were 10 percent of the electorate in the 2004 presidential race. But when Mr. Obama ran for re-election in 2012, that number jumped to 15 percent.

What frustrates many blacks under 40 is Mrs. Clinton’s overriding focus on Mr. Trump.

“We already know what the deal is with Trump,” said Nathan Baskerville, a 35-year-old North Carolina state representative. “Tell us what your plan is to make our life better.”

She has.

Nobody apparently has listened, and I'm actually pretty upset with this.

Such talk can be frustrating to Mrs. Clinton’s aides, who point out that her first speech of the campaign was on criminal justice and that she has laid out a series of proposals on the topic.

“It is on us to make sure that that’s known,” said Addisu Demissie, Mrs. Clinton’s voter outreach and mobilization director, adding of young black activists, “We share their goals, we share their values and we want to make sure that’s reflected through our campaign.”

The focus groups and interviews with young black activists suggest many of them are not aware of Mrs. Clinton’s plans regarding police conduct, mass incarceration and structural racism broadly

Please note that this is being reported in a newspaper.  Perhaps the newspaper could do an article on Mrs. Clinton's plans regarding police conduct, mass incarceration, and structural racism broadly.

Just saying.

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