A black writer recently asserted in a headline that 99% of black men are misogynistic.
I think the true figure is less than 99%. But the writer has a point, even if he exaggerated to make it. Black male rap lyrics, for example, are notoriously demeaning to women. Curiously, blacks don’t demand a stop to them.
Black men’s disrespect towards women seems directed mostly toward black women and less toward white women. It’s generally known and the data show that black men are the demographic most likely to date and marry outside their race. About 25% of black men marry outside their race, compared to only 7% of white men and 16% of Asian men. That 25% figure of black men marrying outside their race is more than double the 12% of black women who do so.
(This raises a tangential question that must be depressing for black women: How are they supposed to find husbands of any color if black men marry whites far more than black women marry whites and far more than white and Asian men marry black women? Is this scarcity of husbands for black women part of the reason that 77% of black babies are born to unwed mothers?)
I raise these points not to provoke a sensitive race discussion, but a political one. Can Kamala Harris, a black woman, get black men to vote for her?
If not, then Joe Biden blew it. He named Harris for the VP slot specifically because she was female and black. No one seriously contends that Harris is more qualified than, say, Senators Elizabeth Warren or Amy Klochubar or even Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
But those better-qualified alternatives didn’t check enough boxes. Each checked only one box – Warren and Klochumar checked only the female box (unless you’re willing to pretend that Warren is Native American) and Buttigieg checked only the gay box. Harris, however, checked two – the female box which Biden had already promised to check and the critical black box. If she were also a hockey-playing lesbian, she’d be a hat trick.
In the post-merit identity politics of the new Democrat Party, box-checking is all-important. Especially when their last two candidates for president checked one box each themselves (the woman box for Hillary and the black box for Obama) while the only box checked by the head of the ticket this time is the “old” box. Which doesn’t count for much because most of them are old.
There are reasons blacks may be uncomfortable with Harris apart from the fact that she’s a woman. Her career was as a criminal prosecutor. As such, she tended to side with the cops. In one notorious case, she fought to prevent a DNA test that might clear a convicted murderer. As a prosecutor, perhaps that was her job, but it raises questions with blacks who are concerned about racial discrimination in law enforcement.
Other facts are equally inconvenient for Harris. Her family is not exactly typical of black Americans. Her father is a Stanford economics professor who came from Jamaica. Her mother is an Indian Ph.D. biologist. (Neither was a naturally born American citizen but Harris herself is, as she was born in Oakland.)
Whatever the reasons, early reports suggest that Biden failed to solidify his black support with the naming of Harris. He got more mileage out of her with whites than with blacks.
Contrary to Biden’s assumption, blacks are a diverse group. Many today may want a candidate who will improve their lives – which is why Trump is making inroads into their monolithic support for Democrats – while liberal whites have the luxury of wanting a candidate who will make them feel good about voting for a dark skin color.
The most telling fact right now about Biden’s choice of Harris is that Trump’s approval rating went up four points this week and is close to Obama’s when he won re-election in 2012. In Trump, identity politics may have met its match.
Postscript: For those of you following my story HERE about being in the clinical trials for the Pfizer vaccine, I can report that I still feel no side effects.