By Daniel Greenfield Wednesday, March 04, 2020 1 Comments @ Sultan Knish Blog
In the Black Lives Matter era, everyone assumes that pro-crime policies
are the way to win over black voters. Candidates tout criminal justice
reform schemes like freeing criminals and legalizing drugs.
1994's Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, a piece of
bipartisan legislation that helped roll back crime rates in the 90s by
locking up criminals, is denounced for causing “mass incarceration”.
But Joe Biden, who wrote the bill, is a player in the 2020 primaries because of his black supporters.
In the latest Quinnipiac poll, Biden’s support has collapsed with
everyone except black voters. Only 14% of white Democrats support him,
but 27% of black Democrats are still standing by their racist man.
A quarter of black voters may not sound like a lot, but it’s more than any other candidate in the race.
Behind Biden is Bloomberg with 22%. Despite running on pro-crime
policies so extreme that he had proposed freeing half the national
prison population, ending enforcement of vagrancy and drug laws, and
allowing the Boston Marathon bomber to vote from prison, Sanders is only
in third place.
The opposition dumps on Michael Bloomberg have already begun with clips
that show the former New York City boss discussing ‘Stop and Frisk’ gang
member crackdowns, and policing in the Big Apple.
"Ninety-five percent of murders- murderers and murder victims fit one
M.O. You can just take a description, Xerox it, and pass it out to all
the cops," Bloomberg is heard saying. "They are male, minorities, 16-25.
That's true in New York, that's true in virtually every city. And
that's where the real crime is. You've got to get the guns out of the
hands of people that are getting killed."
"People say, 'Oh my God, you are arresting kids for marijuana that are
all minorities.' Yes, that's true. Why? Because we put all the cops in
minority neighborhoods. Yes, that's true. Why do we do it? Because
that's where all the crime is,” he goes on to say.
Democrats and Republicans assume that clips like this will kill Bloomberg’s black support.
Except this same exact play was run against Hillary Clinton who had
referred to “superpredators” when discussing the threat from career
underage criminals. Bernie Sanders had accused Hillary of racism for
using the term. And Hillary Clinton still stomped him by routinely
taking 80% to 90% of the black vote.
Hillary's worst performance and Sanders' best performance among black
voters happened in Missouri where she only took 67% of the black vote
and he got 32%. So much for the ‘superpredator’ strategy.
Going after Biden’s ‘tough on crime’ record failed just as miserably. It
failed even when black candidates like Booker and Harris did it.
Warren, who wants to repeal the 1994 crime bill, is polling at 8% among
black voters. After four years of pro-crime pandering, Sanders is
lagging ‘Stop and Frisk’ Bloomberg.
Maybe it’s time to stop assuming that black voters have signed on to the Black Lives Matter agenda.
If black voters really wanted to dismantle the criminal justice system,
they could just vote libertarian. They certainly would be more likely to
vote for Sanders or Warren, than Biden and Bloomberg.
Crime disproportionately affects black communities. And black community
leaders used to lead the campaign against it. The idea that ‘tough on
crime’ was a racist white conspiracy is revisionist history.
Why did attacking Hillary and then Biden on the 1994 crime bill fail to sway black voters?
A majority of Congressional Black Caucus members voted for it. In fact,
they helped save it from the conservative Democrats who had tried to
scuttle it over its social justice funding for criminals.
Rep. Charles Rangel, who helped the bill pass, had been rallying for
action since the 70s. At a CBC meeting with President Nixon, it was
Rangel who urged the Republican to take a stand.
“Public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse. In order to
fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out
offensive,” Rangel told him.
Even not all that long ago, Republicans appealed to black voters by
getting tough on crime. After a successful crackdown on crime, Giuliani
shot up from 5% to 19% among black voters.
The Rockefeller drug laws, a popular target of perpetually outraged
white liberals in New York, were strongly backed by black leaders at the
time. That was back when 71% of black voters supported life without
parole for drug dealers. Things have changed. But not as much as people
think. Most polls still show that more black people believe that crime
is a more serious issue than the criminal justice system.
There is a younger upscale segment of the black community that is
pro-crime and anti-police. This is where Black Lives Matter, Bernie
Sanders, and criminal justice reform gets much of its support. Think of
this as the Colin Kaepernick demographic. But most black voters are
older and more conservative.
The assumption that black voters must support criminals is as stupid and
racist as the equally misguided idea that Latino voters must support
illegal migration. Black communities are on the front lines of crime in
much the same way that Latinos are on the front lines of illegal
migration. Black officers form the thin blue line in some of the most
dangerous cities in America, as Latinos do serving on the Border Patrol.
Black voters have a range of nuanced positions on crime. But Democrats
and Republicans have both accepted that what black people really want
are candidates who put criminals first and victims last.
That’s not black voters speaking. It’s white lefties in the media speaking for the black community.
White lefties and libertarians keep promising the black vote that isn’t
theirs to give to candidates who will turn over the country to
criminals. Meanwhile the black vote keeps going somewhere else entirely.
Political myths spawned from the pro-crime echo chamber are everywhere
in the 2020 race. Black voters, we are repeatedly told, won’t support
Buttigieg because he was tough on crime. If you can picture Buttigieg
being tough on anything, go for it. Meanwhile those same black voters
rallied behind Bloomberg who had inherited Giuliani’s approach to crime,
but utterly refused to back Buttigieg.
Black voters, we are told, wouldn’t support Kamala Harris because she
was a ‘cop’. Except that she won 79% of black voters when she ran for
the Senate after serving as Attorney General of California. Black voters
didn’t run away from her because she used to be a prosecutor, but
because she was inauthentic. Her campaign slogan, “Kamala for the
People” had been coined to play off her time as AG. But instead her ACLU
sister talked her into running a fluffy campaign modeled on Obama’s
Black voters these days do want fewer people in prison, but their first
priority is ending the killing sprees in Baltimore, Chicago, and in
cities across the country. If Republicans want to appeal to black
voters, the right model doesn’t lie in pro-crime ‘criminal justice
reform’, which hasn’t even worked for the Left.
In 1972, Nixon won 18% of the black vote, a record, by appealing to
black voters with a mix of economic progress and getting tough on crime.
His campaign blitzed black publications with ads that spoke to black
aspirations. That’s a path that President Trump can successfully follow
to boost support in 2020.
Economic growth and federal intervention to stop the killing in Baltimore and Chicago would do it.
What Republicans should not do is address black people as if they are
criminals who want nothing more than fewer cops and more criminals in
their communities. Nixon won a record number of black votes by not
buying into the media’s idea of what black people wanted, but by
offering many what they did want.
Economic empowerment. Safer communities. And a way forward.
Lefties still haven’t learned to stop trying to win over black voters
with pro-crime policies. It didn’t work for Sanders in 2016. It didn’t
work for Sanders, Warren, Booker, or Harris in 2020. Democrats are
unable to deviate from the herd mindset and stop repeating the same
politically correct Sisyphean follies.
They can’t learn from history. Republicans can and should.
Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine. Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation. Thank you for reading.