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Black men feel neglected by Democrats.


Aaron Vethea says he has voted in elections for president, governor, and senator in the United States many times, but these lawmakers are determined to improve the lives of him, his family, or his community. Little or nothing.

Bethea said he believes the issues he cares about — economic freedom and equal investment in predominantly black schools — have been largely ignored.

“Where we come from, nobody cares what black men think,” says Bethea, an Atlanta father of six who owns a wholesale company that sells televisions. Told. “They do nothing for us.”

Bethea, 40, said she plans to vote Democrat in Georgia’s hotly contested gubernatorial and senate races. However, he is not voting enthusiastically. He hopes that someday someone will prioritize the needs of black men.

Bethea is not alone. Political analysts, researchers and black men leaders say politicians have failed to provide some black men with messages that resonate with them and visibility in their communities. Democrats could be particularly hard hit in the next midterm elections, given that black men are his second-highest voting bloc in the party’s approval ratings after black women, experts say. is.

While black men have increasingly supported the Republican Party in recent years, some say the Republican Party has not yet achieved its goals. Given their many gaffes, history of domestic violence, and being absentee fathers, I am concerned that they are not positively representing them.

Aaron Bethea poses outside the Anytime Katz barbershop in Atlanta.

Political analysts say the lack of an effective message led black men to sit in their homes on Nov. 8 and democrats like Stacey Abrams (who made late attempts to reach out to black men at a series of events) may lose the race.

“If someone doesn’t feel spoken to and gets demotivated, that’s a real problem,” said Jason Nichols, a professor of African-American studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. “A lot of these campaigns don’t hire black male advisors. They don’t actually hire black men to teach them how to contact black men.”

So far, 39% of black voters are male and 61% are female. Catalyst is a company that provides data and other services to Democrats, academics and non-profit advocacy groups to provide insight into who will vote by November. These breakdowns were the same at this point in the 2020 early voting period.

Some polls suggest black men are gradually leaving the Democratic Party to vote Republican.In 2020, 12% of black men voted for former President Donald Trump.

Some black men find Republicans more attractive, said Ted Johnson, senior director of the Brennan Center for Justice. In 2016, Johnson wrote in The Atlantic that black people who supported Trump were “working-class or middle-class black men over the age of 35 who are interested in alternative approaches to addressing what plagues black America.” I wrote that there is a high possibility that there is.

Still, Johnson said black men would vote against Republican candidates they felt were not naïve and ineligible. That’s the case for walkers.

The Walker-Warnock matchup is the closest and most important Senate election in the country, as Republicans now seek to regain control of Congress, which is currently split 50-50 with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the deciding vote. is one of

Walker has been criticized by opponents for allegedly being violent with his ex-wife and paying for the mother of one of his children to have an abortion. In response, he said there should be “accountability” for past violent behavior and that people should not be “ashamed” of facing mental health problems.

Walker will speak at the campaign event in Carrollton, Georgia on October 11th.

In an interview with NBC News, Walker admitted to sending a $700 check to the woman. I’m doing it.

Walker currently votes with 11% of black men, compared to Warnock’s 74%.

“(Walker) is not an attractive, viable candidate for most black people,” Johnson said. ”

A recent poll found that 16% of black men support Republican Governor Brian Kemp, compared to 77% for Abrams. Johnson said he believes Kemp has more support from black men because some men still refuse to accept women for office.

“There’s a tension of conservatism with a tension of sexism in black men,” Johnson said, noting that he didn’t like Trump in 2016, but made Hillary Clinton the first female president.

In recent years, Republicans have faced criticism for being sexist, misogynist, and denying women’s rights.

Walker’s candidacy became a hot topic among several black men who gathered at the Anytime Katz barber shop in Atlanta on a recent Monday afternoon. Part of a series hosted by Black Men Decide, it gave black men a chance to vote and discuss issues that mattered to them.

Some of the black men in attendance said the Republican Party had made Walker (a former NFL running back with no political experience and a troubled past) a beloved figure in Atlanta’s black community, once led by a pastor. He said he was uncomfortable playing against Warnock, who pastored the church. Martin Luther King Jr.

Aaron Bethea, second from right, speaks as he discusses voting with other black men at the Anytime Katts barbershop.

Barber Antoine Hawkins posing for a portrait at Anytime Cutz barbershop.

Antwaun Hawkins, a 46-year-old barber, said, “Man looks like an idiot.” “Is that the person we want to put to speak for us? Because he’s black? No, to me, he looks like an idiot.”

Bethea said after the Barbershop event that Walker’s candidacy felt like a “bad joke.”

“I think he’s embarrassed,” Bethea said. “He doesn’t play on the field in a position he doesn’t know how to play. Someone stopped him from staying in his lane.”

Bethea said she plans to vote for Warnock because he is the better candidate and a pillar of the community.

Moyo Akinade, a 29-year-old soccer coach from Atlanta, said he would vote for Warnock because he is a positive role model. Walker, on the other hand, perpetuates negative stereotypes about black men, Akinade said.

Those stereotypes are: “We are aggressive, unintelligent, and abusive.” “It portrays black men as violent. ”

But one barber thinks voters shouldn’t judge Walker by his past.

Anytime Cutz Manager Charles Scott said: “But at some point, people can change. Like they’re bashing Herschel Walker. How do you know he’s not a changed man?”

Katz's manager and barber, Charles Scott, doesn't think voters should judge Walker by his past.

A black man interviewed by CNN said he wanted not only the character and experience of being a politician, but also the issues he was working on.

According to a report released in September by the NAACP, black men believe racism/discrimination, inflation/cost of living, and criminal justice reform/police brutality are the most important issues facing the black community. was The survey concluded that his 41% of black men disapprove of the work President Joe Biden is doing to address the needs of the black community.

The Anytime Katz group cited financial stability, student loan forgiveness, police reform, health care reform and improving prison conditions as their top concerns.

Most people said they would vote in elections, but lawmakers rarely make decisions that benefit individuals and communities.

“Do something about the crackdown,” Hawkins said. “Do something for those who really can’t help themselves. I don’t think people choose to be homeless and hungry.”

Hawkins and Bethea said they had given up waiting for policies that would close the wealth gap and give black Americans a fair chance to succeed.

“We can’t just sit around and wait for the law to change because our kids are at home hungry,” Hawkins said.

Gestures of Hawkins talking about voting on Anytime Cutz.

Some of those same feelings are felt by a black man in New York about 900 miles away.

Misonne Linen, a popular activist and rapper from the Bronx, said she can’t remember the last time an election candidate spoke directly to a black man during a campaign and kept a promise after winning.Linen said black men are tired of “pandering.” Linen wants politicians who genuinely care about black men in marginalized communities and commit to police reform, affordable jobs, and investments in mental health resources.

“They have to do a better job with tangible results,” Linen said. “How do we plan to invest in our communities to change these realities?” Tell me, take office and fight to actually do those things.”

In the past few months, Abrams has hosted a series of events for black men in Georgia to share her plans for investing in black-owned small businesses, expanding Medicaid, and increasing school funding and opportunities. released a “black man agenda” that detailed the Hold vocational training and the police accountable.

Stacey Abrams speaks in conversation with Charlamagne tha God, 21 Savage and Francys Johnson at a campaign event at HBUC in Atlanta on Sept. 9.

However, Linen and Nichols agreed that Abrams’ effort may have come too late. Nichols said he worries some black men are already planning to go home on Election Day or vote for Kemp.

“I don’t think she was necessarily getting the right advice at the right time. Now I feel like she’s pandering,” Nichols said. “I think she’s really worried. But I think some people feel like, ‘We’ve been ignored for so long.

Nichols said he urged candidates for the 2024 election to reach out more to black men and black families. The organization Black Men Vote has already launched a nationwide campaign to enroll 1 million black male voters by November 2024.

NAACP President Derrick Johnson said those seeking public office must prioritize the needs of black men if they want to win.

“It is incumbent upon both parties and all candidates to understand that African-American male votes are not guaranteed,” Johnson said. We need to talk to them so they can understand how their vote can really support democracy and quality of life.”

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