What do black Americans have to lose?

August 23rd, 2016

hqdefaultDear Donnie –

You are certainly entitled to an answer to the question you put recently to black Americans, i.e. “What the hell do you have to lose” by supporting you. But since you apparently sometimes forget that as the Republican nominee, you have an obligation to support your party’s policies and initiatives, and if elected President, you would have to work with Congress to accomplish almost anything, here are a few examples of what black Americans stand to lose by supporting you – or really, almost any Republican.

The Vote

The right to vote is already under attack in 21 states by laws, pushed by GOP-majority legislatures, designed to restrict voting rights in ways that directly and disproportionately affect minorities. Despite recent court decisions that have blocked a few of them, 15 states still will have new voting restrictions in place this year for the first time in a presidential election. The new laws range from strict photo ID requirements to reduced early voting time to onerous registration restrictions.The situation would be even worse were it not for the courts, but you have promised to appoint conservative judges in the tradition of Antonin Scalia, who led the decision to gut the Voting Rights Act of 1965. That would surely close off that avenue of relief.

Health Care for Women

Aside from Obamacare, which the GOP majority in Congress has attempted to repeal, gut or otherwise undo dozens of times, there is the matter of health care for women, which is even more critical for minorities. Ever since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, the GOP has worked to reverse its effects through legislation designed to defund, limit or eliminate completely access to abortion, contraception, family planning and even the most basic kinds of preventive care, such as PAP smears, mammograms and testing for STDs. Your party’s platform calls for more of the same, and you have pledged allegiance to the anti-choice cause, even calling for penalties for women who have abortions. Those positions further endanger an already at-risk population.

A Fair Living Wage

No demographic is in greater need of an increase in the minimum wage than the African-American worker – and especially the young African-American worker. At the current Federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, which also happens to be the standard for about half of the states, a full-time worker’s annual income would be just above the baseline poverty level. But you have said that the minimum wage is already too high, and that you would not support an increase.

Whether it’s motivated by jaw-dropping ignorance of the issues or astonishing tone-deafness when it comes to minorities, your question demands an answer, so here it is. What black people have to lose by supporting you, in a word, is “Everything.”

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