Sunday, September 04, 2016

Young Blacks Voice Skepticism on Hillary Clinton, Worrying Democrats

The following excerpts are taken from the NY Times article "Young Blacks Voice Skepticism on Hillary Clinton, Worrying Democrats" (Sept 4, 2016)



>> WASHINGTON — 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.

[...] 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.

[...] Mrs. Clinton’s difficulties with young African-Americans were laid bare in four focus groups conducted in Cleveland and Jacksonville, Fla., for a handful of progressive organizations spending millions on the election: the service employees union, a joint “super PAC” between organized labor and the billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, and a progressive group called Project New America. The results were outlined in a 25-page presentation by Cornell Belcher, a Democratic pollster, and shared with The New York Times ...

Word of the report has spread in the constellation of liberal operatives and advocacy groups in recent weeks, concerning officials who saw diminished black turnout hurt Democratic candidates in the last two midterm elections.

[...] Doubts about how aggressively Mrs. Clinton will move to combat racism are at the heart of black suspicion toward her. Some African-Americans said her 1996 reference to some young criminals as “super-predators,” and the legislation that President Bill Clinton signed imposing stiff sentences on nonviolent offenders, have made today’s activists skeptical about her true intentions. [...] <<

(source: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/05/us/politics/young-blacks-voice-skepticism-on-hillary-clinton-worrying-democrats.html)

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