There are some intriguing indicators that suggest President Donald Trump is going to do better than expected in garnering votes in the upcoming election from the African-American community.
Emerging signs include the president’s demonstrable track record of policies that have benefited the Black community, as well as the record high approval number that he now experiences with African-American voters.
But perhaps the most interesting indicator of all is the large number of prominent public figures who now go by the title of “formerly known as Democrat.”
The Democratic Party has typically relied upon a strong showing of support over the years from African-American voters. However, as the public in general and the Democratic Party in particular have learned, when you’re talking about President Trump there is very little that can be characterized as “typical.”
In the 2016 presidential election, CNN exit polls (https://www.cnn.com/election/2016/results/exit-polls) indicated that then-candidate Trump received 8 percent of the African-American vote and 13 percent of Black male voters. The latter percentage was a historically high number for Republicans.
What has surprised many in recent days is the fact that some well known hip-hop artists made headlines in their Trump-supportive opining, and for some, in their tacit and/or explicit endorsements. This has obviously caused concern on the part of certain Democrat strategists and candidates alike.
Recently, rapper 50 Cent gave a social media endorsement to President Trump, expressing his wariness with the stratospheric tax rates that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s tax plan portends. Predictably, the artist was deluged with social media haters who were intent on hurling insults.
Following the backlash, 50 Cent doubled-down via his Instagram account, sharing a Fox News video about his Trump endorsement and attaching a pithy caption: “I don’t want to be 20 cent,” adding, “62% [income tax rate] is a very very bad idea.”
Senior advisor to the Trump campaign Katrina Pearson used her Twitter account to reveal that actor and hip-hopper Ice Cube was actively helping the Trump administration to connect with the African-American electorate. Cube’s detractors attempted to smear him for being a Trump supporter, and the cancel culture launched an attack.
Undeterred, the rapper has confirmed his assistance to the president, but he has yet to endorse him outright.
Cube is advising President Trump on an administration initiative titled “The Platinum Plan,” which will reach out to African-American communities in an effort to improve overall economic circumstances using the Trump administration’s innovative “Opportunity Zones.”
Another hip-hopper, Waka Flocka Flame, was recently blasted by social media trolls for the comments he expressed about President Trump being a better president than the previous occupant of the White House, former President Barack Obama.
Joining in with more hip-hop Trump energy are BlocBoy JB, Fivio Foreign, and longtime Trump ally Kanye West.
Jason Whitlock, sportswriter for Outkick, is an African-American Trump convert himself, who has observed the rap community’s growing esteem for Trump and has a grasp on the phenomenon.
Whitlock, who also recently conducted a focused interview with the president, told Fox News’s Tucker Carlson, “I think there’s some clear momentum for President Trump, particularly I think with black men. I think we’ve been carrying on a facade for three and a half years as black men that somehow we can’t relate to Donald Trump, that we didn’t celebrate him in hip hop music for decades, that he wasn’t friends with countless black athletes, entertainers.”
The truth is the president’s name has been part of the hip-hop repertoire since the genre’s inception. The rap world has long-embraced success and all of its attendant parts.
Across his lifetime, President Trump has been the quintessential symbol of success, and as destiny has made manifest, this has never been more true.
In a track that emerged back in 1989, rapper Ice-T’s collaborator Donald D shouted out, “Yo Ice, I did a concert at the White House. And after that, me and Donald Trump hung out!”
Consequently, many hip-hop artists placed the Trump name within their lyrics. Rapper Rick Ross had the most Trump mentions, nine songs between 2008 and 2015. Hip-hopper Nas recorded seven songs with Trump mentions between 1996 and 2012. Artists Migos and Young Thug had six each, and Lil Wayne and Raekwon featured five Trump references.
After the rise to hit status of NBC’s “The Apprentice” in 2004, President Trump’s brand as sensei of success was cemented into the cultural fabric. The then-New York tycoon appeared in tunes by hip-hoppers Chingy, Mystikal, Lil’ Kim, Diddy, and Young Jeezy.
Enduring Trump supporter West, who is ostensibly running for president and is reportedly on ballots in some states as vice president, appears to remain a Trump backer.
In an April interview with GQ magazine, West said, “It’s unclear if Ye’s vote will still be for Trump as he is running for president as well. In any event, perhaps we’ll find out on Election Day.”
Whitlock wrote, “Kanye said he and President Trump shared ‘dragon energy,’ natural instincts for leadership.”
West’s ‘dragon energy’ characterization, in my opinion, refers to a special kind of steadfastness that it takes to make any desired objective a success.
Those who impartially examine the track record of the Trump administration can’t help but notice a string of laudable successes, including energy independence, de-regulation, defeat of ISIS, NATO finance reform, improved trade deals, record low unemployment, record wage growth, and progress towards peace in the Middle East, just to name a few.
Additionally, a growing segment of African-Americans, along with many of the artists in the hip-hop world, also know that they have a powerful advocate in the White House. Employment, school choice, university funding, prison reform, and pro-life policies have made an impression on leaders in the Black community.
Social media legend and “Blexit” originator Candace Owens, NFL legend Herschel Walker, civil rights attorney Leo Terrell, and “Grey’s Anatomy” star Isaiah Washington, all former Democrats, have become vocal supporters of the Trump presidency and of his re-election campaign.
As President Trump said at the recent second presidential debate in Nashville, Tennessee, “Success is going to bring us together.”
The truth is it already has.
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