Tomorrow the state of Alabama will vote on whether Democrat Doug Jones or Republican Roy Moore will be elected to the United States Senate. Most analysts predict Moore will win, despite being accused of making sexual advances to five women when they were teenagers. However, Doug Jones’ camp is hoping for record turnout from the Black community to win the election. Just yesterday, Jones visited three Black churches in Birmingham, Alabama. In addition, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker is on the ground in Alabama, trying to ensure Black turnout. Roy Moore hasn’t been seen in days (not even at his own church) and has made zero outreach to the Black community. Doug Jones — and the country — desperately needs the Black vote to save Alabama from a racist, slavery lovin’, deeply homophobic, accused pedophile. Black Americans make up 27 percent of the state’s population. Can we pull some Black girl and Black boy magic?
Black folks are always expected to be magical, aren’t we? Whether it’s Black women being the highest turnout for Hillary Clinton in 2016 or Black folks securing President Obama‘s win in 2008 and 2012, we have made political magic happen. But here is the truth: Democrats in Alabama failed the Black vote months ago. Where was an early voter registration drive, which should’ve started a year ago? Political pundit Symone Sanders, who was a guest on my SiriusXM radio show, told me, “I know some people that live in Huntsville, Alabama that said ain’t nobody from the Jones campaign knocked on their door.” NBC News described the Democrats as “scrambling” to mobilize the African-American vote in Alabama.
Getting a strong turnout in Alabama is a long-term battle. As the Atlantic reports, “Early voting, which has been a key factor for other states in increasing Black turnout, is not permitted in Alabama. The state also doesn’t have no-fault absentee voting, preregistration for teens, or same-day registration. In all, it’s harder to vote in Alabama than just about anywhere else.” This is not to say Doug Jones is in any way as despicable as Roy Moore. Jones is a former U.S. attorney and he famously prosecuted KKK members who killed four Black girls in the 1963 bombing of 16th street Baptist Church in Birmingham. He has been outspoken against racism and the creepiness of Moore. However, Democrats need to learn that you can’t win campaigns by just reacting to the Roy Moores and Donald Trumps of the world. There should have been a concerted effort, months before pedophile accusations, of gaining momentum in the Black community.
I hope every Democrat votes tomorrow and encourages others to vote. However, if Democrats lose to a racist pedophile, don’t blame Black voters. Blame the white voters who co-signed his bigotry and the Democratic campaign who failed to see the power in the Black vote.