Underneath the surface, many Black folks are feeling dissatisfied with the Democratic Party. They are discontent because they’ve been loyal to a party that often makes them feel undervalued.
For many Black Florida Democrats, it felt like a slap in the face that it took Florida Democratic National Committee member John Parker months to apologize for using the phrase “colored people” after a Party meeting in January. Parker resigned his post on Wednesday, but only under pressure, Politico reported.
With the 2018 midterm elections looming, the massive Democratic victories expected could fizzle if the party continues to neglect Black voters. In another case that should alarm the party, Missouri’s Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, who is White, has come under heavy criticism back home from African-American constituents who are angry because they feel she’s taking them for granted.
Cynthia Nixon, the actress who is running as a Democrat for governor of New York, warned specifically about party leaders neglecting African-American women.
Black women “will stop showing up for the Democratic Party if the Democratic Party doesn’t start showing up for them,” said Nixon, who is White, Wednesday on the Wendy Williams Show.
Indeed, Black women were instrumental in sweeping Democrats into office in recent key elections in Alabama and Virginia. Exit polls showed that 98 percent of Black women who voted in the Alabama’s special Senate election cast their ballot for Doug Jones.
In 2017, a group of Black women activists, community leaders and elected officials warned Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez in an open letter that they should not be ignored.
“Black women have consistently shown up for Democrats as a loyal voting bloc, demonstrating time and again that we are crucial to the protection of progressive policies such as economic security, affordable healthcare and criminal justice reform,” the letter stated.
The party could fall into turmoil if leaders continue to ignore Black voters.