Why it Should Trouble African-Americans to Vote

By Patrick Barron, Opinion Writer

Given the unprecedented unpopularity of both major party Presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, some voters are not sure if they can vote for either one.

But, my stance is clear. I refuse to vote for the lesser of the two evils: I want to support a candidate who is serious about improving the lives of African-Americans.

In particular, the concerns of African-Americans have not been addressed adequately. Clinton’s support of harmful policies toward African American communities has come back to bite her, and her well-documented racial pandering is embarrassing.

On the other hand, Trump’s discrimination tactics against African-American tenants were revealed in a New York Times report, where his negative feelings toward them were made evident.

He has also refused to acknowledge their plight on his campaign trail until very recently. For those reasons, I cannot vote for either candidate.

Donald Trump’s past actions reveal that he does not care about African-Americans issues and it clearly has hurt him in polls. According to one Fox News poll, he has 1% of the African-American vote. Whilst it is true that modern Republican presidential candidates generally struggle with obtaining the African-American vote, Trump’s low numbers are almost unheard of.

How can you run a country when such a large and influential minority group opposes you? Someone should tell him “Black Lives Matter” too, although, it is evident that he ignored their message a long time ago.

In fact, the Justice Department cited Trump and his father in numerous housing discrimination lawsuits against African-Americans in the 1970s, as reported in the New York Times.

They both made it difficult for Blacks to move into their apartments. In addition, for most of his campaign, he has refused to properly acknowledge African-Americans.

And when he does, he likens their lives to a dystopian world! I doubt his polling numbers with African-Americans will improve even as the election date draws near. While Trump is particularly unattractive to Black voters, Hillary Clinton is not much better.

Hillary Clinton’s past continues to haunt her today, despite the fact that she has repeatedly attempted to mask it. Remember the infamous “super-predators” comment she made in the 1990s when talking about crime in America? The term was actually directed towards African-American youths.

In addition, the BBC revealed that Clinton supported the 1994 Crime Bill, which helped contribute to the increase of incarcerations of African-Americans.

Retaining the 100-1 sentencing that largely affected African-Americans was an injustice. The bill also made it harder for prisoners returning home to readjust as benefits for education grants were removed.

In 2015, Clinton accepted donations from private prisons. This is a huge issue, as they are known to disproportionately incarcerate blacks. Accepting money from these corporations whilst claiming to regret supporting the 1994 Crime Bill makes her untrustworthy.

Besides, seeing Clinton attempting to dab, a dance move, on National TV hurts   her more than it helps. Although, she has strong support among African-American voters, has she ever really helped advance their lives?

Her past policies have obviously been detrimental to their communities. Despite the overwhelming evidence against Clinton, African-American voters find themselves in limbo as Trump is no better.

Both Clinton and Trump actions have to stop contradicting their speaking points. In watching the Presidential debates, they were unable to convince me that can realistically improve race relations in the United States.

The clock is ticking. I want a candidate who offers sensible solutions to African-American worries and does not use them as pawns to win an election. Americans want change: both candidates leave much to be desired. So how will I be voting?

New information in the upcoming weeks could lead me to settle for a particular candidate.

Until then, I am withholding my vote unless I hear a candidate who genuinely cares about the concerns of African-Americans. I implore others who empathize with me to do the same.


A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, October 25th print edition.

Contact Patrick at



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