Juan Williams: Too many men of color got conned by Trump

I am a Black man. I was born in a Latin country. I grew up in a Spanish-speaking family.

So it stuns me to see that President Trump set a record last week by attracting the highest percentage of the non-white vote of any Republican presidential candidate in the last 60 years.

How did 12 percent of Black men, according to the Fox News voter analysis, vote for Trump?

{mosads}And why would 39 percent of Latino men vote for a man who called Mexican men rapists and enforced harsh anti-immigrant policies?

It is hard to see Joe Biden as the next Fidel Castro. But I get it. Trump scared Cubans in Florida with talk about creeping socialism.

But Trump did well with Latinos beyond the Cuban-American community.

He won 35 percent of all Latino voters, including 32 percent of Puerto Ricans, according to the Fox data. In Arizona, which borders Mexico, he won 40 percent of the Latino vote. And everywhere, his biggest support among Latinos came from men.

The only way to explain the ‘bromance’ between men of color and Trump is cultural.

Latin machismo and Black gangsta rap lyrics have long had a fascination with big money, grabbing women, including porn stars, and Trump’s “La Vida Loca” lifestyle.

Many Latinos “like a strongman even when he’s the wrong man,” syndicated columnist Ruben Navarrette wrote last week.

What about Black men?

Just before the election, rapper 50 Cent said Trump’s racial antagonism was a secondary issue: “I don’t care [if] Trump doesn’t like Black people.” The bigger issue, he said, is not wanting to pay higher taxes under Joe Biden.

America’s first Black billionaire, Bob Johnson, also focused on money. He told CNBC that Black people can see that decades of voting for Democrats has led to “minimal return” with regard to “closing the wealth gap, the job creation and job opportunities.”

Wealthy entertainers Kanye West and Ice Cube both spent time with Trump before the election. Another rapper, Lil Pump, got on stage with Trump at a rally.

That led “Saturday Night Live” comedian Michael Che to joke that “Rappers are not Black leaders — they’re just rappers. Stop negotiating with them.”

But this is no joke.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) told SiriusXM’s “The Joe Madison Show” she can “never, ever forgive them…it is shameful…They are so into ‘Who’s dressing [up], who’s with what woman, who’s got what car?’…They have a high price to pay for years to come” for voting for Trump.

And John Legend, the singer, explained minority men growing politically close to Trump by saying:

“Some people see the meanness, the bullying, the selfishness of Donald Trump and they mistake it for strength, a kind of twisted masculinity. Some see his greed and they mistake it for being good at business.”

This cultural confusion takes on painful power when it allows the overwhelmingly white GOP to slap down talk about Trump’s racism.

The Fox exit polls showed Trump winning 25 percent of the non-white vote, enabling Republicans to insist he could not be racist if such a sizable number of Blacks and Latinos voted for him.

By their logic, the people of color who voted for Trump just gave the 55 percent of whites who voted for Trump — including 59 percent of white men — a free pass for ignoring his racism.

If so many Latino and Black men can vote for someone with a record of separating children from their parents at the Mexican border, then why ask whites to treat it as a deal-breaker for their vote?

Men of color also stood with a man who has blocked the ‘Dreamers,’ immigrant children who grew up in the U.S., from a path to citizenship.

This is a president who has overseen a spike in the rates of racial violence in the country. And don’t forget the growth of white supremacists under his watch into the FBI’s number one domestic terror threat.

{mossecondads}Trump declared there were “very fine people on both sides” of the Charlottesville white supremacist march; he stopped diversity training programs and gutted programs for people of color to get housing and employment. Trump has been manifestly hostile to the interests of Black, brown and even poor white people.

“If any Black man can go in a polling place and cast a vote for a [white] man who referred to a Black woman as a dog on national television, I’m going to have to pray for them,” said Rep. James Clyburn(D-S.C.). Clyburn was referring to an insult Trump threw, on Twitter, at former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman.

And it is not just Clyburn and me.

Trump’s racism toward Blacks and Latinos is so well-established that half of all Americans in a July YouGov/Yahoo News poll said outright that he is a racist and another 13 percent could only say they are “not sure” whether he is a racist or not.

A Quinnipiac University poll in July 2019 found 80 percent of Black people and 55 percent of Latinos saying Trump is a racist.

A Fox News poll in July 2019 found 57 percent of Americans agree that Trump has no respect for racial minorities.

It’s sad to say, but a lot of Black and Latino voters, especially the men, got distracted by Trump’s boasts and bling.

Juan Williams is an author, and a political analyst for Fox News Channel.

Tags 2020 presidential election Black voters Demographics Donald Trump Hip hop Joe Biden Kanye West Latino voters Maxine Waters Omarosa Manigault Newman racial politics

More White House News

See All
See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video