Quick, without taking time to think about it too hard, divide “voters” into two groups. Maybe you come up with ‘conservative’ and ‘liberal,’ or ‘Republican’ and ‘Democrat,’ or maybe you categorize based on whether they’re members of a frequently-disenfranchised group, or by whether they’re low-information or high-information decision-makers, or whether or not they’re single-issue voters.
If, however, on the spot, the two categories you can think of are “African-American” and “American,” I have two pieces of bad news for you. The first is that you’re succumbing to racist rhetoric, appearing to consider “Americans” to be a distinct category from which “African-Americans” are excluded. The second is that you might share a thought process with Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Seriously. Watch the clip below, in which he asserts that “African-American voters” vote at the same rates as “American voters.”
Wow. Just wow.
Mitch McConnell: "The concern is misplaced, because if you look at the statistics, African-American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as American voters." pic.twitter.com/ReOvHGJcnI
— MeidasTouch.com (@MeidasTouch) January 20, 2022
Oops, Senator McConnell, is that you saying the quiet part out loud?
By the way, not only is it a blatant display of racist rhetoric, that McConnell apparently considers “African-American” and “American” to be distinct and separate groups, but he’s also just flat wrong.
According to the Brennan Center, even with the incredible voter turnout in 2020 (the largest turnout of Black American voters since 2012, they report), a large racial gap is still evident:
The 2020 election must also be remembered for another turnout statistic: 70.9 percent of white voters cast ballots while only 58.4 percent of nonwhite voters did…62.6 percent of Black American voters, 53.7 percent of Latino American voters, and 59.7 percent of Asian American voters cast ballots in 2020.
That’s right — even with the much-boosted turnout in 2020, significantly more (in terms of percentage) white voters cast a ballot in 2020 than any other racial group that was counted (the Brennan Center laments not having statistics for Native American voters).
Of course, that’s also before the slate of voting restrictions that Republican legislatures have passed in response to Donald Trump’s 2020 loss.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com