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A potential divide in the Black community

Melvin B. Miller

The Black population in the United States is substantial, but its significance has diminished somewhat over the years with the growth of the Hispanic and Asian populations. Nonetheless Blacks have retained their political clout by voting as a united bloc for liberal candidates. In fact, it is even difficult to find a bona fide Black conservative to hold a conversation. The New York Times recently held a focus group with eight conservative men, three of whom are Black.

One of the three even voted for Trump because of “The Apprentice” and because he was a “businessperson.” This man’s biggest concern about American society was crime. Another one did not acknowledge whether he voted for Trump, but he seemed to be critical of the media for criticizing Trump’s policies.

The response of the third Black man seemed to be more substantive. When asked “What does it mean to be a man?” He stated, “Having integrity.” He stated further, “very chill masculinity. Not that bravado type of crap.” It is interesting to note that none of the Black men responded to the question, “How many of you think men have it harder than women these days?”

In response to the question “What do you think many people don’t quite understand about you?” The third Black man answered, “When I get into my work, there’s an intensity that they never imagined…”

From the information reported on the focus group, one might conclude that the three Black conservatives had different personalities, but one would also conclude that their political involvement relied upon a personal preference rather than a united strategy to build political power.