Trump, Black Americans, the Economy and COVID-19
April 15, 2020
(Stephen E. Strang is an award-winning journalist, Charisma founder and author of the best-seller “God and Donald Trump.” This content was partially excerpted from his book, “God, Trump, and the 2020 Election.”)
By Stephen E. Strang
In March, the overwhelming swell of unemployment rates came as a hard pill to swallow for our nation. With companies of all sizes being hit by the fallout from COVID-19, many are scrambling for their next paychecks. As with all historical economic slumps, minorities and young workers are significantly impacted. A recent report dug into data and worker demographics from the hardest-hit industries.
It is anticipated that Hispanic and black Americans will lose jobs at higher rates during a coronavirus-led recession than white and Asian workers.
Up to this point, the Trump administration has been able to maintain the lowest black American unemployment rates in history. In February, the department of labor reported rates of 5.8%.
Will the great strides President Trump has made with the black community be lost because of this present situation? In my recent book “God, Trump, and the 2020 Election,” I discuss why the president could lose in 2020, but a virus was never in the mix—until now.
The coronavirus came just as the black community was beginning to look at him differently due to his success in bringing benefits to their community that the Democrats have never delivered.
Most of the black community continues to vote along Democratic Party lines—although something strange happened in the 2016 election. While only 8% of black Americans voted for Trump, many stayed home rather than voting for Clinton. The Washington Post found that 4.4 million Obama voters stayed home on Election Day, and more than a third of those no-shows—1.6 million—were black.
Before the coronavirus outbreak, Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale, said Trump can quadruple the 2016 black voter turnout in 2020, according to a 2019 article in RealClearPolitics by Philip Wegmann titled “Trump Bets on More Black Support in 2020. (He Might Need It.).” Wegmann quoted a Daily Beast article in which longtime GOP strategist Ed Rollins said, “Democrats can’t win unless they get Obama levels of black voter turnout. Unless they can get back to those levels, it makes it awful hard for them to win the White House.”
Despite Trump’s efforts to reach out to the black community and create economic opportunities for all Americans, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll from February found that a mere 14% of black voters have a positive view of the president. But the Trump campaign sees an opportunity to make the case that Democrats have taken black voters for granted.
Of course, this was before we knew how bad the coronavirus was or how in three weeks of quarantine the gains in the economy were wiped out. And, of course the coronavirus won’t last forever. The President is bullish on how the economy will come roaring back.
During this shutdown dealing with the worst pandemic of our lifetimes, it seems the election is backburner. The presumed nominee Joe Biden is quarantined in his basement while the president, who is a dynamic leader that Biden has never been, is showing leadership at a whole new level. I admire the way he has delegated much of the decision-making to the states, as it should be, and has looked to the private sector for answers instead of assuming everything should be done through Washington. He has removed regulations and martialed even the military to use ships as hospitals and shown leadership necessary to bring us through this crisis.
I’ve shifted my focus to reporting on the pandemic, and my “Strang Report” podcast numbers have gone through the roof. People can’t seem to get enough information, especially from a source they can trust for the spiritual dimension.
We Christians believe this pandemic did not catch God by surprise. We believe He hears and answers prayer. I personally believe He gave us this president for such a time as this. We also know the Bible is true: “All things work together for good to them who love the Lord and are called according to His purposes” (Romans 8:28).
In the black community, the so-called “black church” is a very strong influence—more so than most denominations are in the majority community. I’ve spent my career covering the black Christian community in Charisma because it is a sizable percentage of the Pentecostal movement. Indeed, Pentecostalism grew out of the black worship experience at Azusa Street in 1906!
I believe these black Christians—who usually support the Democratic Party—are beginning to look at Trump differently.
However, I’ve had black preacher friends say they overlook the bad policies of the Democrats (such as abortion and gay marriage) in the same way white Christians overlook the many faults of the Republican Party just because the Republicans back certain “Christian” causes.
I document all this in my book, “God, Trump and the 2020 Election”—even though a lot has changed since I finished it last fall. But when things get back to “normal,” the same issues will be important. Maybe that is why my book continues to sell online because people are still interested in what’s happening and have more time to read!
Things were so desperate when Hillary Clinton was running that the American people took a chance on a political outsider. After the coronavirus is past us, we need the leadership of this dynamic president to help our country get back to normal. And, come what may, there will be an election on Nov. 3, and we cannot allow Joe Biden to be elected for all the reasons I outline in “God Trump and the 2020 Election.”
In my book, I tell the story of Candace Owens, a well-known conservative activist, who began the movement called Blexit in 2018. The organization, which promotes the exit of black Americans from the Democratic Party, is now a nationwide movement. She and others are working to stop the narrative that Trump is racist, one that she says is propagated by the left-leaning media.
Owens recently defended Trump against racism accusations from black leftists, saying, “Black support for Donald Trump has doubled since this time last year. You guys can try to pretend that he is pushing in a racist era in this country when in fact we know the Democrats are the racists. [They] have always been the racists, the parties never switched, and you should know this. … You know the people under the hood of the KKK were Democrats, and the parties never switched. And it’s a shame you should defend … our community being attacked because we support Donald Trump because we understand that we have better economic opportunities under him than we ever had [with] Obama. … I’m really done with this. I’m done with this racist narrative.”
It’s nothing new to call Trump a racist. Democrats have been using the epitaph to label any Republican they don’t like. The article in RealClearPolitics said, “This condemnation…has become something of a litmus test in the Democratic primary, with candidates lining up one after the other to decry the current occupant of the Oval Office.”
Yet the perception exists in the black community and media that if you’re black, you must be a Democrat. Not only that, but they also vilify every black person who is Republican or supports President Trump.
Most black Americans who back the president are not turning their backs on him because they see what he’s accomplishing and what he’s doing for the black community—even with all the new economic problems associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s the point I’m making here. The president wants to reach the black community, and I hope they will begin to see that—especially during the time of rebuilding. Black America needs a strong leader like Donald Trump as we move to recovery, just as all of America does. That’s the point I make in “God, Trump and the 2020 Election,” because the issue of leadership and the direction of our nation was important before the outbreak of COVID-19, and it’s even more important now.
To interview Stephen E. Strang or for a review copy of “God, Trump, and the 2020 Election,” contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Jeff Tolson, 610.584.1096, ext. 108, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.