, 9 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Reporting this story was an important reminder about how we’re framing 2020, something I think a lot about as a reporter focused on the intersection of race and politics. apnews.com/bfc3c2a4a3384f…
A lot of the narrative coming out of 2016 has been focused on white voters who gravitated to Trump or stayed home after supporting Obama in 2008 and 2012.
These voters are often referred to as “forgotten” or “disaffected.” The message is clear: It’s not their fault that they didn’t vote, and that Democrats must work harder to bring them back into the fold.
This is often also who we mean when we talk about “working- class voters,” or voters in the “Rust Belt” or “Heartland” — unless we’re talking about black voters in these places.
Black voters are frequently cast as the ones who “didn’t show up” in 2016, implying another message: As the most consistent and loyal voting bloc in the Democratic Party, theirs is not a vote to be courted or earned, but counted on. When black voters sit out, they’re to blame.
What I hope comes across in this story is that black voters, particularly young black men, are also disaffected, disengaged and disillusioned. With black unemployment still double that of whites, they are the face of “economic anxiety,” too.
So I’m also focused on this group as the “swing voters” Democrats need to win back if they want to win in 2020. And as reporters, we should ask and not assume why these folks weren’t part of the process. Apathy? Sure, partly. But also voter suppression and neglect.
White people get to be apathetic everyday. But is that how they’re cast? Hardly ever. We try to figure out why and what can be done about it. As we should for *all* voters.
In covering “identity politics,” we should be asking white voters more about their identity and asking voters of color more about their actual politics.
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