Political

For Democrats, Black fathers matter


OPINION: Democratic political strategist Antjuan Seawright argues that it’s vital that the Democratic Occasion not take this most consequential bloc of voters with no consideration, particularly as Republicans attempt to recruit and retain as many Black candidates as they will to hoodwink Black voters.

Editor’s be aware: The next article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the writer’s personal. Learn extra opinions on theGrio.

I don’t find out about you, however once I was rising up, I believed my father was Superman.

I believed he was the neatest, strongest and finest man that ever was. It didn’t matter that he was strict. It didn’t matter how mad I obtained that bedtime was non-negotiable. He was Albert Einstein, Santa Claus and the Hulk all rolled into one.

I feel most of us felt that approach about our fathers rising up, and now, as my brothers are fathers as nicely, I see all of them as Supermen.

After all, once we obtained older, we realized that this wasn’t at all times the case. We discovered that there have been issues our dads simply didn’t know. We realized that our fathers made errors similar to we do, that they misplaced hope typically similar to we do and that they obtained scared similar to we do.

Wanting again over the previous 30-plus years, I didn’t notice how exhausting it will need to have been as a result of, from the rise of mass incarceration to the dissolution of the center class, the previous few a long time have been a tricky time for fathers…notably black fathers.

However I noticed one thing just lately that allow me know that these exhausting instances are beginning to change, and a light-weight is beginning to shine brightly on the finish of that tunnel.

You see, earlier this month, Joelle Gamble, chief economist for the U.S. Division of Labor, identified some very encouraging information. Plainly not solely has the financial system added roughly 390,000 jobs over the previous three months however Black male employment has additionally risen considerably.

In reality, over the previous 4 months, Black males have had quicker year-over-year employment development than both their white or Asian counterparts and, with solely two exceptions, Black males have outpaced white and Asian males for greater than a 12 months.

Now think about that this development dates again to March 2021, simply two months after President Biden took workplace. That ought to let you know one thing.

It ought to let you know that this administration is taking the blessings of Black males significantly. It ought to let you know that, whereas unemployment continues to be larger for Black males and disproportionate incarceration retains too many Black males out of the labor market solely, the Biden administration has made righting these wrongs a real precedence.

It ought to let you know that, for the primary time in years, our voice is being heard…and that issues.

It issues not as a result of it’s vital that my social gathering not take this most consequential bloc of voters with no consideration, particularly as Republicans attempt to recruit and retain as many Black candidates as they will to hoodwink us by paying hole lip service to our points.

It issues not simply because we all know that whereas lower than 5 p.c of Black males forged their ballots for Republicans in 2008, roughly 13 p.c of Black males voted for Donald Trump in 2016, and 12 p.c supported him in 2020.

It issues not simply because we all know that Glenn Youngkin received 13 p.c of the Black vote as an entire in Virginia, and the Democratic push in Black precincts, whereas driving minority turnout, got here too late to beat the GOP’s rural surge.

It issues as a result of final 12 months almost 45 p.c of Black youngsters have been dealing with both eviction or foreclosures. It issues as a result of 23 p.c of Black youngsters have been routinely dealing with starvation and, in Black households with youngsters, 73 p.c of President Biden’s Youngster Tax Credit score was spent on meals.

It issues as a result of, in 2019, greater than 4 million Black youngsters lived in households the place their dad and mom both didn’t have a job or had a job they couldn’t depend on and almost 6 million Black youngsters reside in single-parent households.

You see, we’re speaking about Father’s Day. However you don’t really feel like a lot of a father if you happen to can’t help your youngsters, if you happen to can’t give them the alternatives you didn’t have.

Since you don’t really feel like a father if you happen to don’t ever see your children, not since you don’t need to, however as a result of whenever you’re working two or three jobs to maintain a roof over their heads, that doesn’t go away a lot time for anything.

However that’s altering, and we as Democrats have a narrative to inform, a narrative about Democratic management in Congress and the White Home and the way that management is driving historic change for Black males in addition to Black ladies as a result of it issues as a result of it’s one voting bloc…one neighborhood…one household.

It issues as a result of, once I was a bit of boy, I believed my dad and mom have been each superheroes…and the subsequent era deserves to really feel that, too.

Pleased Father’s Day.

Antjuan Seawright is a Democratic political strategist, founder and CEO of Blueprint Technique LLC, and a CBS Information political contributor. Comply with him on Twitter @antjuansea.

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