Black voters described the Democratic Party as “the lesser of two evils” but pledged their votes for presidential candidate Joe Biden while visiting the Breonna Taylor memorial in downtown Louisville, Kentucky.
Voters said they felt Democratic candidates make an effort to listen to Black issues, but added that they remained frustrated with the results.
“So even after election time when is the next time that someone from the Democratic Party will come to my neighborhood? To see what’s going on in my neighborhood? To see why crime is so high? To see why we’re killing one another? To see why there’s no jobs, there’s no, there’s even no after school programming for the kids. Why not come after the election to find out those issues so we can take that to the government to get bills and get funding for our neighborhood. But we won’t see them again until 2024,” said Nicole Smith, a healthcare worker from Indianapolis.
“Are they perfect? No. Do they maybe do some questionable things in their past? Or have they said some things that we may not always agree with? Yeah, of course, but no one’s perfect. At least they’re here acknowledging us and hearing out Black people’s voices,” said Baylee Spears, a 20-year-old Louisville native who will be voting in her first presidential election.
One activist said it is easy for Black voters to believe their voices don’t matter.
“As a Black person it feels like, you know, Black people don’t matter out here. We’re out here fighting for Black lives every single day and we still get treated like we’re animals out here. It gives us doubt as to whether our vote will matter or not, so a lot of us are conflicted about it, but I feel like it’s so important to vote regardless of how you feel because we need Trump out of office right now,” said Renee White, who came to Louisville from Detroit to help organize protests.
As much as these voters said they don’t feel properly represented by the Democratic Party, the Republicans and U.S. President Donald Trump were not a better option.
“I’m not 100% on what we have with the Democratic Party, but I’m definitely 1,000% away from what we have right now,” Smith said.
Trump has recently made a series of promises in a bid to woo Black voters, including establishing Juneteenth as a federal holiday, increasing access to capital in Black communities, creating more jobs, supporting Black-owned businesses and expanding opportunity zones.
(Production: Julio Cesar-Chavez)