Longtime Black Democratic congressional leaders Reps. Maxine Waters (Calif.) and James E. Clyburn (S.C.) are troubled by the possibility that more Black voters could reelect President Trump for a second term.

“I don’t even know where any Blacks would be coming from that would be voting for Trump. It just hurts me so bad to see Blacks talking about supporting Trump,” Waters said in a Friday interview with SiriusXM’s Joe Madison.

While Black Republican voters have always been around, Black voters, especially Black men, appear to be stepping closer to conservative principles. The stamp of approval from some famous, wealthy rappers, such as Ice Cube, Lil Wayne and 50 Cent, has pushed talk of Black conservatism and Black class priorities back into the national conversation.

Those individuals, however, are thinking only about themselves and not the Black community as a whole, Waters and Clyburn argue. A vote for Trump would be a ballot against themselves and their better interests, the politicians said in separate interviews over the weekend.

Trump has engaged in nothing but divisiveness and racial dog-whistling to the right wing and to white supremacists who feel emboldened by his rhetoric, according to Waters.

It’s imperative for Black voters to uplift former vice president Joe Biden, and vote Democratic as they usually do, if Trump is to be ousted from the White House, Waters said.

But the hold that the Democratic Party has had over Black voters might be loosening, making it harder for Biden to grasp victory.

Black women are more likely than Black men to vote Democrat, according to the Pew Research Center. The gap between Black women and Black men identifying as Democrats in 2018 and 2019 was the widest to date.

Waters said younger Black men lack a greater understanding about how systems work in the country and the channels to break favoritism that largely excludes the typical American, pointing to her and Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-N.Y.) blocking big restaurants and hotels from taking up all the Paycheck Protection Program money.

“I will never ever forgive them for undermining the possibility to help their own people and their own communities,” she said of young Black men choosing Trump. “It is absolutely unconscionable. It is shameful."

Trump won 8 percent of the Black vote in 2016, and the threat of his gaining a point more from Black men holds serious consequences for Black families, according to Watters.

“They have a price to pay for years to come if they help put Trump over and help get him elected. They will go down in history as having done the most despicable thing to their families and to their communities and to their mothers and their grandmothers,” she said. “This man is about doing away with Social Security as we know it. And their grandmothers who are sitting there waiting on those Social Security checks every month or they couldn’t eat. Doing away with Medicare, as we know it, they will shamefully be accused of having attributed to the lack of a quality life for the people they claim to love so much.”

A Fox News poll projected that Trump could win as much as 14 percent of the Black vote, a baffling figure that clashes with other poll projections, Clyburn said in an interview with Fox News on Sunday.

“I can tell you this sincerely. I’m the father of three Black women. I am the son of a Black woman,” he said. “If any Black man can go in a polling place and cast a vote for a man who referred to a Black woman as a dog on national television, I’m going to have to pray for them.”

Trump stirred accusations of racism in 2018 when he called former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman a dog after her ousting from his administration. He has used the term often to describe people no longer in his favor, but directing the insult to a Black woman appeared to have multiple layers of vitriol to some critics.

When a Fox News anchor accused Clyburn of pushing the same rhetoric as Biden, who received backlash this year for questioning a Black person’s racial identity if they don’t vote for him, Clyburn clarified his comment wasn’t about checking who is Black and who is not.

“Any man that calls one of my three daughters a dog, I will never vote for them,” Clyburn said. “All of us that I know are products or sons of Black women. I don’t stand for that kind of insult for my mothers, for my sisters or my children.”

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