The Black Electorate Is Fundamentally Changing: Black Voters Explain Trump’s Appeal | Opinion

MSNBC host Joy Reid called out Florida representative Byron Donalds last week—for the crime of thinking independently. “You can always find someone from the community willing to ‘Clarence Thomas’ it out and turn against his own people,” Reid said. “And so you have a baby version of him in Byron Donalds. It’s so embarrassing.”

While Reid specifically called out Rep. Donalds, she intended her remarks for any minority who dared step foot at former President Donald Trump‘s Bronx rally last week. That would include me—a 20-year-old first-generation Black New Yorker who grew up in Brooklyn.

Reid went on to suggest that the rally, which was well attended, was astroturfed, the park packed with Trump supporters from around the country. “Was anyone at this rally asked if they’re actually from the Bronx?” She asked.

As someone who was there, I can answer unequivocacly that yes, the rally was full of Black Bronxites willing to give Trump a hearing.


Donald Trump
Donald Trump is seen at a rally in support of his 2024 presidential campaign at Crotona Park on May 23, 2024 in the Bronx borough of New York City. A video showing former president Donald…

Andrea Renault/Star Max/GC Images/Getty Images

Well, Black Americans are Americans, too, and we’re suffering from everything everyone else is. That’s what people told me when I asked what brought them to the rally.

Regina Hamilton, a retired policewoman from Queens, told me her children are working hard for a fraction of her and her husband’s success. “They’re trying to make ends meet. Some of them are working two and three jobs at a time just to get things together,” Regina said. “The way things are stacked now, I feel like everything is set against them to achieve. My husband and I work very hard, and we’re reaping the results of our hard work. I feel like under the Biden administration, that is not a reality.”

Regina is right: Over the past year, consumer price inflation in the New York metro area averaged about 3 percent, with hourly earnings only rising by 0.5 percent during the same period. Since Feb. 2020, prices have inflated 16 percent while wages only increased by 9 percent.

Inflation impacts young voters, too, making college even more unaffordable. Angel, a 17-year-old Harry S. Truman High School senior, told me he chose a small liberal arts public school that was extremely affordable instead of his dream school, which cost 30,000 a year.

The economy and crime were the two most common things I heard. Samuel Gebremichael, for example, commuted to grade school on the subway. But now, as a 22-year-old college student, he feels uneasy when commuting.

“Before, when I was in high school, taking the subway, it wasn’t really what I’m seeing right now. Now, it’s just very unstable,” Samuel told me. “I’ve been seeing a lot more homeless people, more people with mental illness problems, and repeat offenders, too.”

Samuel’s impressions are backed up by data. Last year, 38 people arrested for assault in the transit system committed 1,126 other crimes across the city. Half of those criminals had histories of mental illness and at least five prior arrests, per documents obtained by the New York Post. Just four of those 38 individuals account for 22 percent of those arrests.

Meanwhile, Misdemeanor petty larcenies—stealing less than $1,000 worth of goods—increased 38 percent in the first four months of 2024 compared to the same period last year.

With these issues plaguing NYC, it’s no wonder only 30 percent of New Yorkers rate their quality of life as excellent or good.

“Prices are skyrocketing,” Dwayne Moore—a Queens resident and candidate for NYS Assembly District 29—told me. “The roads are horrible. The train system is horrible. Nothing is getting built. Small businesses are shuttering left and right,. We’re starting to see New York City die in the same way we’ve seen Detroit die.”

It was surreal hearing New Yorkers my age holler, “Talk your sh*t,” or “Bring back $2.50 bacon, egg, and cheeses” ad-libs at the rally. It shouldn’t be surprising, though.

Younger Black Americans are more open to voting Republican. The Pew Research Center has found that 28 percent of Black Republicans are 18-29, which is nearly double the overall share of Black Democrats, which is just 17 percent.

And Trump is definitely a draw.

“Everybody’s registering as non-party affiliated,” Angel says. “I see that even in my high school, in a Bronx high school, where a lot of Hispanic males, a lot of African-American males, especially white males, are in favor of the former President.”

Black political, academic, and media elites can’t fathom why Black America is shifting right. They believe Regina Hamilton, Angel Mencia, Samuel Gebremichael, Dwayne Moore, and every single other minority voter who attended the Trump rally are “props” for the GOP—bussed in to help Trump pay his legal fees.

Accusing Black Americans of “selling out” is a luxury only virtue-signaling Black liberal elites can afford. For Black Gen Z New Yorkers like Angel, their vote directly impacts what college they can attend. For Black New York parents like Hamilton, their vote directly affects their children’s success.

Democrats should be careful—Black New Yorkers are making a deposit in the GOP camp this November. And it may become a permanent investment.

Daniel Idfresne is a rising junior at Syracuse University. He’s an incoming Fox News Intern for “The Story with Martha MacCallum” and a Campus Reform Correspondent. He has written for the New York Post, Newsweek, and The Free Press. He has appeared on Fox and Friends, America Reports, and The Ingraham Angle on Fox News.

The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.