Some of President Donald Trump’s most prominent black supporters, such as Blexit founder Candace Owens and rapper Kanye West, did not appear on the lineup for the four-day Republican National Convention.
But those that did wasted no time reaching out to others, like them, who felt alienated by a Democrat Party that has long taken them for granted.
“Black voices are becoming more woke and louder than ever,” said Georgia state Rep. Vernon Jordan, noting that “the Democratic Party has become infected with the pandemic of intolerance, bigotry.”
Jordan, a former Democrat who was assailed by his party members after voicing support for Trump, was not alone in feeling a sense of alienation.
Former NFL great and Heisman winner Herschel Walker recounted his close personal relationship with Trump going back 37 years.
“I take that as a personal insult to people who think I’ve had a 37-year relationship with a racist,” said the Georgia native.
Even the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., noted that there was plenty of room under the big tent.
He and other speakers highlighted some of the specific ways Trump had led outreach efforts to the black community, all while former Vice President Joe Biden insulted black voters and took them for granted.
That included unprecedented support for historically black colleges and universities, criminal-justice reform, the establishment of opportunity zones in low-income, minority neighborhoods and support for school-choice vouchers.
“If Democrats cared for the forgotten men and women of this country, they’d do exactly what President Trump is doing,” Don Jr. said.
“Unlike Joe Biden and the radical left Democrats, our party is open to everyone,” he added.
The evening’s speakers also featured Kim Klacik, a Republican congressional nominee who is attempting to claim the seat in the area surrounding Baltimore, Md., a Democratic stronghold previously held by Rep. Elijah Cummings.
Sen. Tim Scott, who broke racial barriers by becoming the first black senator from South Carolina in more than a century, said Trump had “built the most inclusive economy ever” prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
Scott also spoke of his own inspirational tale of rising up from poverty.
“Our family went from cotton to Congress in one lifetime,” he said, “and that’s why I believe … supporting the Republican ticket gives you the best chance of making that dream a reality.”
The GOP effort to woo minority voters, once a solid blue coalition, comes as Democrats at their convention courted blue-collar middle American voters whom Trump was able to win in his surprise 2016 routing of Hillary Clinton.
Among the other powerful black voices lined up to speak during the RNC convention are former NFL greats Jack Brewer and Burgess Owens, civil rights activist Clarence Henderson, and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson.