On May 24, Ice Cube tweeted, “Hold the Black vote hostage until one of ’em comes with A Black Agenda that we’re satisfied with. It’s not our job to fix the country’s mess until we fix our mess…#fuckyoupayme.”
The hip-hop icon’s tweet falls in line with a sentiment Sean “Diddy” Combs recently shared during an interview with Naomi Campbell when he called for Black people to hold off giving Joe Biden and the Democrats support until the Black community’s issues and needs are addressed.
“We want to know very clearly. Just like Trump made it clear that he wanted to build a wall, Biden needs to make it clear that he’s gonna change the lives and quality of life of Black and Brown people,” Diddy said. “Or else he can’t get the vote. I will hold the vote hostage if I have to.”
In the interview on Campbell’s web series, “No Filter with Naomi,” Diddy declared the “Black vote ain’t free.” More people seem to be following this belief especially after the presumptive presidential Democrat’s interview on The Breakfast Club with Charlamagne Tha God.
Nina Turner, national co-chair of the Bernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaign, tweeted, “The @DNC must stop playing games with our votes. And to my Beloved Black Community: Now is the time! We owe it to our ancestors, ourselves and to our future to seize this moment for the uplift of our people. This assignment is forever!#Iaintblack“
During the interview, Biden seemingly questioned Charlamagne’s — and any other undecided Black voter’s — Blackness by saying Black people who don’t vote for him“ain’t Black.”
Shortly after Diddy’s declaration, Biden released his plan for Black America called, “Lift Every Voice.”
Now, after The Breakfast Club interview, the Biden campaign reposted highlights from the plan on Instagram.
According to the post, “The Biden Plan for Black America” will close the wealth and income gap by investing in African-American workers, businesses, and communities, TheGrio reported. The post also stressed that a Biden administration would push for health equity and address racial inequity.
“I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy. I shouldn’t have been so cavalier…I have never, ever taken the African-American community for granted,” Biden said, according to journalist Yamiche Alcindor. “No one should have to vote for any party based on their race, background, religion, or any demographic information.”
While the sentiment of Diddy, Charlemagne, and now Ice Cube seems to be gaining momentum, other Black voters say now is not the time to put the election on the line.
Holding the Black vote hostage is irresponsible and puts the Black community in danger, wrote Christina M. Greer, an associate professor at Fordham University and the author of “Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream.” Greer co-hosts the podcast FAQ-NYC, and is the political editor at The Grio.
While Greer said she agrees with Diddy that Biden and the Democrats cannot take the Black vote for granted, she feels holding the Black vote hostage “would be detrimental to not only the Black community but the nation (and world) for generations to come.”
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Keeping Republicans in the White House has only resulted in policies that do not benefit the Black community, according to Greer.
“As we know, Black women make pennies on the dollar compared to their white counterparts. While this president and his Republican sycophants are eroding the economic security of millions of people by breaking up unions, failing to pay people of color an equal living wage, defunding educational systems, bankrupting families in unequal hospital systems, and destroying the social safety net, we cannot make a false equivalent argument about the two parties,” she wrote.
She added: “How do you plan to hold the vote hostage when the Republican party is already doing everything in its power to prevent Black people from voting in free and fair elections? Just look at the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial race where rampant voter disenfranchisement was so widespread even Republicans couldn’t believe what they were seeing.”
Greer does call for the Democratic Party to be more responsive to the specific needs of Black people.
According to Greer, four more years of Trump will result in even deadlier health effects for Black communities, dissolving unions that have bring Black people into the middle class, and defunding stable government institutions such as the post office and other agencies that employ mostly Black workers.
Some on Twitter agreed with Greer, who pointed out that Diddy has a privilege many other Black people don’t have.
One person tweeted this about holding the Black vote hostage: “You can afford to, we working class folks cannot.”
Another Twitter user responded, “Its called #DownBallot go to the polls and leave the presedential space blank. Or write in reparations. Gotta show up though so they will know what they are missing.”