You can't blame black people for Hillary Clinton's loss

You can't blame black people for Hillary Clinton's loss
Source: AP
Source: AP

In trying to make sense of Donald Trump's historic upset over Hillary Clinton to become the next president of the United States, pollsters, pundits and others are all pointing to a familiar scapegoat: black voters.

Here's how the story allegedly goes: Black voters turned out in record numbers in 2008 and 2012 to elect Barack Obama; they were lukewarm about Clinton, so much so that they stayed home on Tuesday, tipping the scales in Trump's favor.

"To try to look at the results and blame [this election] on black people negates so many different things, like no candidate talked about racial justice in a meaningful, long-term way," Jessica Pierce, national co-chair of Black Youth Project 100, said in a phone call. "If people are pointing fingers, we need to look at middle and working class white people and ask them difficult questions."

To blame black people or people of color doesn't take into account the excitement about Trump from white voters. According to exit polls, 88% of black people voted for Hillary Clinton, compared with 37% of white people. When the polls break the numbers down by sex, 53% of men voted for Trump, but so too did 42% of women. More white women — 53% — voted for Trump than for Clinton. Only 8% of black voters cast ballots for Trump.

Clinton lost key battleground states like North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, but those losses do not lie at the feet of black voters. This election was a statement from a whiter, wealthier electorate who felt that Donald Trump represented their best interests. 

"This is not about black people, Pierce said. "This election was never about us."