For many decades now, black Americans have largely voted as a consistently monolithic bloc in favor of the Democratic Party, but now some have questioned what, if anything, of significance has been gained for black Americans through that partisan allegiance.
One of those is the rap artist and entrepreneur O’Shea Jackson, better known as Ice Cube, who in 2021 called out the Biden administration and Democratic Party for taking the black vote for granted and not doing enough to meet that community’s particular needs, Breitbart reported.
Cube’s interview from last year has gone viral again among recent polling and reports which indicate that some Democratic candidates are worried about turnout and struggling to maintain the overwhelming support of black voters ahead of the crucial midterm elections.
“Important to engage with both sides”
In September 2021, Ice Cube sat down for an interview with journalist Graham Bensinger on his “In Depth” program to discuss a variety of issues, including his foray into the political realm to gain support for his proposals to help uplift the black community — and how that community has consistently been let down and pushed aside by Democrats.
Asked about any progress he’d had with the Biden administration on his proposals, Cube said, “They haven’t done anything to act on it. I’ve had one or two — one conversation with an assistant to the president, but no talk with the president. No other movement. We’re still working though.” He further mentioned action “behind the scenes” and indicated that he was looking for support from the private sector to try to accomplish his goals.
Cube had made some progress in meeting with the Trump administration in 2020, though that meeting sparked plenty of controversy. The rapper said of the backlash he’d received at that time, “I just think people didn’t understand exactly where I was coming from. And people are really used to seeing black people just go on one side, to the Democratic Party.”
“We’ve been doing that for a long time as a people and we haven’t really gained as much as I believe we should,” he added. “And I believe it’s important to engage with both sides, and not just one side, because if the one side you’re engaging with doesn’t respond, there’s nowhere to turn. So, I think by engaging with both sides, you put everybody on notice that whoever’s gonna do the most for the people is who we should roll with.”
Ice Cube says Biden still hasn’t spoken with him about his contract with black America…. pic.twitter.com/zRVjcGRrrg
— SHO’NUFF (@IAMSHO_NUFF) October 24, 2022
Some progress with Trump, nothing with Biden, commitment with NFL
USA Today reported in October 2020 that Ice Cube had been contacted by both the Biden and Trump campaigns about his “Contract with Black America” plan, but while Biden’s team told him they’d talk “after the election,” Trump’s people met with him immediately and even added some of his proposals to their own plans to help black Americans.
In February 2021, The Hill reported that Cube revealed that he had finally been contacted by the new Biden administration for preliminary talks — though, as he later revealed in the interview with Bensinger, nothing further ever came of that.
As for the rapper’s mention in that Bensinger interview of his efforts to find support in the private sector, it was announced in June of this year that the National Football League had signed on in support of Cube’s proposals and made a commitment to provide more economic opportunities to black-owned businesses in partnerships with the league.
To be sure, a majority of black Americans are still aligned with the Democratic Party, but those numbers are not as solid or overwhelming as they once were, and it appears that more and more black Americans have decided to, if not embrace the Republican Party, at least no longer give away their vote to a party that has taken it for granted for decades.