‘Blexit’: What It Means, And What Trump Did To Make It A Reality, Irrespective Of Loss

‘Blexit’: What It Means, And What Trump Did To Make It A Reality, Irrespective Of Loss

by Nirmal Abraham - Wednesday, November 11, 2020 06:50 PM IST
‘Blexit’: What It Means, And What Trump Did To Make It A Reality, Irrespective Of Loss US President Donald Trump.
  • Blexit is a social movement that urges minority groups, particularly blacks in the US, to renounce longtime political traditions and replace it with independent thought.

When Peter Wilding, the founder of the foreign affairs think tank ‘British Influence’, coined the term ‘Brexit’ in May 2012, little did he know it would become a contentious talking point of global proportions.

Originally adopted from ‘Grexit’, a term that refers to Greece’s potential exit from the Eurozone — Brexit’s popularity sparked the beginning of similar exit models across the globe, making it the Collins Dictionary ‘Word Of The Year’ of 2016.

While potential political titles like ‘frexit’, ‘italexit’ and ‘spexit’ tried to ride on this lexical super-trend, none came close to instigating social change as ‘Blexit’ (a portmanteau of the terms ‘Black’ and ‘Exit’) — coined by conservative pundit Candace Owens for a social movement that urges minority groups, particularly blacks in the US, to renounce longtime political traditions and replace it with independent thought.

Although not quite as popular as ‘Brexit’, the term has managed to garner enough attention in the context of the election, virtually functioning as a catchphrase that encourages Black Americans to break free from the ‘victim’ narrative and vote for the values they actually care for.

For many, Blexit is the conservative equivalent of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement with a modus operandi antithetical to the latter. They focus on organising community events for the elderly, providing afterschool education, delivering emotional assistance, conducting food drives, helping with school supplies, and even assisting in preparing resumes and locating jobs for young blacks.

Members from both sides of the political spectrum have hopped on the Blexit bandwagon and have invariably found it more empowering than other minority movements prevalent in the US today.

What makes it so alluring? Well, there is no reverse discrimination, defacing of walls, toppling of statues, looting of stores or rioting in the streets.

Although the necessity for Blexit has been well rationalised by Candace Owens and co-founder Brandon Tatum on various public platforms, none illustrated its need better than Joe Biden, when he told a black radio host that if he votes for Donald Trump — he will no more be considered black. You could think of it as just another Biden gaffe, but the consistency with which political activists on the liberal-progressive spectrum repeat it, may actually surprise you.

When Curtis Jackson, better known by his stage name ‘50 Cent’ — remarked that he would plummet from “being 50 Cent to 20 Cent” if Biden gets elected, he received severe backlash from fans, activists and fellow musicians.

Although, he later clarified that it is only Trump’s tax plan that he intended to favour, it didn’t make the predicament any better.

Comedian Chelsea Handler, Jackson’s former girlfriend, went so far as to remind him that “He is Black” on live TV, and even offered him a second chance if he revoked his statement. For someone, who works in an industry that prioritises independence, inclusivity and tolerance, disrespecting an independent political opinion felt a little incongruous.

Rapper and filmmaker O’Shea Jackson or ‘Ice Cube’ also suffered the same fate for revealing his willingness to work with Trump on his billion-dollar Platinum Plan. As for Ice Cube, the relentless verbal attacks and threats were accompanied by stern demands to ‘Shut up, and vote for Biden’.

The Left’s narrative of Donald Trump being anti-black seemed weak since more and more blacks openly came out in support of him, ignoring the counterblasts they received.

Former NFL athletes Herschel Walker and Jack Brewer, NBA star Jonathan Isaac, civil rights activist Clarence Henderson, television star Isaiah Washington and Democratic Senator Vernon Jones are all classic examples of this novel phenomenon.

One would be wrong to assume that these endorsements are mere political stunts. Because the Trump administration has, for all intents and purposes, been able to reduce black and Hispanic unemployment to a historic low — a significant achievement that the mainstream media refused to cover, and the former president failed to achieve.

He also signed the First Step Act — a major prison reform that benefitted nearly 900 black men and their families, passed the Music Modernization Act, supported school choice, expanded enterprise zones, increased the spending on black colleges and universities by 14 per cent, and curbed illegal immigration which has historically affected the job prospects of the black community in the United States.

How did it reflect on the election? Well, 52 per cent of black conservative men, 33 per cent of blacks living in the Midwest and 26 per cent of black men with a high school diploma or less, voted for Trump — resulting in a 15 per cent drop in black male votes for the democrats since Barack Obama.

Trump also gained 5 per cent female votes from the black community, making him the first Republican to gain the highest number of non-white votes since 1960.

If the media hadn’t been busy filling their news feeds with frivolous remarks about the president and his choice of words, maybe the world today would have kept aside differences to appreciate him for his sweeping achievements.

True, Trump isn’t the most articulate president out there, neither has he had a commendable past, but people don’t vote for the person. They vote for the ideology. It could well be the end of his presidency, but the fact that Trump has done more for the black community in 48 months, than Joe Biden has in 48 years — remains undeniable.

Even in Trump’s absence, if Blexit continues to work the way it has for Black America, it could well be the ‘word of the year' for 2024.

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