MSNBC host Chris Hayes said that while white voters can choose between either major political party in the United States, black voters can only be Democrats because of "structural white supremacy."
What was he talking about?
Hayes was discussing the way white voters are segmented into more categories than black voters, who tend to vote Democratic across different demographics. The context of the panel discussion was an analysis of why some voters chose former Vice President Joe Biden over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
Contributor Eddie Glaude said fears about losing to President Donald Trump and taking heavy losses in congressional elections turned some black voters away from Sanders, although Glaude also conceded that some voters just agree with Biden's politics.
What did he say?
In response to Glaude, Hayes pivoted into a point about how demographics within the category of black voters have no choice but to vote Democrat, and therefore there is much more diversity of ideas within the party than in the Republican Party.
"First of all, there's generational division," Hayes said. "Even in South Carolina, where Sanders got his butt kicked among black voters as a whole — he won black voters under 30, right? So there's something going on there generationally.
"And the second thing is that, look, white people in America have two parties to choose from. And between those two parties, they sort in all kinds of ways. People who are college, post-graduate atheists in metro areas, those are Democrats," Hayes continued. "People that are rural and go to church every week, and were high school graduates, most likely Republican. For black voters in those two categories, they're both going to be in the Democratic Party. Because there's only one party they can be a part of because of the nature of structural white supremacy in American political coalitions."
This writer's perspective
Hayes' point is correct to an extent, particularly in a place like South Carolina, where many black Democrats tend to be more conservative in their ideology than Democrats in other areas of the country. He's also correct that racial considerations cause some black voters who might be more politically aligned with the Republican Party to default to the Democratic Party — and the more conservative of those voters would be attracted to a candidate like Biden.
However, a general belief that black people simply have no choice but to be Democrats reflects a complacency among the party that may cause them to take black voters for granted in this or future elections, and creates an opportunity for Republicans to acknowledge and address the racial obstacles, real and perceived, that keep black voters away from the GOP and win over a significant portion of those voters.
(H/T: The Washington Free Beacon)