Curtis Ellis is a political communications consultant and writer.
Donald Trump's appeal to African-Americans has heads spinning in the corporate media. The conventional wisdom pundits can't grasp why African-Americans would vote for Donald Trump.
Well, here are three reasons: jobs, immigration and a rigged political system.
Americans for Limited Government conducted an authoritative poll surveying public opinion on jobs, trade, immigration and alienation from government.
The crosstabs show that concerning these issues, central to the Donald Trump campaign, African-Americans are on the same page with the Republican nominee.
The survey found nearly 70 percent (69 percent) of African-Americans believe jobs moving overseas and the loss of manufacturing is an important issue.
Similarly, 70 percent of African-Americans ranked "Stagnation of lower-to-middle-income wages" as an important problem. In even greater numbers than whites, African-Americans believe trade deals that allow a flood of imports into the U.S. are a problem (48 vs. 43 percent). Black Americans – like the white working people who are supposed to be Trump's base supporters – also see immigration as a jobs issue.
Fifty-four percent of blacks said "Increasing border security and controlling immigration" is an important problem, nearly identical to the number of whites (56 percent).
Two out of three African-Americans (67 percent) said, "Our immigration policies are being written by the same corporate elite that want cheap labor anywhere they can find it. They send our jobs and factories overseas and at the same time want to bring in lower-paid immigrant labor." That number is virtually the same among whites (69 percent).
Not surprisingly, the survey found that in even greater numbers than whites (55 vs. 45 percent), black Americans believe "Foreign workers are being used to replace Americans in jobs for lower wages."
Nearly 7 out of 10 said businesses struggling to find workers should raise wages and improve working conditions rather than bring in foreign workers.
The poll found that 63 percent of black Americans believe "Powerful interests from Wall Street banks to corporations, unions and political interest groups have used campaign and lobbying money to rig the system for themselves."
Should we be surprised African-Americans believe the system is rigged to favor the powerful? We're talking about a group that's experienced what it's like to be ignored by the powerful. Two-thirds of the African-Americans surveyed (66 percent) say, "The same political elite who have been rigging the political process in Washington are the same ones that have been rigging trade deals that hurt Americans, but benefit themselves." Seventy percent of African-Americans rank "government ethics and corruption" as an important issue.
And when it comes to America First, Donald Trump's signature slogan, the results are clear: 69 percent of African-Americans (and 66 percent of Hispanics) agree that "Our economic and trade policies should always put American needs and American jobs first, before the needs of other countries or big corporations."
The survey debunks Democratic Party identity politics that wrongly assumes African-Americans have different concerns than other Americans.
On issue after issue, African-Americans agree with Donald Trump. And it makes sense they should.
Blacks have been hardest hit by the Clinton trade policies that closed tens of thousands of factories, sent jobs overseas and brought a flood of imports into the U.S. They had found steady, good-paying work in the manufacturing industries that have all but disappeared in America thanks to Clinton's NAFTA.