The dirty little secret about wokeness is its lack of diversity. It’s a movement entirely comprising of white, college-educated progressives.
Therein lies the problem for the Democratic Party as it lurches left. It has wedged itself between the demands of an aggressively woke left flank and the more socially conservative, more religious black community. Since the party needs 85 percent of the black vote to win power, that’s a problem with lethal political consequences.
Which is why Democrats are nervous about President Trump’s embryonic popularity with African Americans, after he won just 8 percent of the black vote in 2016.
You can see the seeds in rising poll numbers, with one Rasmussen poll last year placing the president’s approval rating among black Americans at 36 percent. It was quickly dismissed as an outlier, but other polls since have confirmed a smaller upward trajectory.
The NAACP’s own poll in August showed Trump’s approval rating at 21 percent.
At rallies, Trump waxes lyrical about all he’s done for the black community: a record low black unemployment rate, “opportunity zones” bringing investment to poor cities, criminal-justice reform and his tough stance on illegal immigration.
But the red-pill phenomenon in black America is most visible in the rise of charismatic cultural leaders such as the conservative firebrand Candace Owens.
This Sunday, at a rally in Atlanta, you will see the power of the movement Owens has founded, Blexit.
Blexit means the exit by black Americans from a Democratic Party that takes their vote for granted.
“It’s an exit from political orthodoxy and from the left, which bases your worth on your skin color, sex and sexual orientation,” she says.
Her goal is to turn Blexit into a grass-roots political force. “Twenty points by 2020 is the dream.”
If the left is the Titanic, “I like to view myself as a little iceberg.” Owens says. “Blexit sits underneath that, with thousands of black people sick of being lied to by Democrats.”
Just four years ago, Owens was a liberal. Her awakening began in 2016 when she heard then-candidate Trump at a rally in Michigan asking black America: “What the hell do you have to lose?” by voting for him.
Owens realized the answer was: absolutely nothing.
“What do we have to show for 60 years of commitment to the Democratic Party?” she asks?
Her Blexit rallies feature the stories of ordinary people “who were on the left and woke up.”
“I tell them I support the president, but I’m not telling you to vote for him, just to vote your values,” she says. “It’s not a call to leave the left and run to the right. It’s a call to people to think independently.”
It’s a call to black people to break free from the “victim narrative” that the Democratic Party has spun for them.
Owens chose Atlanta for this weekend’s rally because it is the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr., who she says would be a Blexiteer if he were alive today.
“He wanted a society where his children could grow up and not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” she says.
“We now live in a society where the left says people should only be judged by the color of skin. If you’re black, you must be underprivileged. If you’re white, you must have white privilege.”
You can gauge the extent of the threat she poses to the left by the ferocity of the libelous smears deployed against her. She’s been depicted in the media as a Hitler sympathizer and enabler of white supremacy.
The source of her courage and her inspiration is her 79-year-old grandfather, Robert Owens Sr., who raised her.
“He grew on a sharecropping farm picking tobacco in the segregated South, where there was real systematic racism,” she says. “He believed in faith, family and hard work. There were chores and there were rules. There are no handouts . . . That was the secret sauce.
“That will be my grandfather’s legacy. I fight so people don’t think I’m living through what he lived through.”
By far the greatest scourge for the black community is “fatherlessness, the breakdown of the family,” and she blames Democrats as the “author of that epidemic” through passive welfare.
Democrats have presided over a “systematic breakdown of family, as they did when we were on the plantation and it made it easier to sell us,” Owens claims.
“If they like to come on board with us, it will have to be with policy rather than emotion. Calling Trump a racist won’t work.”
Blexit is a ticking time bomb for the left because while half of white Democrats say they are “very liberal” or “liberal,” according to a Pew poll, only 26 percent of black people describe themselves that way.
Owens is not telling Blexiteers to elect Trump, who she understands is a pragmatic businessman who just wants votes, but she is offering an opportunity for the Republican Party to remake itself.
Who knows, she may even run for president one day. She doesn’t rule it out.
What a rebuke to Democrats if the first black woman president is a Republican. Bring it on.