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20:08, 13 December 2017

Why Black Voters Backed Doug Jones: ‘It’s a Matter of Character for Us’

Why Black Voters Backed Doug Jones: ‘It’s a Matter of Character for Us’

Why Black Voters Backed Doug Jones: ‘It’s a Matter of Character for Us’


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Devon Crawford, 24, a black Alabamian, came residence from the University of Chicago to vote against the Republican Roy S. Moore in the special Senate election here.

Mr. Crawford, who is earning a master’s degree in divinity, was standing near the stage at the victory celebration for Mr. Moore’s opponent, Doug Jones, arguing that Mr. Moore’s Christianity did not square with the vision of faith shared by so a lot of black civil rights leaders whose blood was shed on Alabama soil.

Supporters of Doug Jones watched reside benefits on Tuesday night at the Sheraton Hotel in Birmingham.CreditBob Miller for The New York Instances

Mr. Moore’s version, he said, “sanctifies the truth-making power of white men” and was “really just a masquerade for white supremacy.”

African-American voters like Mr. Crawford played a essential part in Mr. Moore’s gorgeous upset loss Tuesday. According to CNN exit polling, 30 % of the electorate was African-American, with 96 percent of them voting for Mr. Jones. A remarkable 98 percent of black ladies voters supported Mr. Jones. The share of black voters Tuesday was higher than the share in 2008 and 2012, when Barack Obama was on the ballot.

A lot of black voters at Mr. Jones’s jubilant victory celebration here echoed Mr. Crawford in saying they had long harbored a distaste for the fiery brand of evangelical politics that Mr. Moore had relied on to court working-class whites. But numerous others said that the Jones campaign uncorked the intense feelings of alarm and distaste that a lot of African-Americans harbor toward President Trump, who had given Mr. Moore his complete-throated endorsement in the campaign’s final days.

Joanice Thompson, 68, said that she and many of her fellow black voters had been worried that Trumpism and a Republican-led Congress would chip away at protections for poor and operating-class Americans. “But it’s a matter of character for us, also,” she mentioned.

Voters outdoors a polling station in Dothan, Ala.CreditAudra Melton for The New York Times

“Trump has disrespected the United States,” added Walladean Streeter, 68, a retired government worker. “How can you teach young children in higher school and college to respect their leaders when he’s acting like a kid?”

Mr. Jones, 63, a former federal prosecutor, entered the race as a not specifically properly-recognized face for a lot of black voters right here. But he had a deeply resonant story to tell them, possessing successfully prosecuted two white Klansmen for their roles in the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham that killed 4 African-American girls.

Charles Barkley, a former pro basketball star and Alabama native, spoke at a rally for Doug Jones in Birmingham on Monday evening.CreditBob Miller for The New York Instances

As Mr. Moore was hobbled by allegations that he had engaged in inappropriate relations with teenage girls while in his 30s, Mr. Jones’s campaign coffers grew fat, and in late November his campaign manager mentioned the group would attempt to make get in touch with — by mail, telephone or otherwise — with each and every most likely black voter 5 or six times ahead of Election Day.

The campaign and its allies looked for ways to reach out to black voters without having stirring up white Republicans. Mr. Jones toured black churches in Selma with Representative Terri Sewell, an African-American congresswoman. Other higher-profile black supporters produced appearances on his behalf, such as Representative John Lewis of Georgia and Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey.

Senator-Elect Doug Jones of Alabama produced a name for himself prosecuting two Ku Klux Klan members for a church bombing that killed four black girls in 1963. Now, he will become a member of the U.S. Senate.Published OnCreditImage by Dave Martin/Linked Press

Toward the end of the campaign, Mr. Obama recorded a robocall for Mr. Jones, and the former basketball star Charles Barkley, an Alabama native, urged voters to reject Mr. Moore at a campaign event on Monday. “We’ve got to, at some point, we got to quit hunting like idiots to the nation,” Mr. Barkley stated.

Michael Nabors, 54, and his wife, Ella, 55, were amongst the black voters soaking up the Democratic very good cheer following news agencies known as the race for Mr. Jones.

“We knew the globe was searching at us,” he mentioned.

Mr. Nabors mentioned that black voters were paying focus to Mr. Moore’s comments in September, in which he stated that America was last “great” in the course of the days when slavery was legal. He said they paid focus when Mr. Moore brought Stephen K. Bannon, the former Trump adviser, to campaign for him. He mentioned that they paid interest to the allegations brought by the women who said Mr. Moore had consorted with them when they have been young.

And he mentioned they paid attention to Mr. Jones’s most well-known case as a prosecutor.

“Those four small girls are on their feet tonight at 16th Street Baptist Church, celebrating,” he stated. “They’re celebrating in spirit.”


Published at Wed, 13 Dec 2017 16:36:11 +0000

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