Rafia Zakaria in Baffler:
LAST TUESDAY NIGHT, as a plague-ridden America hunkered down for a long night, it was still too early to call the election. But it is never too early, in this race-riven nation, to begin to call out minorities—specifically minority voters. It began with the first Democratic disappointment of the evening: Cuban-Americans and Venezuelan-American communities in the once-reliably blue Miami-Dade County in Florida had broken for Donald Trump. Based on early numbers, Hillary Clinton’s thirty-point winning margin from 2016 had been whittled down to single digits. A storyline began to emerge that Florida’s Latino voters had fallen for Trump propaganda about Joe Biden being soft on socialism and communism. Someone on Twitter reminded me that the man in the Trump truck who had rammed into a Biden campaign bus is also alleged to be a Hispanic male.
Black voters were next to be scrutinized; exit polls conducted for the New York Times suggesting that 8 percent of Black women and 18 percent of Black men voted for Trump were brandished by the conservative magazine National Review, which touted that Trump had won the highest percentage of the non-white vote of any Republican President since 1960. This, despite the fact that the Democrats had repeatedly accused Trump of being a racist during the George Floyd protests—not to mention throughout the four years of Trump’s rise to power. Minority voters, you see, had missed the message. Just as pundits looked to blame African Americans in 2016 for not coming out strongly enough to support Hillary Clinton, they could now raise questions about whether Latinos had caused Biden to lose Florida. Republicans could smugly insist that Donald Trump, who called Black Lives Matter a “symbol of hate” while shrugging off threats from armed white militants, who called on the far-right group the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by” during a presidential debate, was no racist at all.