Christian Hip-Hop Artist Sho Baraka on Why He Can’t Vote for Either Trump or Clinton

Photo by Milan Ilic / Shutterstock
Photo by Milan Ilic / Shutterstock
Both candidates fail to address the heart concerns of black evangelicals like me.

As a black Christian in an urban environment, I consciously struggle to give my allegiance to either political party. In this way, this election gives many white evangelicals a sense of what it’s like to be a black believer in America today.

As an African American, I’m marginalized by the lack of compassion on the Right. As a Christian, I’m ostracized by the secularism of the Left. As a man, I’m greatly concerned by subversive attempts to deconstruct all “classical” definitions of manhood.

I fraternize with a remnant of people who have the cultural and theological aptitude to engage both Carter G. Woodson and G. K. Chesterton. We walk the tightrope between conservatives and progressives. We share an anxiety and sense of displacement in the current sociopolitical landscape.

I have had zero interest in either candidate this election. Many people are fearful about the next president, as they should be. Our newly appointed chief will likely nominate Supreme Court justices. The thought of either candidate appointing justices scares me. Many Clinton supporters seek a secular utopia that progresses past logic. Many Trump supporters want to resurrect bigoted ideologies. Neither of these Americas is great to me.

True Liberation

Ideally, fellow black Christians and I could thrive at the table with conservatives because we agree on a moral code. But it has been shocking to see some conservatives perform verbal gymnastics to support a candidate who has questionable character and vacillates on basic conservative principles.

Further, many of our conservative brothers and sisters have justified or ignored the deaths of Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and other young black men. Many claim their Republican values align with their faith, but are supporting someone who looks more like Bull Connor than Billy Graham.

Yet both Republicans and Democrats have supported policies that have only increased the plight of minority communities. In the War on Drugs, leaders from both parties supported draconian penalties for nonviolent drug offenses. Those leaders have financially benefited from disproportionately sending folks to prison for crimes that carry far fewer consequences in affluent communities. Only recently has America witnessed what could be called the “gentrification of the drug crisis,” wherein opioid addiction among whites is reaching epidemic levels. Bill Clinton’s Crime Bill of 1994 escalated the arrests of people of color for nonviolent crimes. He later admitted that signing the bill was a mistake. Although I’m grateful for this revelation, some of us have carried the burdens of its implications all our lives.

I live in a part of Atlanta where African Americans make up 79 percent of the population, according to census data. If you live in a community with these demographics, you’re most likely grappling with underperforming schools, anemic business districts, scarce home ownership, and nihilistic behaviors.

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SOURCE: Christianity Today
Sho Baraka