Blexit Atlanta: Why Black Americans are leaving the Democratic Party

Candace Owens, creator of the “Blexit” movement, held an event at the Buckhead Theatre on Monday, Nov. 11. Photo by Imani Denis | The Signal

A majority black crowd of at least 500 people assembled in Buckhead Theatre in Trump merch and neon shirts that read “Liberals Can’t Bully Me!” for one reason: They are tired of the Democratic Party. 

The event known as Blexit (a portmanteau of “black” and “exit” in the style of “Brexit”) was held on Nov. 11. 

Public figures, including Terrance Williams, Tyler Moore, David Harris Jr., KingFace, Bishop Jackson and Candace Owens, spoke at the event.

Owens, who is the former communications director for Turning Point USA, founded the Blexit movement to encourage black people to leave the Democratic Party and “release themselves from intellectual bondage,” according to the movement’s website.

The event began with a video montage of news coverage of police brutality against black Americans, alongside Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, black families and rapper Kanye West with President Donald Trump. 

Another montage, a video of Maya Angelou reciting her poem “Still I Rise” juxtaposed with “whites only” signs, black pop culture references and then King giving a speech about the “Promised Land” with footage of Candace Owens speaking at events. 

Then, the single phrase: “Freedom.”

The Blexit movement often argues that the Democratic Party has not done anything for black people.

“It’s so sad to me that, for 60 years, our black community has been blindly pledging allegiance to a particular political party that I believe has not done anything for us,” speaker David Harris Jr. said.

Comedian and political commentator Terrance Williams mentioned having an awakening from “being the victim” of America. 

“The white man Bob don’t owe you nothing. You know who [owes] you something? You owe yourself,” he said.

Multiple speakers mentioned the “abortion rates of African American babies,” the lack of a family unit, the racist past of the Democratic Party and the black community’s reliance on healthcare as reasons for the Blexit.

“Welfare wasn’t built to help people get ahead in their lives; it was built to keep them addicted,” Owens said to the crowd.

Owens said that, when she grew up, there were black families on TV like the Cosbys, but now children are being raised by the streets and hip-hop music. 

“I [want to] remind people what we’re missing,” she said. “Black Americans have woken up and realized that there is something really wrong right now.”

Kanye West’s music played throughout the event, despite West recently distancing himself from the Blexit movement after Owens advertised that he had a hand in the creation of some Blexit merch designs, which he denied, according to Rolling Stone magazine.

Tyler Moore, a Georgia State student and treasurer for Turning Point GSU, the Georgia State chapter of Turning Point USA, felt that black people are forced to be Democrats and Blexit allows them to think differently. 

“Many blacks that vote Democratic are actually conservative,” Moore said. “Blexit allows blacks to say that if these aren’t your values, you should be able to vote a different way.”

Blexit and its connections to Turning Point has been the subject of intense controversy, especially for its strong support of President Donald Trump, despite a long history of allegations of racism against him.

Some examples include Trump’s references to immigrants from “sh–hole countries” and being sued by the U.S. Department of Justice for violating the Fair Housing Act, according to Vox.