Recent survey shows that American Muslims are one of the most racially diverse religious groups in the US with the Black leading other races; as in 25% black (mostly African immigrants), 24% white, 18% Asian, 18% Arab, 7% mixed race, and 5% Hispanic. Hence, a diverse State like New York requires leaders that can prove that they believe in inclusivity, flexibility, and dynamic leadership styles. This is one of the main reasons why Muslim and African voters matter in this year’s elections.
Most Muslims and African immigrants are heavily concentrated in the metropolitan parts of New York State. This is why, after Illinois and Virginia, New York is counted among the 3 states with the largest population of Muslims, and of course, Africans. For examples, according to World Population Review, over 1.5 million Muslims live the greater New York metropolitan area alone, representing the largest metropolitan Muslim population in the Western Hemisphere—and the most ethnically diverse Muslim population of any city in the world. Also, the same source proves that over about 3 million Black and African immigrants live in New York State. Additionally, report from the Center for Migration Studies in New York (https://cmsny.org/) shows that there are at least 1.1 million naturalized working class African Immigrants in New York City alone. When added to other Africans in the other parts of the State, it would be obvious to any reasonable politicians or candidates to know and acknowledge that African and Muslim voters matter a lot, especially in this year’s elections in the State.
90% of African and Muslim voters I interviewed during my fact-findings are of the opinion that since this year’s election is not party-based as it used to be before, all candidates in 2022 election in the State, particularly Republicans, Conservatives and Independents, need every single vote they can gather to win the election. This is why majority of them took their campaigns to every community in every district and borough, regardless of their number.
“He who says African voters don’t matter in this 2022 election will fail woefully. Remember the Black race in New York alone constitutes African-American, African Immigrants and Non-African Immigrants. The first two categories have larger population capable of swinging a public office in this year’s election,” Emeka Ugo said.
“More importantly, the emergence of Eric Adams as the Mayor of New York City has influenced the rapid increase in the number of eligible voters among the African Community. Also, his dynamic leadership style of inclusivity which gives rooms for Muslim leaders to be appointed in public offices has encouraged more Muslims to be more interested in socio-political activities going on around them. Like never before, New York will witness a significant number of Africans and Muslims coming out to vote in this year’s election,” Khadijatou Baldeh noted.
“In addition, some people believe that informed, educated and active New Yorkers in leadership and political activities after election and the fact that African immigrants are known as one of the most educated workforce in the State and nationwide, politicians are now finding it very difficult to exclude them in decision-making process. Available data show that around one-in-five Black eligible voters (22%) have a bachelor’s degree, lower than the share among all U.S. adults eligible to vote (33%); another 34% have at least some college education or an associate degree; and the remaining 44% have a high school diploma or less,” she added.
More so, in a State like New York where women emancipation is rapidly gaining ground, African-American women are now rapidly taking top leadership positions like borough president, Council Speaker, and the likes, there is no doubt that Black women eligible voters will not increase as recent research predicts that Black eligible voters are more likely to be women than they are to be men (i.e. 53% vs. 47% respectively).
In conclusion, for any candidate in this year’s election to confidently win, most New Yorkers believe that they must reach out to African and Muslim communities across the State of New York.