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Black male voters in Michigan frustrated by President Biden cite millions sent to Ukraine: 'Slap in the face'

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Black male voters in Michigan are increasingly frustrated with President Biden and the Democratic Party, citing the millions of dollars the administration has sent to Ukraine, and calling it a "slap in the face."

"If you can send $800 million to Ukraine, you can’t tell me you can’t facilitate that student loan situation whatsoever," Demar Byas, who lives in Pontiac, Michigan, told the Washington Post. "Student loans, homelessness, some of that could have been eradicated. But then we sent that money overseas."

"It’s a slap in the face [from] this administration when you watch billions go to other countries and there’s no resources for people right here," Kerry Tolbert, another Pontiac resident, agreed. 

Some told the Washington Post that they're considering not voting at all in 2024. Killian-Bey, 59, told the media outlet that Democrats needed to give him substance. 

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President Biden

President Joe Biden speaks during the United Auto Workers union conference at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, DC, on January 24, 2024. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

"You can’t dangle carrots and assume we’ll vote for you just because we don’t like the other platform," he said

Norman Clement, the founder of the Detroit Change Initiative, told the Post that he had no hope for the Democratic Party to truly speak to their needs. 

"All of a sudden, at the last minute in August or September, it’s ‘Black men, can you help save us again?’" Clement said. "Black men are not running to the Republican Party. What they’re doing is sitting at home, doing their own thing, creating their own ecosystems and initiatives. At this point, I have no hope for Democrats to speak to our needs."

Another voter praised former President Trump for being "straightforward." 

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Donald Trump

Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the SNHU Arena on January 20, 2024, in Manchester, New Hampshire.  (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

"He’s straightforward, there’s nothing else behind him, no ulterior motive — what you see is what you get," Travis Glasper said, according to the Post. "Give me that versus someone who’s going to lie to me."

None of the voters said they would back Trump, and Kermit Williams, a former councilman in Pontiac, said it was more likely Black men won't vote at all in the 2024 election.

Byas told the Post that he would still support Biden in 2024 and called him the "lesser of two evils."

The Biden campaign told the outlet that they know they can't take any voters for granted.

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President Biden

President Joe Biden speaks during the reproductive freedom campaign rally at George Mason University in Manassas, Virginia, on Jan. 23, 2024. (Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu via Getty Images)

"We know we can’t take any voters for granted, especially Black voters, young voters, who’ve been a crucial bloc for the Biden-Harris coalition," Michael Tyler, the communications director for the Biden campaign, told the outlet. "We have work to do to remind these communities of what we’ve accomplished for them in the first three years."

The Biden campaign did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment. 

Black voters have revealed over the last year that they are hesitant to re-elect Biden. Some cited his age, while others have been frustrated over his support for Israel. 

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Democrats in Michigan have said they're worried about the president's standing in the state. One Democrat said his support for Israel was "costing him."

"It’s costing him here in Michigan," David Haener, a Democrat from New Boston, Michigan, told the Wall Street Journal. "I wish he would see that he’s leaving a huge demographic behind." 

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