To my surprise, someone told me they were waiting to read my response to the presidential election. I wasn’t expecting to write anything about it since the story is so big and dominant everywhere you look. But, after a little consideration, I figured I’d sit down and bang out a couple hundred words on my laptop in an effort to share personal opinionated election fodder.
My first observation is how Black people saved democracy. America has had bad presidents before and I believed the county could withstand 4-years of Trump rule, but another four years would have thrown democracy out the window.
I didn’t think Trump would win but I didn’t think Biden would win a landslide, either. On the surface, it’s hard to believe Trump would even have a chance to compete when you consider he’s an impeached president who lost the popular vote 4-years ago. Now, he lost the popular vote again and will only serve one term. I guess America can find satisfaction in saying ‘We gave him a try!’
It is definitely Joe Biden’s time. The moment means everything. When he was losing the early primaries, the American people came to their senses right around South Carolina and said we better stop playing with these off brand candidates and let Biden into the ring. Bernie, Liz, and Pete flashed for a moment but it was always Biden’s contest to lose. Once Biden became the candidate, he noticed that in the 2000s, the Democratic record is 3-0 every time there was a black person on the ticket. Hillary ran with Tim Kaine and Biden wasn’t going to make that mistake again and went with a Black VP.
As Larry Wilmore said, ‘Trump can’t beat Biden unless he cheats Biden.’ Oh, how voter suppression is out in the open now. It seems just like yesterday when voter suppression was something that was considered sneaky and unnoticeable. Now, Trump is out here breaking the Post Office.
Stacey Abrams was the last victim of overt voter suppression when her election was stolen in Georgia and she did something about it. Her Fair Fight organization registered 2-billion Black folks in Georgia and similar efforts in battleground states had similar success (okay, 2-billion might be an overstatement but whatever the real number is, it was enough to win Georgia for Biden).
If nothing else, we learned that Black and Hispanic people are not a monolith when it comes to voting…but Black people are a lot more monolithic than Hispanics. Exit polls show 20% of Black men voted against the interest of Black people and found some reason to vote for Trump. Black women were not nearly as splintered. However, that still left 80% of black men for Biden and he needed each and every one of their votes to win. The Cubans voted for Trump and the Puerto Ricans voted for Biden. The Mexican, Columbians, Salvadorians, Hondurans, and all the rest of the Hispanic Americans voted in the their best interest. With the United States fast becoming a country that looks like Kamala Harris, elections are fast becoming something other than Black and White.
Some Black folks, especially young Black folks, choose not to vote because they don’t like either candidate. They don’t subscribe to choosing the lesser of two evils. Older Black folks rarely like either candidate. However, the older the Black person is, the more likely they have lived a life choosing between two evils. When I think of how difficult life was for my ancestors, I know they lived everyday of their lives not having the opportunity to make choices at all and the fact that they could get to a point in life that they could make a choice between the better of two evils probably seemed like a luxury.
Young folks need to understand that one of the only things that makes all Americans equal is the fact that our vote has equal value no matter if you’re black, white, brown, man, woman, gay, or straight. To not vote is like saying that you accept inequality because 1 doesn’t equal 0 when it comes to counting a vote.
Two old white men in their 70s doesn’t excite many Black people. One of them claims to want your vote but seeks to destroy much of what makes your life worth living. The other guy at least had enough sense to choose a Black running mate who many of us believe will be whispering in his ear everyday to remind him who was responsible for making him president.
I don’t expect Biden/Harris to make life significantly better for Black folks but just the fact that they are in office means that American democracy won’t completely fall off the rails as it was headed with another Trump term. That alone should encourage Black folks to be encouraged and do what they can to make the best of the opportunities before us.
I must close this piece out with my opinions of the dance parties. Philly had to be first as they came out 3-days before the race was called and took over the streets surrounding the Convention Center where they were counting votes and threw a block party that started around noon and lasted into the night. Once the news outlets called it for Biden, the country erupted into one huge dance party. The only thing missing was Dick Clark. Even Paris was ringing bells and London was shooting off fireworks.
These celebrations were not so much to celebrate Biden’s win, but it was all about celebrating Trump’s defeat. The world had a party for democracy restored.