I ate a cupcake for breakfast. Why? Because the day after voting for president of the United States feels like limbo. It’s a free day on the bingo card that has been 2020, but that by no means indicates that it is not stressful.
Currently, Joe Biden is in the lead, with 238 electoral college votes to President Trump’s 213, with crucial states like Pennsylvania and Michigan still hanging in the balance. Ideally, this information would be calming, but it’s worth noting that more people voted for Trump this year than they did 4 years ago. This is of course after over 230,000 lives were lost due to COVID-19, which has unquestionably been mishandled by the current administration. This also follows Trump’s impeachment and his refusal to denounce a racist, misogynistic alt-right group. And that’s just this what’s happened this year.
So, knowing that certain American voters are willing to allow their concern about Biden’s desire to tax the extremely wealthy, as well as large corporations, abortions, the LGBTQ+ community and the COVID-19 “war on holidays” to override the need for a suitable leader is a bit much. Truthfully though, as a Black woman, it’s not shocking.
Disappointing? Yes. Anxiety inducing? Absolutely. But this is the type of behavior that Black people have come to expect.
The fact is, people care more about foundational American ideals—superiority over women, reliance on the Black community coupled with a complete disregard for our livelihood, and the right to oppress without consequence—more than what is clearly just. What’s also been slightly jarring is the lack of allyship from other groups who are also disenfranchised. It’s become clear that proximity to whiteness is paramount, even at the expense of your own rights.
While I am still clinging to hope (because traditionally, that is what we have always done) and expressing joy over the reappointments of congresswomen like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley, I’m also thinking deeply about what this all means. I know that no matter who wins, this process has included bold displays of racism, suppression and hatred that none of us will ever forget.
I am simultaneously so proud of the work that Black and Brown organizers and community activists have done in recent years. In the wake of uncertainty, social unrest, an increasingly unjust judicial system and a global pandemic, we have come together to facilitate change, even when people in power tried to silence us. I know that the work being done will not stop, no matter what. For that, I am grateful.
For me, these experiences are a reminder of all that must be done, regardless out the outcome. Whoever wins is responsible for a fraught, divided America that is ripe for change. All I know is that after this is all through, Black people deserve some peace. It’s well deserved.
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