Like many of you, I have been glued to the television anxiously watching the election returns, meticulously counting votes, and waiting to find out who will be the next President of the United States. As it stands, Joe Biden has 253 electoral votes, and is on track to win with leads in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada and Georgia.
Based on what we do know, it is clear that Joe Biden’s lead in this election was engineered by the power of the Black vote. It was quite jarring and alarming on Tuesday night to see how many white Americans in the midst of a global pandemic, economic recession, after seeing children separated from their parents at the boarder, and hearing the racist sentiments spewed from the oval office over the past four years, decided they wanted four more. If some white Americans had their way, Donald Trump would be re-elected.
However, once again, African Americans showed up to the polls, and proved to be the conscious and soul of this nation. In the face of massive voter suppression efforts, black voters in Detroit, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Milwaukee saved America from itself. How? Why?
What Motivates Black Voters?
What motivates black voters to engage in electoral politics when the system, and this nation, continues to oppress us? Let’s be clear, black voters hold no illusions about Joe Biden’s policies, his moderate stance on issues, and the need for radical reform in this country. They showed up because they recognize the existential threat that is the fascist bully currently occupying the White House. They knew, that four more years of Donald Trump would make progress impossible, and bring more harm to those most vulnerable.
After a summer of protesting police brutality and marching against systemic racism, we knew that voting and activism aren’t enemies. Voting is not the end all be all. Voting won’t change the system at its core.
Voting is a step to ensure that as we fight for change and justice there will be a sane person and worthy leader holding the most powerful office in the world.
During the Democratic Primary, black voters pushed Biden to the nomination. They knew who could put a dent in Trump’s electoral appeal to white voters. In the end, black voters knew white America better than liberal white Americans were willing to admit. Black voters knew Joe Biden could beat Donald Trump, and in a stoic, workman like fashion, delivered him the nomination, and will deliver him the White House.
This summer we were reminded that Black lives matter, but this election week we were reminded that black votes matter.