Black Americans have propelled Biden to the Presidency. Individually and collectively, they are the reason Biden will be the next President of America. Can Black Americans count on Biden and Harris now?
Logically, the election was about the pandemic and the economy. But emotionally, it was about Black Lives Matter and systemic racism. Americans who voted for change in larger numbers were motivated at least in part by what they saw happen to George Floyd in their beloved country.
President-elect Biden has had a long and distinguished political career. But, almost certainly, he would not have been a front runner for the 2020 Democratic party nomination if President Barack Obama did not choose him as his running mate in 2008. When Biden’s chances were left in ruin after disastrous primary results in Iowa and New Hampshire, it was South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn who gave him the lift. During the election, Biden and Harris channeled the energy of Keisha Lance Bottoms and Stacy Abrams from Atlanta and Georgia — the new heart of America, to all of America.
While individuals play an important role, it is the collective that wins elections. Black Americans, especially Black women, have pushed Biden through the Democratic primaries to the Presidency. They turned out in record numbers from Atlanta to Philadelphia. Philadelphia, the City of brotherly love, gave Pennsylvania and the Presidency to Biden. Black Americans did it with crucial support from Latinx and indigenous Americans in Arizona and Americans of all colors and genders from across the country.
It is exciting for the country to have its first woman Vice-President Elect in Kamala Harris. Role models like her give hope to many girls — black, brown, and white. Biden has promised a diverse cabinet. That is a good starting point. But individuals in choice positions are not substitutes for good policies.
There are many immediate concerns for the new administration. The pandemic is still upon us. The economy is shaky as millions of Americans remain without employment. America needs racial healing. But make no mistake. The brunt of all that suffering is on Black Americans. Biden and Harris need a plan to make Black lives better now and for the future.
For far too long, Black Americans have been the last in line. Putting their needs and rights first will lift up not just them, but all underprivileged.
A bit about me.
I am proud of my eighteen year old nephew who voted for the first time!