Olive branch

The November election was a reset button for a country in racist free fall. When the curtain finally goes down on the presidential race, white supremacy can take its bow as second runner up. The gap between the Democratic and Republican tickets should’ve been a gulf instead of a sliver. Black women put defiant hands on our collective hips and dared anyone to tell us we don’t count.

Anyone in the U.S. who has been paying attention never believed that we were a united country. However, the defenders of democracy continue to wonder out loud: Why was the vote so close in the presidential battle? How could 70 million still vote for Donald Trump after four years of hate, chaos, division and lies? 

White people took the easy way out and wrote checks to Black causes and put up Black Lives Matter signs. They avoided having the tough but necessary dialog with family, friends, co-workers and their faith groups about what support for Trump truly meant. 

The Trump votes were a blatant affront to all the constituencies who endured the unapologetic ridicule, contempt and bias of the so-called president. Those constituencies include people of African and Mexican descent, Muslims, LGBTQAI, white women, differently abled, veterans, farmers, children, environmentalists and a few others.

I don’t know about the groups dissed by the Trump administration, but I can tell you that most Black people are not in the mood to extend olive branches to trumpians. That’s because support of this fool came with a death ticket for too many of us. The lack of leadership by that man’s regime to tackle the coronavirus has meant the unnecessary deaths of nearly 250,000 Americans. It’s not just about a vote, it’s about life.

We’re not feeling the love for the Democratic Party either. We know that Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign was on life support until he reached South Carolina. It was the Black vote that swept him to the top of the Democratic Party’s presidential ticket. Black Democratic strongholds in swing states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan pushed the Biden-Harris team over the finish line. Black folks are no longer just looking for respect for our party loyalty and hard work. We are looking for positions and power.

Black women truly flexed their muscles during this election season. The ultimatum for a woman of color as Biden’s running mate was just the beginning of our righteous demands. The fruit of our labor can be seen in many local, state and federal victories across the country. 

Former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and her movement single-handedly turned the state of Georgia blue. And now, the balance of the U.S. Senate rests in the two Senate run-offs in the Peach State. Black girl magic all over the place.

People of color felt the slap across our faces in 2016 and we didn’t have to wonder what we would endure. We knew what manner of man Trump was even then, and the burden of dealing with him has fallen squarely on our shoulders. 

Bodacious anti-Trump organizing should’ve been led by fair minded white folks and resulted in a blue tidal wave in 2020. The tensions and mistrust will only subside when white America starts seriously taking down the foundational pillars of racism, like the colonial voter suppressing electoral college.

We all have our work cut out for us in a post-Trump era. The Nov. 3 celebrations were not the jubilant victory parties we had after the 2008 election of Barack Obama as the first Black president. These were more like exhaling from four years of stress and suffering. 

A lot of healing must happen, and it starts with holding those accountable for the injury. Together, we must all work for the elimination of the systems of oppression that hold back the human race. We created a new path forward. Now we must be unflinching in our stride.

 

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