It’s been a tough year. That, I think we can all agree, is putting it lightly. We are living through a global pandemic, the likes of which no one alive today has lived through before. For other on-top-of and further reasons, it’s been a tough four years in the US. That, again, is putting it lightly. And there are some things, these years being among them, that cannot be made light of. It’s serious stuff. That being said, there is light in that there is always hope, and good will, and the perseverance of human nature to survive and overcome. With respect to the strange, difficult, heartbreaking, disappointing, devastating, life-changing, world altering (I won’t go on) times we have gone and continue to go through, let us focus for a moment on some good news.
On November 7th 2020, Joe Biden secured the required 270 electoral college votes in the US presidential race to officially become the President-elect and be sworn into office on Inauguration Day, January 20th 2021. This will mark the official end of Trump’s tumultuous and devastatingly disastrous four years as president of the United States. Kamala Harris, Vice President-elect, will be the first woman Vice President, the first Black Vice President, the first Asian American Vice President. And, as Kamala Harris powerfully declared herself, she will not be the last.
“While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last, because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.”Kamala Harris, US Vice President-elect 2020
A record number of people voted in this election. While percentage-wise the number of voters in respect to overall population doesn’t quite break records, more people – a projected 161 million – showed up for and voted in this 2020 US Presidential Election than at any other time in the history of the United States. That’s something.
It is important to look at and to acknowledge the demographics of the voting – to think about the people and communities that made the difference. Deciding states boiled down to Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, Arizona and Georgia. Each of these states have at least a 39% Black population. Stacey Abrams in Georgia, founder of Fair Fight Action, is single-handedly responsible for the registration of over 800,000 new voters since 2018. LaTosha Brown, co-founder of Black Voters Matter along with Cliff Albright, explains just how significant and influential the voting of the Black community is –
“The fact that we have matched and topped white voter participation and done that while going through voter suppression in new and old forms every year, we are extraordinary.”LaTosha Brown, Nov. 7th 2020, in an interview for NBC by Janell Ross
It cannot be overstated, and must not go unacknowledged, the influence of Black voters – always, and in particular their definitive significance in this presidential election.
Joe Biden received almost 75 million votes. This is more than any other presidential candidate in the history of the United States. That’s something. At the time of my writing, Biden has over 4.5 million more popular votes than Trump; Biden has 290 electoral college votes, while Trump has 214. That’s something. America – more specifically and importantly, the American people – have said no to four more years of Trump in office.
I am not making the mistake of believing that this is anything more than a mere step in the right direction. We’ve got far to go, and much to do.
But, along the way, we can – in fact, I feel it is important and worthwhile to – celebrate all worth celebrating; the steps, big and small, towards something better, the instances of light in otherwise heavy moments, the little victories in a world that feels a relentless muddle of hard times, tragedies and bad news.
For the good of our souls, let us share some good news.