The votes are in, the future most uncertain

MGN President-election Joe Biden (right) and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris

News Analysis

A post-election look ahead

There were celebrations in the streets in major cities on Saturday as the mainstream media announced Joe Biden as the apparent winner of the 2020 presidential race, in what many called the most important election of our lifetimes.

Now that the presidential election has been decided—at least we think so—the road ahead for the U.S. is not very clear. It’s safe to say that the Biden presidency will not hold any surprises. In fact the best word to describe the anticipated Biden presidency is “safe,” which will likely not bode well for Black America.

Sunday’s New York Times online headline seemed to confirm this when it declared of Biden, “He bet on a sober message. Not a call for sweeping change.”

However, the election brought about a few firsts. Former U.S. Senator Kamala Harris will be the first woman, the first Black, and the first South Asian (Indian) to hold the office of vice president. Her husband will be the first Jew and first male to serve as the spouse of a vice president.

In Minneapolis, Thursday night over 600 people literally paid a price to demand that Trump not steal the election as they were arrested and ticketed with fines ranging up to $1,000 after they marched onto Interstate 94 near the University of Minnesota West bank.

Trump supporters marched as well, claiming that the election had been stolen from their candidate. The protests from both sides hint at an ominous and divisive future, especially if it is to be believed that Trump supporters are mostly avowed racists. In fact, the election results showed that there were Trump supporters in all races, sexes and economic backgrounds.

The Miami Herald reported that in Miami Gardens, one of the largest majority-Black cities in the country and the largest in Florida, Trump received 15% of the vote. And in Miami Dade County majority-Black precincts, Trump improved from his 2016 performance when he garnered 7% of their vote; this election he got 13% of the Black vote.

Prognosticators on both sides suggested that the vote may have been rigged. Veteran journalist Jon Jeter declared on Facebook that the power structure did indeed rig the election.

“There are just too many question marks surrounding Biden’s ‘victory’ including winning rural counties in Georgia, 97 percent of the Navajo vote, Michigan’s Macomb County (home to the Reagan Democrats),” Jeter wrote. “The piece de resistance is the unanimous decision by the news networks to censor a sitting President. I have only seen that in African and Latin American countries during a coup.”

A social media jokester posted a meme that has a woman identified as “Black People” being thrown from a moving SUV identified as the “Democratic Party after the election.”

One Facebook social pundit posted, “This how we be once we voted but still don’t change s–. N—‘s still broke and dying,” above a picture of slaves on a plantation dancing and playing musical instruments with “I Voted” stickers prominently displayed.

However, exit polls show that Blacks showed up for the Biden/Harris ticket. The Black community’s opposition to the Trump presidency has presumably been motivated by his continued dog whistles and nods to White Supremacy and White Supremacist terror groups. And that near enmity has been accelerated by his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Blacks and Native Americans (Indians) in the U.S. have been dying from the disease at much higher rates than the rest of the population.

Biden’s surprise showing among Hispanics, especially in Arizona, may have been the direct result of Trump’s campaign to build the wall and the caging of immigrants and migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. However, a more ominous sign was the fact that Trump’s support among Latino voters rose by around 8% according to a poll conducted by Edison Research, the Associated Press, and Latino Decisions.

Trump has been called an aberration by some and by others just a hiccup in the otherwise smooth American experiment.

“Yet the very fact that it has taken the coronavirus to defeat Trump is evidence, unfortunately, that he is not the aberration or parenthesis that his opponents think him to be,” wrote Patrick Cockburn for couterpunch.org.“Conviction that he is stems from wishful thinking by many Americans—and a majority of commentators.

But such an interpretation, understandable though it may be, underestimates the strength of the forces that backed him and seriously misreads American history.”

Some Black pundits and activists had a dim view of a Biden administration.

“The Democrats wanted to run on race as much as Trump did, because only a race-based campaign allows them to avoid any commitment to bread and butter issues – universal free healthcare, job and income security, free public higher education. Bernie Sanders, not Donald Trump, was seen as the near-existential threat to corporate governance,” said Glen Forde, editor of blackagendareport.com “With more substance-less victories like this, Black America is doomed to irrelevance and impotence.”

According to the mayor of Ithaca, New York, “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are fighting to repair the soul of this nation.” But the soul of the nation is deeply tarnished by the constants of racial and sexual discrimination, police violence, and the continuing inequalities found in education, housing and other areas.

“This might go on for a while,” said University of Minnesota professor Rose Brewer about the controversy surrounding the election. “If it’s Biden/ Harris, their programs are going to have to be looked at and pushed back because the most progressive aspects of the Warren-Sanders platform were not included in theirs.

“The majority of Black, Brown, Indigenous are going to have to continue to make some noise and some demands. Even if it’s Democrats in control we will have work to do. We will have to continue to push really hard for access to health care. There will be questions around housing and having access to food,” said Brewer.

“What are they going to do about these food lines? Whoever it is, they are going to have to get money in folk’s hands immediately.

“In Canada folk are getting $2,000 a month in support. We have resources in this country that can provide that kind of subsidy. There is always going to have to be a push back and a push up from us. Voting should just be one of our many strategies.”

Kamala Harris seemed to acknowledge the vote as the culmination and aim of activism in her remarks on Saturday in Wilmington, Delaware after she and Biden has been declared the unofficial winners of this year’s election.

“You marched for equality and justice and then you voted,” she said. “You chose dignity, democracy, science, and yes truth.”

She specifically acknowledged the contribution of Black women. “I am thinking about the women, Black, Latina, Native, who worked to make this night possible. Black women who are so overlooked but who are so important to our democracy.”

Social media critic, journalist and former ESPN personality Jemele Hill wrote in the Atlantic about Harris, “Her vice presidency is worth celebrating because—however painful the process—she made it to the other side of the barrier.

To think about a Black woman holding such a lofty position in our political landscape is inspiring, especially in light of the obstacles Harris faced. But her rise does not necessarily represent a new reality for women of color.”

However some still hold that what this new administration does or does not do for Black people depends on them.

“There is another politics: a people’s politics of the street – the only kind that can defeat corporate power. Black people are good at this kind of politics,” said Forde.

One Comment on “The votes are in, the future most uncertain”

  1. Pretty negative. Your suggestion of a balanced support for Loser Trump is simply misguided, as is the idea you promote that Biden will be more of TheLoser’s same.

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