Perhaps 200 years from now, a student doing research will see this period in time as a turning point in American History. It is, in fact, November, 2020 and on January 20, 2021, Joe Biden will become the 46th President of the United States, and Kamala Harris makes history, on several fronts, as the first woman and person of color voted into the Vice-Presidential office.
While the numbers vary based on various exit polls, Biden-Harris won by accumulating 290 electoral votes and 50.75% of the popular vote to Trump-Pence’s 214 electoral votes (229 if including North Carolina at 99% of the votes secured at press time, and Georgia’s votes too close to call and a recount looming) and 47.15% of the popular vote. For some, the change of guard ends President Trump’s tyranny on American soil and globally, while his supporters feel they’ve lost ground in preserving the traditional values Trump boasted would “make America great again.”
Some feel that despite Trump’s radical behavior, and even losing four Republican states that voted for him in 2016 (Wisconsin, Arizona, Michigan, and Pennsylvania), how the closeness of the race speaks to what many Blacks already feel exposes the United States for its historically tumultuous social climate, and its not-so-hidden agenda of White Supremacy. Even though the electoral vote secured Biden’s victory by a large margin, the country’s popular vote, which some want to determine the election, nearly split on their opinion of Donald Trump and the direction the country should go.
After 50 years in public service, Biden, age 77, is the oldest President ever elected into office. He returns to the White House to continue what he and then-President Barack Obama started in 2008 through 2016. His experience as Vice-President will help in domestic and foreign affairs, alike; despite President Trump’s failure to announce Biden as the new President-elect, Biden has already reached out to world leaders.
Biden’s presidential legacy begins by defeating Goliath and potentially restoring racial harmony in a country divided and mending wounds. President Trump and his party allies are yelling foul to the election voting process and have yet to concede Biden as his successor.
The Presidential race comes on the heels of a country in civil unrest and fighting through a global pandemic that has taken approximately 240,216 lives on American soil, and health experts fear the worse is yet to come with cold and flu season approaching. Black Lives Matter, in protest of the George Floyd killing by a White police officer, saw a multi-cultural Millennial generation help lead a defiant charge to confront and do away with the glaring remnants of Jim Crow ways of the 50s and 60s. This election and current social climate are interrelated and may have awaked the anti-Trump agenda just in time to help escort Biden-Harris into office.
Ultimately, the majority of Americans voted for democracy and change, but many Trump supporters overlooked his racist antics and agenda for racial divide, voting in record numbers for him and making the Presidential race much closer than predicted.
But America isn’t so predictable anymore, and while 55% of White women voting for Trump may give some pause, Black men, led by celebrity rappers, Ice Cube, 50 Cent, and Lil Wayne, voted for Trump at a whopping 18%. Nationwide, Biden won 66% of the Latino vote. Trump’s Latino support grew to 32%, which helped him win Florida, though the younger Latinx community, and those living in non-Cuban heavy states, such as California, overwhelmingly voted for Biden and Harris.
On Nov. 07, 2020, on stage at the Chase Center, in Wilmington, Del., President-elect Biden addressed his supporters and the Americans who did not. “I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide but unify; who doesn’t see red states and blue states, only sees the United States. And work with all my heart with the confidence of the whole people, to win the confidence of all of you. And for that is what America I believe is about. It’s about people. And that’s what our Administration will be all about,” Biden said.
He spoke irenically to Trump supporters. “For all those of you who voted [for] President Trump, I understand the disappointment tonight. I’ve lost a couple of times myself, but now let’s give each other a chance,” he said. “It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again. And to make progress, we have to stop treating our opponents as our enemies. They are not our enemies; they are Americans.”
Vice President-elect Harris was born in Oakland to Jamaican and Indian immigrants. She is a Howard University alum, which ties her into a stream of support from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), as well as her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc, and African Americans and women alike. The former Deputy District Attorney in San Francisco district attorney of San Francisco office, former Attorney General of California, and the junior United States senator from California, was also a candidate for the 2020 presidency but ended her campaign in December.
President-elect Harris spoke to America from the Chase Center stage. “Congressman John Lewis, before his passing, wrote ‘Democracy is not a state, it is an act.’ And what he meant was that America’s democracy is not guaranteed. It is only as strong as our willingness to fight for it. To guard it and never take it for granted. And protecting our democracy takes struggle,” she said. “And when our very democracy was on the ballot in this election – with the very soul of America at stake and the world watching – you ushered in a new day for America.”
She reflected on her running mate, President-elect Biden. “You chose Joe Biden as the next President of the United States. And Joe is a healer, a uniter, a tested and steady hand. A person whose own experience of loss gives him a sense of purpose that will help us as a nation reclaim our own sense of purpose,” she said. “What a testament it is to Joe’s character that he had the audacity to break one of the most substantial barriers that exist in our country and select a woman as his vice president.”
She addressed and thanked her supportive nucleolus. “Women who fought and sacrificed so much for equality and liberty and justice for all. Including the Black women who are too often overlooked, but so often, proved they are the backbone of our democracy,” she said. “All the women who have worked to secure and protect the right to vote for over a century. One hundred years ago with the 19th Amendment. “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.”
“Folks, the people of this nation have spoken,” President-Elect Biden said. He spoke directly to his African American supporters. Black voters were key in Biden and Harris being elected, with 87% of Black voters being loyal to Biden and just 12% for President Trump.
“The African American community stood up again for me!” Biden said. “You’ve always had my back, and I’ll have yours!”
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