Biden & Harris WIN!By Barrington M. Salmon, Trice Edney News / November 12, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. – After four years of feeling under siege from a racially hostile White House and after a week spent awaiting the results of a nail-biter election, supporters of former Vice President Joe Biden finally exhaled when it became clear that President Donald Trump was booted from office.
Black America and the rest of the country learned shortly after noon on Saturday, Nov 7 that former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris would be America’s next president and vice president of the United States. Biden’s home state of Pennsylvania provided the final push that lifted the Biden-Harris ticket past the vaunted 270 electoral votes. Harris, a Howard University graduate, is the first woman and the first of Black and Asian descent to be elected vice president.
President-Elect Biden was quick to give the Black vote the credit it deserved. During his acceptance speech Saturday night, he acknowledged the importance of the Black vote, telling his audience that he wouldn’t have won the Democratic primary or the hard-fought contest without the overwhelming support of Black voters.
“To my campaign team, and all the volunteers, to all those who gave so much of themselves to make this moment possible, I owe you everything,” Biden said. “And to all those who supported us: I am proud of the campaign we built and ran. I am proud of the coalition we put together, the broadest and most diverse in history. Democrats, Republicans and Independents. Progressives, moderates and conservatives. Young and old. Urban, suburban and rural. Gay, straight, transgender. White. Latino. Asian. Native American.”
He then added, “And especially for those moments when this campaign was at its lowest — the African American community stood up again for me. They always have my back, and I’ll have yours.”
A full-throated endorsement by Rep. Jim Clyburn just before the South Carolina primary brought the faltering Biden campaign back to life and 61 percent of Black South Carolinians checked Biden’s box. In the presidential contest, at least 89 percent of African Americans voted for the Biden-Harris ticket, according to the American Election Eve exit Poll by Latino Decisions. That same poll found that 56 percent of Whites voted for Trump, a number reconfirmed by CNN exit polls, which calculated the White vote for Trump at 57 percent. 54 percent of White women also voted for Trump.
Moments after the race was called, media and cable outlets showed scenes of spontaneous outbreaks of street dancing – accompanied by music, lusty singing, raucous cheers and honking horns – in cities as disparate as Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City, Atlanta, San Francisco and Oakland. Black Biden supporters expressed immense relief and joy that an aroused public joined hands to usher out the jarring, abrasive, racist Trump regime.
After 1,459 days of the Trump Administration, with its pervasive and proven racism, support of racial hatred, pervasive lies, division and chaos, millions across the nation seemed to breathe freely.
“I feel excitement. It’s a beautiful day,” said Alexandra Jones, a third-generation Washington D.C. native, Howard University alumnus and educator Saturday evening. “On Tuesday, I didn’t think Biden and Harris were going to win. But last night the calm came through, I thought it, felt it and finally claimed it. I feel relief. It’s amazing to see humanity triumph. A collective group of very different people, many of them outsiders, came together as one.”
It is a delicious irony that despite years of Democratic Party brass overlooking, barely tolerating and often neglecting the issues, needs and concerns of African American voters, Black folks ended up being the decisive factor. Overwhelming Black support in the urban cities, other urban areas and the suburbs of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Georgia translated into significant caches of votes that propelled the Biden-Harris ticket to victory.
It came after a fractious campaign, a major struggle and a long, arduous vote count. More than 101 million Americans cast ballots in early voting and an estimated 41 million more voted on Election Day. Exit polls indicate that Biden and Harris got the support of the majority of Millennial and Gen X voters, as well as new and returning voters. They also captured the majority of the Latinx, Native American and Asian and Pacific Islander vote. But the African American vote – organized and mobilized by primarily Black female organizers, workers and strategists for years before 2020 – laid the groundwork for the Democratic Party to blunt the 48 percent of the electorate who voted for President Donald Trump.
African Americans voted in record-breaking numbers despite a concerted effort of widespread voter suppression and voter manipulation by the Trump administration and the Republican Party. Trump spent much of the election campaign trying to delegitimize the electoral process; claimed that he would only lose if the election was stolen; and interrupted the operations of the U.S. Postal Service, headed by his appointee, campaign donor and Greensboro, N.C. resident Louis DeJoy, in an effort to disrupt mail in voting.
Tiffany Cross, an on-air political analyst, author and cable news veteran, said during a post-election interview on MSNBC that African Americans have again saved America from itself.
“We saw the coalition after the South Carolina primary. Black voters are very pragmatic and look at who will do the least harm to our communities,” she explained. “And Biden was certainly helped by having Kamala on the ticket. Black women voters are the Democratic base. We have to ask why the other side didn’t vote for the greater good.”
Cross acknowledged the considerable support of the Latinx, Indigenous and Asian American/Pacific communities, “but certainly, by far, Black voters were dominant supporters giving him this victory. I anticipate that African Americans will hold this administration accountable for some of the things they voted in the promise for. We voted for a country that has never loved us back, but we still voted with expectations of what this country might become for us after we built it for free.”