So Biden has won both the popular vote and the electoral college. Yay! This is, of course, an enormous relief to me.
. . . but if you think that means we can all now cruise along and not worry, think again.
We still have a pandemic to deal with, and it’s not magically going to go away because of an election. Neither is climate change. We need to fix our broken system of immigration, and demilitarize our police. There are countless problems that still need to be addressed, and the momentum for addressing them is going to come from us.
Especially since . . . y’all, this election should not have been remotely close. By any objective metric, Trump has been a disastrously bad president — the sort who should have been catapulted out of office without thinking twice. In previous decades, he would have been. Instead, the election was close enough that it took days to count the votes to the point where news outlets could cautiously say that Biden appears to have won. Because in addition to the problems I listed above, we’ve got a problem right here in our own body politic.
And that problem is quite simply white supremacy. Not just in the active, obvious, neo-Nazi sense, but in the creeping sense where fifty-seven percent of white people voted for the most incompetent president most of them have seen in their lifetimes. You can’t just blame it on QAnon conspiracy theories — and the reason those conspiracy theories are meeting with such an eager audience is, at its root, still white supremacy. Fred Clark at Slacktivist (himself a white evangelical) has for years now been charting out how much of American white evangelicalism is driven by white supremacy: built on a base of justifying slavery, continued in the opposition to the Civil Rights movement, and now desperately seeking grounds to say that no really, they’re still the good guys by embracing overheated lies which tell them at least they’re better than those Satanic baby-killers underneath the local Pizza Hut. Imprisoning immigrants at the border? White supremacy. Our inhumane carceral system? A replacement for Jim Crow laws. Housing policy? Time and again, looking for ways to keep people of color out, to keep them down. And it’s no accident that the voter suppression efforts disproportionately hit those communities. I’m not going to say there are no other factors playing into this mess, but white supremacy is the poison at the root of this tree.
If you are glad that Trump is on his way out of office, thank the black voters, the Latine voters, the Asian voters, the Native American voters. Because if it had been left up to white people, he would have won with ease. Sure, 42% of my own demographic looked at the corrupt, incompetent, pathologically dishonest bigot and said, “please, let’s not.” But that’s not enough. It isn’t remotely enough. We’ve got to leach this poison out, and that means getting more white people to take positive action.
As soon as I’m done posting this, I’m going to go donate to the campaigns for Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, who are headed into runoffs in Georgia. I’m also planning on writing more letters through Vote Forward, which specifically seeks to encourage underrepresented demographics (such as voters of color) to step up to the ballot box. You can donate to Black Lives Matter, the Native American Rights Fund, LUPE, and more. Give your support to the people white supremacy wants to keep down. The more power they have, the stronger we all will be.