This year’s election was like no other in history, taking place in unprecedented circumstances. While in the mists of a global pandemic, the United States decided whether incumbent Donald J. Trump or Joseph R. Biden should become president. As of November 1st, Americans cast over ninety-three million mail-in ballots, surpassing any number of early votes in U.S. history. The 2020 election saw Americans taking to the polls like never before. With such fundamentally different candidates with vastly opposing beliefs, there was much at stake.
Despite Trump falsely declaring victory on multiple occasions, Biden received over 270 electoral college votes securing him the presidency. Along with obtaining a higher percentage of the popular vote, Biden also secured the majority of swing states’ electoral votes. One of the most unexpected was Georgia, which was last blue back in 1992. The person to thank for this flip is Stacey Abrams, a Black woman from Georgia who lost her bid for governor in 2018 to Brian Kamp. Abrams had taken it upon herself to fight voter suppression in her state and register over 800,000 new voters, greatly impacting the final results.
Biden’s victory is a momentous one because of whom he is running with. Kamala Harris is the first woman, black person, and south asian person to secure the Vice-Presidential nomination. Although American democracy prevailed in this election, which is undoubtedly a cause for celebration, the margin of victory should not be forgotten. As of Sunday, November 8th, Biden had 74,566,731 votes, and Trump had 70,396,573. Even though Biden and Harris may be our next President and Vice president, we cannot forget the moral loss of having over seventy million Americans believe a white supremacist is a better fit for office.
There is no doubt that the next two months leading up to Inauguration Day will be nothing short of chaotic. The Trump campaign is already filing lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia, and Michigan, where Biden’s victory was slimmer. Several states governors, both Republican and Democrat, believe that a recount will likely not change the results. This has not stopped Trump’s lawyer Rudy Guiliani from making a statement in Philadelphia declaring, “We’re going to take a very good look at whether we bring this nationally…. Quite possibly we’ll do a national lawsuit and really expose the corruption of the Democrat Party.” It is important to remember this statement came from someone who represents Trump, the sitting president who wanted to halt the counting of ballots in states he was losing.
Another topic to keep in mind is that here was a gap of 4,170,158 votes between Biden and Trump. What does that say about the American population? It says that while voter turnout is at an all-time high, the American people are also experiencing an enormous divide. It shows me that despite having its first woman of color as Vice President elect, America has yet to reckon with its deep-rooted racism and sexism. This election is a reminder that as a black woman, there are places that I would not dare to go. It is a reminder that despite America’s “progress,” millions of people believe that shooting a black woman over twenty-nine times is justified in the name of “self defense.” It is a reminder that I will be scolded for being too “aggressive”, whereas a white woman who does the same thing will be deemed assertive.
At CA, we like to think that the world is much better than it is. However, when black students step outside campus, we are not looked at the same. Biden may have won this year’s Presidential election, but I, along with the millions of other black Americans, will have to accept that this year’s election has disproved our previous belief in moral improvement since the 2016 election.