The 2016 presidential race was one that was fraught with division, uncertainty, and a feeling that far too many people were done with politics as usual between either party. There was a faction in this country that believed it was time for a businessman to take the reins, because they were being taxed enough already, and government continued to grow, with the top one percent becoming wealthier, while the average person gained little to nothing.
The United States at that point, was in a good place; unemployment numbers were down, businesses were booming, and we had the Affordable Care Act- universal coverage that allowed for millions to access health insurance where they didn’t have it before as it was unaffordable. The stock market was thriving and stable.
When Donald Trump was named as the 45th president of the United States, some were happy for a change, while others were deeply concerned about where this may lead.
This presidency was rife with uncertainty from the very beginning.
We were going to hear rumblings about a Russian interference in our country through our emails and social media, the president was impeached for trying to plant information about Joe Biden’s son, Hunter; the federal government continued to have sweeping changes as people came and went from numerous positions until we lost count. There are still open cabinet positions that have not been filled, and one was left to wonder what exactly is going on here?
Many of the people closest to the president found themselves under federal indictment, and some have gone to jail including his personal lawyer. One thought at this point, things could not possibly get worse — but then, in October 2019 we heard about a strange virus in China that caused the government to lock down an entire town of millions called Wuhan.
While the news reported about this virus, COVID-19, and that it had been spreading across Europe — right here in the United States, business went on as usual. We soon came to learn that in February 2020, the president was briefed that this was a virus that could take on deadly proportions, and we heard him on a taped recording saying that he knew this but he wanted to downplay it, and kept telling citizens they did not have to wear masks because the virus would go away. Over eight million people infected and 224,000 dead and counting later, our country has been deeply affected, had to be shut down for weeks at a time, and many businesses just simply never recovered.
The Black and Brown businesses were especially hit hard, the stock market was fluctuating, and unemployment claims were on the rise. The country had sunken into a deep recession. We could not fully discuss the recession itself, though, because in the middle of all of this, were Black and Brown people who were still being shot and killed randomly all across the country by police officers who were caught on tape choking and shooting unarmed civilians.
As a result, In the middle of one of the worst pandemics the world has ever seen, uprisings began around the country. For weeks and months, protests were being held — some of which led to the looting and burning of businesses.
As if this were not enough, we add the presidential election to the mix — by press time, it will be five days away. An election that will change the course of America, whichever party wins.
Some in the Black and Brown community are deeply concerned that neither party has their best interests at heart. They are deeply offended that it appears that their votes are being taken for granted by the Democrats.
On the other side of that coin, are those in the Black and Brown community who are excited to vote for Donald Trump again because their businesses flourished under his presidency.
I have had several conversations with these Black and Brown people — both privately and openly.
One man called WURD radio station where I am a host, and said he had better business deals now and made so much money, and that he was willing to vote for Donald Trump again without apologies. He’s not the only one; recent polling has shown that 8% of African American men voted for Trump in the last election, and 24% of them plan to vote for him this time around due in part, to the men and women that were also released from prison during his presidency and they thanked him for it.
White suburban women who secretly voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 elections on both the Democrat and Republican tickets, are feeling remorseful as they lose parents to the virus, their jobs, and worry about how hateful this country has become, are now saying they will vote for the Biden/Harris ticket. It is only a matter of time before the numbers reflect whether they speak truth or not.
Black women, who voted largely for the Democratic ticket in the 2016 election, are still expected to vote in the 90 percentile for the Democratic ticket this time around with one exception; they are expecting results for their votes and are not willing to just hand them over anymore as their sons and fathers and brothers continue to die at the hands of people who care nothing about their value.
As of press time, over 66 million people have already cast their ballots, there have been endless news reports of voter intimidation across the country, And I have personally witnessed one hate group, the “Proud Boys” cruising through my neighborhood with reports from families that they were being targeted as they registered to vote some weeks ago.
The president himself has said openly, that if he loses this election, he may not leave the White House because he feels it may have been rigged. And there are bands of White Supremacists across this country willing to start an all out civil war to keep him there.
It all sounds so unbelievable, and yet, here we are. Democracy is on the line, decency is on the line; the right to live, is on the line; healthcare is on the line, education is on the line, and every single vote, is on the line.
Now it is our turn to do our civic duty and not let apathy continue to constrain us in a time where our lives literally depend upon it. Whether you put in a mail in ballot, or you intend to vote on the day of the elections, November 3 is going to be pivotal in all our lives.
It is going to take years, to mitigate all the damage that has been done and will continue to happen until something changes.
Do not forget to vote for your local elected officials too; those seats matter as all elections are local — your mayor, your district attorney, your attorney general, city council seats, school board seats, county commissioners, state representatives, governors, congressional races, senate races and judges.
These are the people who have local and state control and governmental authority. They make decisions about what happens in your communities and schools, and determine police department policies.
Use your power for change and make your voices heard. In Philadelphia, there are four important ballot questions that need to be answered, so be certain to read and answer those as well.
May God be with us all.
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