Did The Black Vote Win Joe Biden the Presidential Election?
“Victory has a hundred fathers, and defeat is an orphan.” This is a very famous statement made by John F. Kennedy. What it simply means is that there are always more people ready to claim victory for their own glory, but it’s never the same case for a loss. If this is true, then out of all the self-professed catalysts owning a piece of Joe Biden’s presidential victory, the Black community would have the most receipts. Their vote was so self mobilized and targeted that if Trump won the election, we could anticipate a stifling of the African American vote, never again seeing it surge to the level of this 2020 election.
Let’s look at the stats according to data collected by Tufts University.;
- Eighty-eight percent of young Black voters supported Joe Biden, compared to 75 percent of Latinos. and just over half of young whites.
The numbers are even more impressive for the broader Black community:
- A whopping nine in 10 Black women supported Biden, compared to 8 in 10 Black men. White voters supported Biden at barely half those levels.
- Blacks, especially women, out performed any other racial group when it came to voting for Joe Biden.
Could the huge support from African American women be Kamala-driven? It’s more likely Black women doing what they can at the polls to protect their families.
Data nerds will certainly be combing through state voter turnout numbers for years to come. Biden’s camp should want to know why Latino voters in Miami-Dade abandoned the Democratic Party in favor of Trump and the GOP, when they came out in droves for Hillary Clinton in 2016. It’s more than Trump calling Joe a “socialist” and it’s going to take more than playing “Despacito” at a Latino rally to change it. What makes the most profound electoral statement is the substantial showing by Black Americans across all ages, sexes and state lines.
Joe Biden’s Black Strategy Has A Price
We lost races we shouldn’t have lost…Defund the police’ almost cost me my race because of an attack ad. Don’t say socialism ever again.Abigail Spanberger (Democrat for Virginia.)
Biden was very vocal about making the black vote part of his strategy. Political moves like choosing Kamala Harris as a running mate are proof of that. As America got closer and closer to the election, Biden was focused on targeting Black votes in Pennsylvania and Georgia.
And his strategy has paid off. He spoke very eloquently and genuinely during the campaign about intentions within the Black community. Addressing unemployment and police reform especially in regards to aggressions emitted from white supremacy. Because of this, promises of new legislation against racial injustice and economic inequality were what resonated most with Black voters.
There’s now an expectation that the Democratic Party will have to pick up where the Trump administration fell short. There is now anticipation for Biden to fight for resolutuion of the issues surrounding racial injustice, economic equity, Black unemployment as well as reforms in law enforcement. This hopeful expectation is likely what brought Michigan, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin back to the Democratic party.
Democratic candidates who barely survived Black Lives Matter and policing reform rhetoric used against them, expressed major concern with speaker of the house Nancy Pelosi. “We lost races we shouldn’t have lost,” said Rep. Abigail Spanberger (Democrat for Virginia.). “‘Defund the police’ almost cost me my race because of an attack ad. Don’t say socialism ever again.” MSNBC contributor and Democratic strategist James Carville concurred. “I think the police talk didn’t help at all,” Black organisations will not be letting up simply because Trump is out of office. Bigen will need to make legal changes that live past his presidency and are carved in stone.
America Must Defund or Restructure Police and Law Enforcement Departments Nationwide
Joe Biden’s next logical step would be to pursue all roads to lasting justice and policing reform. Police reform is one of the top issues that drew the Black electorate to the polls for President Elect. Trump’s administration offered numerous of examples of government indifference to heinous acts of extreme police racism and violence exacted against Blacks regardless of age, sex, orientation or tax bracket. Trump’s disregard for the terrorism against African Americans opened the door widely for Biden to campaign with promises of hope for black communities all over the country.
The globally witnessed killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers, torched America because it reflected the unjustified yet normalized oppression of Americans. Biden’s next move, alongside the stabilization of the Covid-19 crisis, must be the modernizing of policing policy. We need changes that allow communities to properly address social work and mental health concerns, without the intervention of overworked police officers.
Democrats Need To Commit To The African American Vote
If Black people can’t vote as easily as other Americans then one can only assume that they aren’t a consideration in the democracy of he country they built.
Now that it’s been established how important the Black vote was during the campaign, Democrats need to be instrumental protecting and nurturing it. The best way to start would be to engage Stacey Abrams on what should done nationwide over the next four years. She was already the one to watch before her brilliant organizing efforts gained an unlikely victory in Georgia. It’s clear now that she is the Democrats’s strongest community organizer since President Obama. It would be a strong move to create a formal and ongoing role for her to implement her Georgia Miracle method of activating Black voters nationwide.
The John Lewis Voting Rights Act should be a legislative priority and commemoration to the late civil rights activist, regardless of if the Senate remains in GOP hands. An Americans right to vote should never be suppressed by unreasonably long lines and extremely few polling stations in their area. If Black people can’t vote as easily as other Americans then one can assume that they aren’t a consideration in the democracy of he country they built.
Use The Senate To Affect Policy Regardless of Who Controls It
With the possibility of a Republican-owned Senate being an obstacle to any Democratic agendas, Biden’s presidential influence towards bipartisanship cooperation needs to be strong. Obama certainly tried repeatedly throughout both his 2 terms with limited success. What might make a difference in Biden’s presidency is that he’s white. Racially driven opposition by Republicans would not be a factor. The most likely catalyst for Republicans to reach out across the table now is the fact that they are the ones who nominated Trump as leader of the GOP, and supported his policies unconditionally, abandoning moral standing and precedent.
Biden’s ability to swing five red states should be a wakeup call. Until the Senate reelection in 2 years, Democrats need to bullet list all of Trump’s failed policies and decisions that caused Republican voters in those states to switch sides and incentivized new or Black voters to head to the polls. Identifying and addressing what this particular electorate (specifically Blacks) consider their top priorities. Once highlighted, they should be consistently verbalizing them (especially through the media) as Republican-derived issues that will be greeting them at the White house door come January 2021. With Trump gone, the Republican Party themselves will be left holding the blame bag. Surely many of them will be eager to seek bipartisan collaboration to disassociate themselves from the horrors of the last 4 years, rather than using their power of opposition in the Senate.
Joe’s Word Is His Bond
Keeping these promises will also be beneficial to Latinos, LGBTQ Americans and anyone who expects America to personify their values. Of all issues in the hearts of Black Americans, this one is crucial and needs to be addressed. Blacks in America have endured enough. The side-switching of Latino voters between 2016 and 2020 should act as a warning to Democrats that electoral coalitions should never be taken for granted. Building them means building and maintaining trust.
If Democrats negate their promises to Black voters after such a dominating display of political and moral leadership, there will be a self-authored calamity banging on the White House doors in 2021 and beyond. Biden and Democrats must have and inspire a clear vision and determination to act on our principles. Black Americans have undeniably shown up for Joe Biden and the Democrats. 2021 will finally be the time for Democrats to show out.