Celebrate Biden’s Win, But We Still Have Work to Do

Photo by Hybrid on Unsplash

I went to sleep on election night 2016 confident that I would wake up to our country’s first female president, and I awoke the next morning and felt ice in my stomach.

Many of my friends said that they cried during election night and the morning after. I didn’t cry, I just felt numb and vaguely angry.

I was optimistic that he wouldn’t do as much damage as we feared. Certainly there were the checks and balances we learned in school that would keep him from doing so much harm.

I was wrong.

He harmed us. He harmed again and again and again. He harmed people of color. He harmed transgender people. He harmed the queer community. He harmed women. He harmed immigrants. He harmed Muslims.

Donald Trump ruled the country on a white supremacist power trip.

And today, Saturday, November 7, 2020, AP has called the 2020 election for Joe Biden.

A candidate I almost didn’t vote for because I was so deeply angry at the Democratic party. I still am. I think the Democrats are more of the same establishment, but they pretend to care about minorities. They’ll put a rainbow flag and a Black fist in their twitter bios while they don’t do anything to stop an unqualified right-wing Supreme Court nominee from being shoved onto the court just weeks before an election.

I resolved myself to the fact that voting for Biden was necessary. Our two party system and the electoral college are absolute trash, but they are the trash we currently live in, so I played by the rules. I voted for Biden.

And I cried today when the election was called for him because the wave of relief across my Facebook feed, from my poor friends, my Black friends, my queer friends, my disabled friends, was so palpable that it hit me hard. And their relief, even among all my cynicism and eye rolling at the Dems, was my relief too.

The work is not done. Not by a long shot.

But for now, we can breathe, and we know that we will not have to fight against active hatred coming from the White House for another four years.

We aren’t “safe” yet. But we can pause and make plans to organize and work for a more just and equitable government under an administration that isn’t inciting violence and throwing temper tantrums

Organizers of Color Made This Possible

This election result is possible because of the immense effort of organizers of color. The phenomenal organizing in Georgia by Stacey Abrams, Helen Butler, Nsé Ufot, Tamieka Atkins, and Deborah Scott led to nearly one million new voter registrations and an unprecedented Democratic voter turnout that turned Georgia blue.

Los Angeles Times: Celebs bow down to Stacey Abrams as Georgia flips blue in Biden’s favor

Indigenous organizing led to voter turnout shifts in Arizona and Wisconsin, which were called for Biden, as well as Montana and South Dakota, which were called for Trump — but the counties with high populations of Indigenous voters were overwhelmingly blue.

High Country News: How Indigenous voters swung the 2020 election

Remember when 53% of white women voted for Trump in 2016, and all the liberal white women were shocked? This year, 55% of white women voted for Trump. The success of the Biden campaign came from people of color, specifically Black women like Stacey Abrams.

Celebrate, but it’s not over

Take some time today to celebrate this win. But remember that it’s nowhere near “over.” Donald Trump was not the cause of the racism, islamophobia, homophobia, and other hatred that has been on full display over the last four years. This country is steeped in white supremacy, protections for the rich, and oppression of the working class.

We still need to talk about police brutality. We still need to talk about the school to prison pipeline. We still need to talk about cannabis convictions. We still need to talk about the racism baked into every system in this country. We still need to make an actual plan to address climate change. We still need to talk about the concentration camps full of kids in cages. We still need to talk about COVID. We still need to talk about the minimum wage. We still need to talk about medicare for all.

We still have work to do.

If you’re relieved to the point of tears today, thank a Black activist!

7 thoughts on “Celebrate Biden’s Win, But We Still Have Work to Do

  1. victoriarose002 says:

    Definitely agree with your views here. There are issues with Biden with him probably being too far on the right, while the new supreme court judge as well as a republican senate certainly don’t help things. However I believe it is important to vote for the “lesser of the evil” in order to begin moving things forward, and from what I know Biden is a VAST improvement on trump.

    • Caitlin says:

      Totally agree! We will need to put in the work to get society where we need it to be but at least we don’t have to do it under such blatantly harmful governing. (I hope).

      • victoriarose002 says:

        Hopefully now, at least in the USA, I won’t mention the state of the UK atm… But we all do need to put in the work as we become more aware, and the better the leadership, the better.

  2. Over Soil says:

    I’m in the UK thinking “What a relief!” as from here the last few years have looked like a nightmare film scene from Back to the Future 2, where Biff Tannen turns Hill Valley into a town filled with crime and corruption. 💰

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