By Christy DeGallerie
Post-election will look progressively different for some, but most importantly it will look the same for the majority. The outcome after November 6th can seem bright and promising: Politicians and elected officials are ready to show you their fight towards giving you a better city, state or country. This is all wonderful news, but the most vulnerable and marginalized will see little of the progress made by city, state or federal governments.
We canvass, march, knock on doors and demand that people head straight to their local polling stations. We do all of this in an effort to secure for ourselves the comfort of everything titled Democratic. Unfortunately, with wins there is always someone who gets the short stick. With power—even progressive power—still come those who will be left behind.
When we get our progressive Democrats back in those seats and go back to being in solace and relief, we forget about our privilege and ignore the millions of marginalized people. All this is possible because the system and the foundation of white supremacy will remain sturdy after we vote. Sure, there will always be progress; there will be laws repealed and new ones enacted. But the change we aspire to grab—the “equality for all” jargon and faux togetherness, which is a pushed message from societal performative optics—won’t be tangible for the most vulnerable masses.
The morning after November 6th also gives us the illusion that all the work is done or that voting is the only work we need in order to ignite progress for all. Let’s pause for a moment and allow an open discussion on how we respond to our losses post election.
The blame game is easy. We want answers to who is responsible for not voting in the interest of others. We at times misdirect our sorrow and the unwanted political results at black nonvoters. When someone admits bravely that he/she will not be participating in an oppressive political structure that doesn’t care about black lives—given the reality that black people are still being murdered by police and their white counterparts; displaced; or deported—many black people choose to make a political stance regarding the lack of progress and change for black people while under any and all administrations.
We immediately shame and blame those who share the same views as many of the late, great radical leaders we quote ever so often. So at the people who didn’t vote we then direct the phrase white people enjoy to spew at others when they don’t get their desired outcome: “You are the reason why [enter any racist candidate of your choice here] is in office.” This simply is not the case.
Black people, I’m here to reassure you that it’s not us. We are not the cause of this neverending black-mirror episode called white supremacy. The day after we marched to the polls, statistics were relayed back to us divided by gender and race on who voted for whom. And all signs of failure point to whiteness. The morning-after always shows us that even if more than half of black people chose the comfort of their homes over the more-than-likely rigged ballots and limited polls in their city, black men and women still voted in high numbers for the candidates who would have served all of the population’s best interests.
THE MORNING AFTER LEAVES US DISAPPOINTED, AND IT IS EASY TO LOOK WITHIN AND FORGET ABOUT A SYSTEM THAT FAILS BLACK AND BROWN COMMUNITIES DAILY. BLACK PEOPLE ARE NOT OBLIGATED TO FIX A COUNTRY.
Our true frustration is with those who benefit from white supremacy—who don’t choose to uproot the system, but rather continue to participate in it and use buzzwords like “diversity” to have us integrate into a political power that still leaves so many oppressed. We have to remember that voting will not eliminate all the problems we face as a marginalized community, because we are voting on top of a foundation set up for us to fail. Even the progression of black elected officials, which is a major victory towards progress, doesn’t mend all the brokenness.
We all have to look within our privileges and refrain from using elitist rhetoric around voting, because it is wrapped up in blinded privilege. Many won’t see the progress we all voted for first hand. So we voted right? Now what happens? What can we do to ensure we are uplifting our communities, focusing on leadership, and fighting for our local neighborhoods by serving one another and providing a sense of safety and security?
We have to engage in more uncomfortable conversations surrounding voting rhetoric. We should be caring for black people and our marginalized communities all year round; putting money into our safe havens; knocking on doors the same way we do in the days leading up to the vote.
Mobilization should be a 365-day-a-year mission to show up for each other after November 6th.