71 million people. That is how many Americans voted for Trump. 71 million.
I keep seeing statistics that said, “Biden got the most votes ever!” While seeming to ignore that Trump got the second most votes?
Donald Trump got almost TEN MILLION MORE VOTES than he did in 2016. That is ridiculous.
Ten million more Americans decided to either turn a blind eye or formally accept that racism is acceptable. And what is worse, is that 55% of white women voted for Trump. That is more white women who voted for him than in 2016.
What does that mean? It means I, as a white woman failed.
It means you (if you are a white person) failed.
We have failed to hold other white people, especially white women, accountable. This is my personal failure, and the failure of other liberal and progressive white women as well. You should feel this way too.
We as white people benefit from these racist, unjust systems. This is our fault, the blood has been split by us and its our duty to clean it up, no matter how we voted.
This is a self reflection call for us all. Did you have hard conversations with people who supported Trump, who support racists, who are racists themselves? Or did you ignore the problem for the sake of maintaining a friendship?
Racism is not something that you can just “disagree about” and remain friends. And a friendly reminder to any one who may claim that reverse racism exists, it. does. not.
People of color cannot be racist towards whites in a societal system that designed to SOLELY benefit white people. We, as white people, have NEVER experienced reverse racism, and we never will.
In a quote by @Futurafreedesign on instagram, “As soon as we begin to interrogate issues of racism, people get uncomfortable with it. If your default reaction to these discussions is to see white people as victims of reverse racism, educate yourself.”
A couple other things before I move on:
- Saying that you are “color blind” is not a good thing. That just means that race hasn’t been a factor in your life and you are ignoring the fact that it has been in someone else’s. Here, you are avoiding accountability for a world that does oppress people based on color.
- Saying that a black person is “threatening” translates to “black people scare me because they are different. Black men scare me because I instantly categorize them as criminals.” You are asserting that your whiteness is superior.
- White privileged means that the color of your skin has not made life difficult for you. You are actively benefiting from the racists systems in our world.
- You benefit by seeing your self represented on TV, you have better access to health care, you are not forced to learn about racism at a young age, you are never asked to speak as a representative of your racial group, you are a not a presidential debate question.
- The Karen memes aren’t sexists or racist
- When you, as a white person, say that violence isn’t the answer, you are ignoring the fact that marginalized groups are not often heard.
I have a little check list here for you to understand more about the privilege that you hold.
There is still PLENTY of work to be done under Joe Biden, and our momentum cannot slow. Joe Biden is not our saving grace. We must hold him accountable like we did Trump. We cannot stop showing up, we cannot stop having difficult conversations, we cannot stop the fight towards equality.
How do you have these difficult conversations? Well luckily, Jen Winston (@jenerous on Instagram who is a writer and speaker) created an info guide to discuss just that.
White people who consider ourselves liberal and progressive, we failed. Big time. The black voters and organizers, especially Stacy Abrams, carried our failure once again.
To end on a lighter note, I want to talk about the victories in this election.
- Joe Biden was elected president. While he is the lesser of two evils, I have great hope that progress will be made under his administration.
- All of the progressives running for office kept or gained their seat.
- Ilhan Omar, AOC, Cori Bush, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib
- Sarah McBride became the first openly transgender state senator
- Stephanie Byers was elected to the Kansas House of Representatives, making her the first openly transgender official elected in the state and the first Native trans person elected to any state legislature
- Michele Rayner-Goolsby was elected as the first Black queer woman as a state legislator in Florida
- Mondaire Jones, a Black gay man, will represent New York’s 17th district in the House of Representatives
- Taylor Small was elected as Vermont’s first transgender state legislator
- Shervrin Jones was elected as Florida’s first openly LGBTQ+ state senator
- Kim Jackson is the first LGBTQ+ person elected to the Georgia State Senate
- Mauree Turner is the first non-binary state lawmaker in the United States
- Jabari Brisport is the first LGBTQ+ person of color elected to the New York State Senate
- Nevada became the first state in the nation to protect same-sex marriage in its constitution
- Cori Bush became the first Black woman elected to congress from Missouri
- $15/hr minimum wage passed in Florida
- Austin passed funding for a metro rail system
- New Jersey, Arizona, Montana, and South Dakota legalized recreational marijuana
- Mississippi legalized medical marijuana
- Oregon decriminalized all drug possession and passed campaign finance reform
- Virginia voted to end partisan gerrymandering
- Two Minnesota cities and Boulder, Colorado passed rank choice voting
- Texas and Georgia are swing states
- Mississippi elected to change their state flag
These are just a sampling of the wins from the 2020 Presidential election. I hope they motivate you to move forward with your activism, big or small, to positively impact the community around you. Hold your friends and neighbors accountable. Don’t shy away from heavy conversation.
White people, do your part.
Let’s work for each other.