I’ve heard a lot of people saying they feel scared or disheartened because 40–45% of the country seems to favor 45
Jamila Craig, Esq. | November 5, 2020
I’ve heard a lot of people saying they feel scared or disheartened because 40–45% of the country seems to favor 45. One of the aspects of the dialogue that absolutely makes me itch (that means it plucks my nerves), are the reports talking about “Latino voters” in Florida voting for 45. You ever wonder why pundits often talk about “Non-Hispanic White Voters” and you almost never hear anyone say “White Hispanic” or “White Latino” voters? TV pundits will also rarely say “Black Latinos” or “Non-Hispanic Black Voters.” As the mother of a young afrocolombiana (and a decent human), the erasure of “Latino” racial identities concerns me, but that’s not the heart of what I want to discuss here.
If the stats we’re hearing about voter turnout for 45 concern us, we need to make sure we’re focused on the facts.
Fact #1: White supremacy and anti-Black racism sent 45 to the White House! His supporters are either overtly racist, or as the meme would say, “they’re not racist BUT they’ve decided that racism isn’t a deal-breaker” and they’d vote for him over and over again.
Fact #2: Anti-Black racism has created policies, laws, and systems that have oppressed more than just Black folks since well before the 2016 election.
Fact #3: The “40–45% of the country voted for …” statements are NOT mathematically accurate.
There are more than 330 million people in the US, and approximately 240 million of them are registered voters. For this 2020 election cycle, there are reports projecting approximately 159.8 million votes. Now, let’s estimate high and say 45% of those votes go to 45. That’s 71.9 million people and approximately 22% of the total population.
Bottom line: People voting for 45 are NOWHERE NEAR A MAJORITY. Based on the data, they likely represent LESS than 1 in 4 of the people in the US.
So, why are 45s supporters a force to be reckoned with? Their focus is clear. Their common denominator is that they identify as white and desperately want to protect white supremacy. Periodt! I’m talking about white people who speak English as a native language and white people who speak Spanish as a native language. White people born in the US, white people born in Latin America, and white people with lineage to various countries across the world. People voting for 45 are overwhelmingly mobilized around one thing and one thing only — WHITE SUPREMACY!
That’s their north star, they know the numbers, and they are SCARED!
Meanwhile, for those of us who are NOT white supremacists — what is our north star?
As an organizer, I’ve supported GOTV and election protection during prior election cycles and for a variety of candidates. For this election, I haven’t been on the front lines. But, like anyone vaguely connected to politics, I know why “Latino voters” and “Black voters” are a major focus for voter suppression, GOTV outreach, and political analysis. We are a bilingual nation (yes — we ARE a bilingual nation…official or not) that has the second-largest Spanish-speaking population in the world and Black voters have long been the base of the Democratic Party. I get it.
Now, fast-forward a few months post any election, and a variety of communities that have been forced into these deceptively homogeneous categories of “Latino,” “Black,” “Brown,” “Indigenous,” or “People of Color” will be divided and conquered in favor of middle-of-the-road centrist policies and systems that uphold white supremacy and F*** ISH up for everyone. White folks too!
So, whether the elections are giving you anxiety or you really couldn’t care less at this point, let me ask you a few questions?
How easy is it for you to live the life you want to live? I’m not just talking about right now mid-pandemic, but in general.
Do you want better options for healthcare, education, physical safety, job opportunities…JOY?
Do you want to live in a country where it’s pretty much impossible to work full-time and still feel like you’re struggling?
Do you want to feel physically safe walking down the street at any time of day or night?
What kind of country do you want to live in?
If you answered yes to most of the questions above, here’s my last question…
Do you believe that being pro-Black is essential to making those things happen consistently — for EVERYONE in this country?
I really hope you answered yes to that last question, but just in case you didn’t…
Understanding the fact that anti-Black racism IS the original sin and foundation upon which this country, our constitution, our political system, our economic system, our entire existence as a nation was built — WHAT DO YOU THINK THE SOLUTION IS?
It’s not rocket science. You can’t fix a society poisoned by anti-Blackness without pro-Black solidarity! When we collectively take action on the issues and concerns to the various intersections of Black people that exist in our nation (and across all the Americas) — we will see lasting change for everyone!
There are Black Latinxs, Black Native peoples, Black immigrants, Black TLGBQIA+ people, Black disabled people, Black middle-class people, Black poor people, Black rich people, Black women, Black children, Black men, Black non-binary people, Black schools, Black communities, Black businesses, Black candidates, and pro-Black policies that you can mobilize with regardless of whether you identify as Black or not.
Can we start making pro-Black solidarity OUR north star? It shouldn’t take more hashtags, more lives lost, more suffering for it to become a priority. Mobilizing around pro-Black solidarity is not an “either/or” decision about ignoring the unique and important needs/concerns of people who don’t identify as Black. It’s about ripping the weapon of anti-Blackness from the oppressor’s hands so that THEY CAN’T USE IT TO OPPRESS ANYONE!
Whoever you are, whatever your race, wherever you are in this nation — a shift is coming! The only question is…how long you wanna wait? If you want a lasting change to occur sooner rather than later, I strongly suggest that you start seeing yourself in the eyes, experiences, and souls of Black folks. When you vote, spend money, advocate for <<insert any policy, legislation, law>>, ask yourself — how do these actions impact Black people?
And, I’m going to be honest, I don’t care if it’s the carrot or the stick that gets us all on board with taking action for pro-Black solidarity. Whatever makes it happen, I can dig it. Because I guarantee you…when we start living in a country (and a world) where Black liberation is real — we’ll ALL feel free!
To learn more about what I’m doing to take action for pro-Black solidarity and to help make Black liberation real, follow me on IG at www.instagram.com/jamii_linguists