America participated in yet another unprecedented milestone during the political run-off between President Trump and President-elect Joe Biden. Not only did Joe Biden receive a record number of votes, but the country as a whole voted more in the 2020 election than at any time in US history.
All photos are property of CCP Photos LLC and taken by P. Gordon
Tension in the U.S. has boiled over due to COVID-19, partisan politics, and biblical level catastrophes. Furthermore, many have personified the nation's leader, President Donald Trump, as a catalyst for most if not all the woes. The result is our current election and what seems like a rebuke to the President. Despite this, the country is more divided than ever. Republicans were surprised by the number of votes Donald Trump received. Democrats expected nothing short of a landslide victory for Biden. But no one expected the election to be so close, with 10K or so ballots deciding the winner in many states.
A Divided Black America: A Microcosm of the U.S.
But plot twists ensued with African American men doubling their turnout for Trump (6%
to 12% in 2020). Contrasted heavily with African American woman being instrumental in Biden's success, the rift between Americans could not be any clearer than studying the black community. Despite a record number of African Americans supporting Biden, many still didn't see the point of voting at all. Especially when Democrat values don't match black Americans values.
Contrarily, the democrat's platform seems to be a custom fit for black women pursuing education and job opportunities at historic highs. As these same women enter conservative spaces, they have few allies within the Republican base. In turn, this practically guarantees a more democratic heavy leaning for black women. I observe more women at rallies and protests than men. Women have become the face of democratic initiatives, and black women are no exception. The rift between black men and black women has played out in politics. Still, few understand why men are not onboard with the direction the African American matriarchy is taking black culture. This dichotomy is a microcosm of America as a whole. Especially as more black men step out as closeted voters for Trump. The questions persist: "What's going on with black men?"
Most African American men are conservative blue-collar workers and feel alienated by the Democratic Party's focus on liberal agendas vs. the black workers' agenda.
This sheds light on why so many similar groups, including mid and lower-income whites, are concerned about where the nation is going. Overall, the country is more afraid and more conservative than it cares to admit. The proof is in the millions of votes for President Trump from all demographics of Americans. But what makes one man so pivotal to so many?
"Your Gonna to Get Tired of Winning"
Trump's formula for success is evident to anyone who seeks to understand. He's the first
elected president to openly defend down-and-out Americans by aggressively attacking their primal fear: The country's liberalization and brownification. He also helps the rich get wealthy, he weaves conservatism and religious manifest destiny, with slash and burn capitalism. Furthermore, his base holds him accountable when he doesn't perform. Trump, in-turn, gratifies them with consistent results. The African American community has a much different relationship with politicians. Even with all the effort by black women, many say: Why so much dedication for so little devotion.
On the other hand, Donald Trump has turned the Republican party into the Red-Meat Republican Party. His base is thirsty for the blood of their political foes and hungry for smackdown politics, and he delivers every day.
And true to his base's desires, he's stopping abortions, keeping rioters and angry people of color in check, appointing conservatives to the Supreme Court, giving tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans, keeping Muslims and "undesirables" out of the country, and stopping immigrants from 'taking jobs' from his base. If his supporters hold their noses and press the mute button, he becomes a virtual savior.
Despite all this, its mathematically impossible for President Trump to win. However, the incumbent is unwilling to concede to President-Elect Joe Biden. Highlighting a bizarre and almost cult following of GOP leaders, devotees, and evangelical Christians who believe President Trump WILL serve another term based mostly on faith. The situation is juxtaposed by those who feel they are at the blunt end of Trump's policies.
Regardless of President Trump's calculated devotion to his base, most Americans cannot stomach him.
I encountered the entire spectrum of Biden supporters and Never-Trumpers in Washington, D.C. last week. Just getting to Pennsylvania Avenue was a challenge. The streets were blocked off and cars filled with celebrants packed the roads.
The masses celebrated in front of the newly erected White House fence adjacent to Black Lives Matter Plaza as only Americans could do. Classic soul music blared from portable stereos while the crowds danced, laughed, and sprayed beer.
Soccer moms and stroller toting dads tentatively celebrated next to acrobats with rainbow flags and black nationalist. The environment was lit with excitement and it felt as if a major valve was released over the entire city. Everywhere I traveled there were denizens honking horns and sporting make-shift signs as they migrated to city centers to join the party.
The demographics: Average age 27. Majority white; 60% women 40% men.
However, the group celebrating Biden's election was a more diverse demographic than what I encountered at the George Floyd protests in DC. A shift in representation was definitely felt.
A wave of victory rushed over the crowd as people crammed in front of the new White House fence along Black Lives Matter Plaza. As usual, a weary nation was not concerned with coronavirus. The moment was too great for most to pass up. Although masks were present, social distancing would not be a priority, irrespective of 240K deaths.
Young and old made their way to the White House. Defiance was in the air as most people had signs with expletives directed at the President Trump.
Families were present at the event too. This shed light on the decisive historical moment that was unfolding. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris inspired African Americans and other minorities. A door of opportunity and hope opened for women of color like no time in history. Despite apprehension from the African American community on VP Elect Harris' mass incarceration record, there was more love than hate on Saturday. Senator Harris embodies so much of where America was during the election. Democrats, and even Harris, garner less trust from black men and did not provide any real campaign promises to the black community. On the other hand, she is the image of black success as a woman. She's widely popular with educated black women, primarily due to her connection to Howard University (an HBCU) and her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Incorporated.
At the end of the day, its too early to see the glass half empty as I'm prone to doing. But I do have legitimate concerns about the country's fractures and between white-collar and blue-collar African Americans.
The best we can do is hope the new administration will embody our best ideas despite our worst ideation.
Our children need to see decency and credibility coming from leadership positions, which has not been the case in the last four years. Unfortunately, few believe any new administration will change the practicality of their lives as a whole.
However, while we are waiting and praying for the best, we can always hope the most important things will matter: That our country will be a better place for our children.