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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

An electoral victory is not enough

This Tuesday, I again witnessed this country’s willingness to toy with the rights and livelihoods of the most vulnerable as I sat on the couch watching the screen switch from red to blue like an ambulance light. 

The United States had its perfect candidate (and I don’t mean that as a compliment). A centrist, white, Christian man who believes police brutality can be solved by teaching officers to shoot people in the foot instead of the heart, a man who has been intimidated away from banning fracking by conservatives.

 And yet, a man who was better than the white supremacist, narcissistic alternative. But still, this was not a landslide race. Donald Trump won most rural votes and Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham will return for another round of destroying lives and making the rich richer. 

I know that shortly I will hear people say “true democracy has won.” But let’s be honest. Not only do voters of color have less power in the Electoral College due to the fact that they are less likely to live in swing-states, but higher incarceration rates and voter suppression efforts specifically targeted at our communities means that many people of color don’t end up voting. Last time I checked, that’s not a democracy. 

Besides, if this is what democracy gets us, I don’t want it.  Yes, Donald Trump lost the popular vote in 2016, but the fact that he got any votes at all should ring an alarm in all of our heads that this country is failing us. So please, you can celebrate (socially-distanced of course), but you cannot let your guard down. 

You cannot say, “Oh I postcarded before the election so I’ve done my part and I’m done.” Our Black, Brown, and LGBTQ+ peers are exhausted, and they should not have the weight of centuries of oppression on their shoulders. 

The police will continue to end precious lives, and families will continue to be torn apart by ICE. Large corporations will continue paying $0 in taxes while creating jobs with unlivable wages around the world. 

Our planet will continue to plead for help as atmospheric carbon dioxide increases and temperatures rise. Because even though you might have voted for Biden, you likely still hold prejudices from a system that has encoded in us that some are inherently better than others. 

We have to continue pushing for justice, because justice has not yet come. 

I do feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders today because maybe, just maybe, after Biden becomes president my extended family will feel less comfortable directing racist comments towards me. 

But my fear will continue, as it will for POC, LGBTQ+ folx, immigrants, and other marginalized communities. 

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