By Delmarie Cobb
It’s a sight many of us never believed we would see in our lifetime— hundreds of Americans storming the U.S Capitol in protest of the official presidential election results. Media, elected officials and government workers were all saying the same thing: “This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic — not our democratic republic,” former President George W. Bush said specifically.
The intent of President Donald Trump to incite his followers on the same day the Senate was scheduled to hold its ceremonial joint session of Congress to count the Electoral College votes and declare Joe Biden the next President of the United States isn’t lost on anyone. To not question the president’s lies the day after the state of Georgia made voting history is incredulous.
If President Trump and his cult followers have any doubt that he lost Georgia and the general election in November, the victories of Democratic Senate candidates Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff put an exclamation point on it.
Trump and the Republican Party were defeated thanks to Black women such as Stacey Abrams of Fair Fight and LaTosha Brown of Black Voters Matter Fund. That’s not to take credit from any other voting blocs, but Black women showed up and showed out.
We saved what’s left of the United States. We saved this democracy, as flawed and frayed as it stands. We saved the American people from a narcissistic reality show performer who has conned his way through life and seized on the racist and sexist fears of our fellow citizens.
During the general election, Trump repeatedly said at his rallies that a vote for Joe Biden was a vote for his vice president running mate Kamala Harris. In other words, if Biden isn’t able to serve his full term, a Black woman will become president of the United States. In Trump’s world, a Black woman becoming president is even worse than a Black man.
Like all would-be dictators, Trump is crazy like a fox. He tapped into the history of our country that has demonstrated time and time again that it can’t stand for any group of people to advance who don’t look white and aren’t willing to subjugate their own identity to be acceptable. The gall of a Black man — Barack Obama — serving as president or a woman — Hillary Clinton — running for president was enough to elevate Trump’s supporters to cult status.
On a day when the 80 million Americans who voted for Biden should have been celebrating, we watched the backlash of a mostly white mob threaten the nation’s lawmakers because they felt disenfranchised, victimized, overlooked and left behind. That’s why, among this group, there’s wholesale buy into “Make America Great Again.”
For Trump’s followers, that slogan is a nod for when women and “people of color” knew their place and the white man was the king of his castle, king of corporate America and king of the world.
Like Trump, his followers are also having a difficult time accepting reality. Even after watching the mob assault on the Capitol, polls show they believe the president’s detractors, who want him to look bad, and groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter provoked it.
So it only makes sense that Trump would target predominantly Black cities to challenge the legitimacy of voting results to overturn the election, despite proof that there was no fraud. As hard as it may be to accept, Black women outworked and were more determined than Trump’s followers.
Despite being at the bottom of every quality of life measure, Black women continue to vote for their hopes and dreams. Instead of looking at the world as victims, we see possibilities. Black women know the Biden-Harris administration isn’t going to save our communities, but we have faith it will listen and not see us as an enemy.
Under a Biden-Harris administration, there’ll be a national strategy to address the coronavirus pandemic that has taken the lives of more than 350,000 people, mostly Black and Brown.
The Senate will halt the more than 200 conservative federal judges appointed by Trump. The reinstatement of federal executions will end. The inequities in our justice system will be addressed. Investment in infrastructure and “green” jobs will become a priority. The economy will return. Last, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) becomes minority leader.
Just think of the juxtaposition of a mostly white mob descending on a building that symbolizes democracy, built by enslaved Africans and will soon be the seat of the first Black senator from “The Peach State.” The mob action that took place in Washington is only a sampling of what America would face if Trump had won re-election.
As bad as things are, we need to allow space to celebrate Black women for their noteworthy efforts in defeating Trump. With these two major accomplishments under our belts, it’s time for everyone else to join Black women in holding Biden’s feet to the fire for the next four years.
America owes a debt of gratitude to Black women for overachieving to elect Biden and the two senators in Georgia. At least with a Senate that’s evenly divided, Biden has a fighting chance to address the ills facing our country. What makes this time promising is it will be Harris—a Black woman—who will cast the deciding vote to ensure Democratic bills are passed and essentially give her the final word.
Delmarie Cobb is the owner of a media and political consulting firm,The Publicity Works, a Chicago-based public affairs, political consulting and media relations firm. For more than 30 years, she has owned and operated the boutique public affairs firm.