Biden’s Elected. What’s Next?

The Associated Press declared Joe Biden the president-elect last Saturday. With four states (Alaska, Arizona, Georgia and North Carolina) still tallying up their votes, Biden already has more than the 270 electoral college votes needed to secure the presidency. Many around the country are rejoicing, ecstatic that after four years of Trumpian chaos, we finally have a shot at a country where things are “normal.” But things aren’t over yet, and to assume that they are is foolish at best and privileged at worst. 

Neither Biden nor Harris support defunding the police, and Harris, in particular, has called herself a “top cop.” Harris has also opposed proper investigation of police deadly force incidents in California, and has opposed body cameras on police officers, according to an article by BBC.

Harris’ opinion on healthcare has shifted over the past few years, while Biden does not back Medicare for All, he instead supports the Affordable Care Act.

Harris called a San Fransisco ballot measure to decriminalize sex work “completely ridiculous” in 2008. Though she said in 2019 that her views on sex work had relaxed, she had previously taken actions against sex work websites and projects that led to sex workers facing loss of income, street prostitution and a rise in violence against them.

Harris has also argued that “habitual and chronic truancy” in elementary school children is a crime committed by the parents of those children, and has claimed that habitual truancy in elementary school leads to crime later in life.

Biden, meanwhile, has earned a reputation as a “drug warrior” by fighting against the legalization of marijuana and other drugs.

Hopefully, Biden and Harris will listen to public opinion and change their more problematic stances. While they’re a huge step up from Trump, they still have their own issues, and now that voting is over we should be more open to discuss them.

Biden’s presidential win doesn’t mean that the 71 million plus people who voted for Trump magically vanish or change their views. All the hate we’ve seen over the past four years from MAGA-hat-wearers will not go away just because Biden won. In some communities, violence from Trump supporters is increasing. We as a country need to continue to fight for the future we want to see, and that means taking a good hard look at how many people in this country still support and reproduce the hate our current president spews. If we do nothing, we change nothing, and clearly things need to be changed.

Speaking of change, Trump still insists he won the election, claiming that it was rigged and stolen from him. His lawyers have filed lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia to try to stop the vote or get Trump observers access to the ballot-counting process. When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was asked if the state department would engage with the Biden transition team, he said, “there will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration.” There is a growing concern that Trump refusing to give up the presidency could undermine national security. It’s still unclear what needs to happen to convince Trump to leave the White House.

Amidst this, Black Lives Matter activists are being ignored in favor of Biden’s win.

In a video posted to Twitter by Chuck Modi, BLM activist Tori (@TSand83) spoke out against the Biden supporters flocking to the streets to support their win, taking over the BLM plaza and the BLM memorial fence in D.C. 

“We have folks out here who are claiming to be out here in the name of Democracy,” she said, “but in the same breath are erasing Black Lives Matter from this plaza…The memorial fence that we made, where we put the names and faces of people who have been murdered by the police, they are putting ’Biden and Harris’ signs on it, and ‘Dump Trump’ signs on it, covering faces and names as they’re doing it, with no regard to it. 

“I was just over there walking up and down the fence taking down (the signs) that ain’t got nothing to do with Black Lives Matter, when a white boy tried to fight me! Because he wanted to sign the poster that I was ripping down that said ‘Biden and Harris.’ And I had to tell him, ‘you can sign it from on the ground, because I’m taking this off the fence, ‘cause it don’t have anything to do with what this fence is for.’ 

“At that point in time he bucked up at me like he was gonna hit me…he saw no irony whatsoever in the fact that here he is, trying to be violent, with a Black woman, on Black Lives Matter plaza, who is protecting a mural that is for Black lives that have been lost at the hands of the police. As a white man, he saw nothing wrong with what he was doing, which is a clear indicator that the people here tonight are completely clueless. We’ve got so far to go.”

Make no mistake — Police violence did not magically end Saturday morning. Black lives did not stop mattering Saturday morning. Black lives will continue to be endangered by the systematic oppression this country was built on long after Biden takes office if we continue to shunt it to the side. If your activism stops when a Democrat is in office, if your activism is superficial and is limited to posting anti-Trump memes, if your activism silences any voice that says “there are still things wrong with this country,” then your activism is useless.

Categories: Opinion

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