Black Americans are fired up and flocking to the polls

Black Americans are fired up and flocking to the polls


“This election is more important than the 2008 one for Barack Obama. That 2008 one was for change and making history. This election is for saving the US,” Richards mentioned, citing considerations about racial justice and suppression of Black voters. “The racial divide that is going on, we need someone who is going to be a leader for everyone, not just their base.”

Across the nation, Black voters are turning out in large numbers. The stakes this yr are particularly excessive, they are saying, and nothing lower than their well being and security is on the poll.

Many mentioned this appears like crucial election of their lifetimes.

During a raging pandemic that has killed more than 223,000 Americans and ravaged Black communities, many Black voters might have mailed of their ballots. But after latest headlines about postal workers dumping undelivered mail and President Donald Trump’s debunked claims questioning the integrity of mail-in ballots, many do not belief that course of.
“The pandemic did not scare me,” Richards mentioned. “The method that 45 (Trump) was talking about mail-in voting and lying about it, I wished to do it (vote) in particular person.”

Many Black voters say they do not belief Trump

So far this fall, African American voters are dashing to the polls at a lot larger charges than they did 4 years in the past, when Hillary Clinton was on the poll.

By Tuesday, greater than 601,000 Black Americans had voted early in Georgia in contrast with about 286,240 two weeks earlier than the 2016 election. In Maryland, about 192,775 had voted in contrast with 18,430. And California had over 303,145 — up from greater than 106,360 two weeks earlier than the election 4 years in the past. That’s in keeping with Catalist, a knowledge firm that gives analytics to Democrats, lecturers and progressive advocacy organizations.

Keith Green, 65, went to the polls final week in Overland Park, Kansas, to vote in particular person — for a number of causes.

“We have a racist President who lies too much,” he mentioned. “He keeps on saying he doesn’t trust the Democrats. Well after everything that has gone on with the ballots, I don’t trust the Republicans.”

Trump has repeatedly said he’s done more for African Americans than any president since Abraham Lincoln. As proof, he has cited low unemployment amongst African Americans, criminal justice reforms and increased federal funding for traditionally Black faculties and universities.

Some distinguished Black Republicans, together with Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina and Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Jay Cameron, have sung his praises.

But most Black individuals aren’t satisfied. Gallup polling over the summer season discovered that 87% of Black Americans disapproved of his job as President.
People line up to vote at a shopping center on October 17, 2020 in Las Vegas.

Green mentioned the Trump administration has left him nervous concerning the future for his daughter and his two grandchildren. He believes Trump has emboldened White supremacists and set the nation backwards on the trail for civil rights and equality.

“The last four years have been so bad,” he mentioned. “We can’t stand four more years of that.”

Other considerations embrace well being care and the make-up of the courts

Wilburn Wilkins, 61, awakened early on October 7, placed on two masks and headed to a voting middle in Joliet, Illinois, along with his spouse. Although the retiree has pre-existing situations, he wished to vote in particular person.

“We have a President who is totally tearing apart our whole democratic Constitution,” Wilkins instructed Source. “Many people are dying because he is ignoring the Covid pandemic, ignoring the fact that people are unemployed, need financial resources. We need a change.”

Wilburn Wilkins

Like Green, he believes the White House’s choices have undermined Black individuals and different minorities.

“The nomination of a conservative to the Supreme Court, stacking of lower courts in order to have cronies to carry out conservative ideas, most likely will affect Black and Brown people,” Wilkins mentioned. “They’ll affect things such as civil rights, Obamacare — all of these things have the potential to negatively impact minorities. “

There’s loads at stake on this election, mentioned playwright and composer Nolan Williams Jr., 51, who lives in Washington, DC, and plans to vote in particular person on Election Day.

Williams has composed an anthem, “I Have a Right to Vote,” to lift consciousness of voter suppression and encourage Black individuals to forged their ballots. It options authentic “Hamilton” forged member Christopher Jackson, entertainer Billy Porter and others reciting the phrases of abolitionist Frederick Douglass, the late Rep. John Lewis and the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Voters line up to cast ballots this month at City Hall in Philadelphia.

“For African Americans in this country, voting is the most effective way for us to effect the change we seek. Given the events of this summer, it is crucial for our community to translate our social protests into political action,” Williams mentioned, referring to the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the unrest that adopted.

“Health care, fair housing, including equal access to home loans, poverty, the environment, meaningful reforms to our justice system, and improvements in community policing are all issues that make this election uber critical,” he mentioned.

Some voters are mistrustful after the 2018 election

In Georgia, many Black voters say they’ve been motivated to vote in particular person by what occurred in 2018, when Republican Brian Kemp ran towards Democrat Stacey Abrams for governor while serving as the state’s chief elections officer.
Kemp, who as Georgia’s secretary of state had promoted and enforced among the nation’s most restrictive voting legal guidelines, was accused repeatedly earlier than and in the course of the marketing campaign of looking for to suppress the minority vote. Kemp gained narrowly, and Abrams argued that he had used his place to suppress Black votes.

Kee-Kee Osborne, 42, of Mableton, Georgia, mentioned that is one of many causes she voted in particular person this month — to ensure her voice counts.

“For me, the outcome of this election will be the difference between truth and deception, decency and dishonor, inclusion and intolerance,” mentioned Osborne, who works as an data know-how supervisor.

“The words, actions, and policies from the current (Trump) administration have deepened the marginalization of Black people over the last four years. It is imperative for our community to be engaged in the process because we have an opportunity to vote for change on every level.”

In Los Angeles, enterprise supervisor and travel blogger Nancy Gakere, 47, awakened early sooner or later this month to drop off her poll. She additionally signed up for a monitoring service to make sure her vote is counted.
Nancy Gakere

“I wanted to make sure I personally deliver my vote,” she mentioned. “This election is so important to Black people because of current events like the killing of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor (and) the way the coronavirus pandemic has disproportionately affected Black people,” she mentioned. “This has exposed the long-standing institutional racism and racial inequalities that exist in America.”

But for Gakere, crucial problem is preserving well being care below the Affordable Care Act.

“We have family members with pre-existing conditions, and we feel that it’s at risk of being overturned,” she mentioned.

With Election Day on the horizon, Wilkins has a message for Black voters.

“Many people have died for us to have that right to vote. We cannot take it for granted. This is a privilege that was not offered to our ancestors,” the Illinois man mentioned. “They’re making an attempt to cease us from voting proper now by gerrymandering, intimidation, voter suppression in plain sight — all issues which have been carried out previously to our ancestors. That tells you ways necessary it’s for us to vote.”

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