We need something different. Things have to change. And not four years from now. And here’s why. America’s journey in the last four years has been a wild, chaotic ride. It began with an immigration ban. Four years later nationwide mutiny is on the brink. We have an impeached president sowing discourse. Millions are now unemployed.
An unforgiving pandemic has left our economy and our mental state in tatters. Voter suppression strategies are already taking place. Mail-in voting has now become a laborious sticking point for the 2020 Presidential Election in November. Marches calling attention to police brutality has created a cultural awakening here in the United States and abroad. Congress is now operating as a spineless entity.
The so-called three branches of government have been reduced to two. Another birther lie has been re-visited. This is what power does. It corrupts. It distorts the truth. And then, unfortunately, power begets more power.
Power. Or the thirst for power can be a destructive device for a nation. It can either build or destroy. This is where the United States stands today. We’re either going to be brought to our knees by those seeking to crush what’s left of the American dream or we can tell those individuals that we will not succumb to their false doctrines and manipulative tricks.
We’re either going to stand for what is right or stand for nothing at all. As a nation, America is at a real crossroads as it wrestles with its moral conscious. And there’s quite a bit to talk about. The homeless problem gets worse by the day. We are mired in depression and other forms of mental illness. And yet despite all of this incredibly difficult time, there are still plenty of reasons to be optimistic.
Doctors, nurses, and first responders who risk life and limb to make sure other people go home to their families come to mind. Teachers educating our students. The postal worker delivering our mail. Military members keeping our nation safe. The grandmother who bakes pies in her spare time to make enough money to award students going to college. Then there is the aspiring entrepreneur keeping hope alive.
From the political spectrum, Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden, former vice president to Barack Obama, the first Black man to become Commander-in-Chief, decided to inject a healthy dose of positive news of his own to the American people.
Biden did that by selecting Sen. Kamala Harris as his vice presidential choice, making the California lawmaker the first Black woman to be picked for the position. And like the rest of America, both Biden and Harris understands that the heartbeat of America is at stake during the 2020 Election in November.
“We have so much on the line in this election,” Harris said during a fundraiser for the Biden campaign. “There is so much on the line and it is certainly about, as Joe talks about, the soul of our nation. It is about fighting for working people. It is about fighting for people who have a right to be acknowledged for the hard work that they perform every day and the dignity that they deserve should be communicated in everything we do for them in terms of their childcare needs. Joe Has a plan for that.”
Harris, who served as California’s attorney general before she was elected to the Senate, is not bashful about the direction she and Biden will go in if they are voted into office.
“One of the things that’s so wrong about right now is that we’ve got a guy in the White House trying to sow hate and division among us,” Harris said. “That doesn’t inspire hope. That inspires anger, that inspires fear. That inspires this concept of the other as opposed as together.
“So I will tell you what gives me hope is being asked to join the ticket,” Harris continued. “Knowing that when I look at the folks who are marching in the streets -the mothers, the fathers, the students- people who seemingly have nothing in common but they have everything in common and they are fighting in a fight that is borne out of love in country and in belief in what we are and can be, that gives me incredible hope. And when you couple that hope with a willingness to then take action and pursue and achieve the subject of that hope, that’s when we all win.”
The country must come to grips with the reality that is telling us we are either a democracy or a people subjected to a king. It’s hard to imagine that nearly 330 million people in one country like America can fall on its knees at the whim of one person.
Where is the soul of America? Where is our backbone as a nation? As Americans, have we become limp-wristed wimps afraid to speak truth to power against those who want to send us back two or three generations. In their minds, they think the Confederacy won. Like the slave owners in the South, these individuals will do anything to remain as the superior group. That includes trying to steal an election from the American people.
“I thought that the Republicans in the Senate and the president was going to do everything in his power to try to manipulate this election,” Biden said.
Biden added that he believed all that President Donald Trump and his allies would do whatever they could to disrupt the election.
“I thought that the Republicans in the Senate and the president was going to do everything in his power to try to manipulate this election,” said Biden. “We’re going to make sure that there is early voting so that people have the opportunity to vote. But in the meantime, we’ve put together several thousand lawyers nationwide to make sure that in fact that any jerry-rigging of the system-like you saw in some of the polls that took place in some of the states. We’re going to be ready, we’re doing everything we can to call out and make clear what is about to happen and we’re going to fight it.”
People of color, especially Black Americans, have been here before. By now, we know the tricks of the voting trade. Poll taxes, grandfather clauses and literary tests are just some of the ways voter suppression has been done in this country as a way primarily to curb Black people from voting.
Voter suppression is nothing but an effort to thwart progress,” Harris said.
“The reason that some are trying to suppress your vote is because they know that when you vote you’re going to vote for change,” Harris said. “You’re going to vote for things to get better. You’re going to vote to challenge the status quo when it’s not working for working-class people. You’re going to vote to challenge the status quo when we say ‘look, it doesn’t make sense that we don’t have affordable childcare in America. You’re going to vote to say ‘we need to have support for working people and the jobs need to be created in our country that supports our country and our economy.'”
She went on to add that the Biden campaign will utilize any and all legal tools needed to fight against any efforts of voter suppression.
“We’re going to do everything we can to, as Joe said, fight in the courts and to get injunctions where they’re trying to suppress the vote by local legislation and get that legislation overruled,” said Harris. “We also need to not fall for, again, foreign interference in our election through misinformation campaigns like they did in 2016. It’s happening, it will happen in 2020 -the intelligence community has said that openly.”
America is at a critical point in time. Sure, the country has had a lot of woke moments as it has tried to become-as former President Obama would say-a more perfect union. Slavery. Reconstruction. Jim Crow. Women Suffrage. The Civil War. 9/11. Vietnam. The country has had its share of trials and tribulations. Yet in 2020, the United States must confront a different kind of challenge: authoritarian rule.
There’s a lot of angst going around. Hope? That seems to have dissipated the day that No. 44 walked away from his presidential duties because of term limits. Since then, America has been wracked with an overabundance of uncertainty, chaos, and plenty of confusion. The objectivity of telling lies and people being reeled into believing nonsensical deceit seems to become more commonly accepted than truth-telling.
What is social justice? The family of Breonna Taylor is still waiting for it five months after her killing by police who raided her house with a no-knock warrant. Those cops are still walking the streets. George Floyd had 8 minutes and 46 seconds to think about his right to justice as he lay on a Minneapolis, Minnesota street being slowly executed by a police officer with the cold callousness of an unrepentant killer.
“We’re in an inflection point in this country,” Biden said. “Bull Connor had those dogs and he was siccing those dogs and firehoses ripping off the skin of those kids and black women trying to go to church and he thought he was putting a wooden stake in the heart of the movement but as Dr. King said it was the second emancipation.”
Hope does not begin and end with what political party we choose. Republican. Democrat. It does not matter. It is the values that we hold dear that gives us inspiration and motivation. It is the sacrifices of the men and women in the trenches fighting to saves lives ravaged by COVID-19 that gives us optimism. It is because of charitable food banks opened to help students and their families instill a sense of human dignity and compassion that a community can be proud of.
With Biden and Harris, restoring order to American values might seem to be somewhat of a simple task. But when you look over at the current landscape of the country, simple and normal sounds like the right plan.
“There’s no quit in America,” Biden said.
Dennis is the editor and publisher of News4usonline. He covers the NFL, NBA, MLB, racial and social justice, civil rights, and HBCUs. Dennis earned a journalism degree from “The Mecca” aka Howard University. “I write on what I am passionate about.”