Today is a day for jubilation! Joe Biden was elected President of the United States! I am ecstatic, overjoyed, almost in disbelief. I dreamed of the day we would defeat Donald Trump since the day he descended that cursed golden escalator over 5 years ago. It feels so good to repudiate him and all that stands for. And as desolate as I felt on November 9th, 2016, I feel just as jubilant tonight.
Now, my jubilation does not mean I am blurry-eyed. I know that one reason I can feel unalloyed joy today is that I am a white man, and I am not impacted as Black Americans and other Americans of color by systemic racism and in particular by the COVID-19 pandemic that targets people of color because of that racism. I know that Joe Biden was not my first choice for President, or even my second or third — in my vision he has not gone nearly far enough in working to address racism, poverty, climate change, mass incarceration, and so many issues. I know we will have to push him to address those issues in a comprehensive way that benefits Americans of color specifically. And I know that addressing all of those issues will be even more difficult i Democrats cannot take the two Georgia Senate seats in January.
All of that, I set aside tonight. Those concerns and struggles are for another day.
I relish this moment. I celebrate that we have won this election. I celebrate that this election worked in the middle of a pandemic. I celebrate the sense of hope I feel radiating from the TV screen as I watch the gathered crowd watching Harris’ and Biden’s speeches. To paraphrase activist and writer adrienne maree brown, I celebrate that we will be fighting for racial and climate justice on the terrain that Biden provides rather than that provided by Trump.
It is vital that, just as we mourn our defeats, we celebrate our victories. It is vital that, just as we cry out our sadness, we smile and laugh out our joy. Today is a day for jubilation!
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