As the media glow from Joe Biden’s historic selection of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Ca) as his running mate wanes and the hard work begins in earnest, I admonish my readers to first, ignore all presidential polls!
I am no big believer in polling data because at 48 years of age, and having voted in every presidential election since 1992, I have NEVER been polled via landline, cell phone, computer–nothing. Plus, I am always wary of the fact that people LIE about their voting intentions. Doubt me? Consider that two weeks before the 2016 election, CNN’s “Poll of Polls” average had Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton ahead of Republican nominee Donald Trump by an aggregate margin of 48% to 39%. On that particular date, the network reported their latest polling data that showed Clinton with a whopping 12-point lead over Trump, with 50% support nationally among likely voters to Trump’s 38 %.
We all saw how that ended with Clinton stunned–and Trump exalted on election day.
Thus my point, ignore the polls and push forward with voter registration drives all the way to Election Day with the fervor of a Democratic ticket that is down a touchdown late in the 4th quarter!
Second, ignore the ignorant! Right on schedule, the Russian Bots were back on social media yesterday, sowing seeds of discord by posting that “Kamala Harris ain’t Black.” Conservative media has run with it, curiously joined by a strong contingent of real life Black people who have bought into the lie.
Judging from the photos posted above of her real family, Alpha Kappa Alpha family, and Howard University family, if Kamala Harris isn’t Black–none of us is Black! Yes, her mother is Indian, but her father is Jamaican with a lineage straight from Africa. And if Ancestry.com and “23 and me” have proved nothing else, it is that the majority of Blacks in America have some racial mixing in our backgrounds. But most of us self identify as Black because that is who and what we are, and I find it suspect that the same people who now vocally support rejecting the honoring of slave owning “Founding Fathers,” Confederates, and Jim Crow purveyors alike, adopt the same divisive tactics of those wicked men by rejecting their own racial kinsmen. We can do better!
Third, Black folks need to stop with the “lesser of two evils” arguments when analyzing the Biden vs. Trump race. Emotions aside, the simple truth is that by objective studies as well as anecdotal evidence culled from social media, most Black people are not ideological conservatives. Some of our skin folks are conservatives, mind you, and I expect such to vote for President Trump because his platform aligns with their political predilections. And yes, even some Black Democrats hold a more conservative viewpoint on single issues, such as LGBTQ civil rights and gay marriage.
But even a cursory glance at what the Trump-Pence campaign boasts can give clear guidance as to what the goals of a second Trump administration wishes to achieve:
*Deeper tax cuts to bolster the coffers for higher income Americans and corporations
*Repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) and its prohibition of denying coverage for those with pre-existing health conditions (no matter what the president “Tweets,” such is still the aim of the GOP)
*Building the wall between Mexico and U.S
*Escalating the trade war with China and Canada while continuing to dilute the NATO alliance with the European Union
*Elevating ANTIFA to the same status of the Ku Klux Klan and Neo-Nazis while defending Confederate monuments as American “traditions.”
While a few, most if not all of the above listed policy considerations are not designed with the amelioration of social and political conditions for Black people in mind. And while the Trump administration has done a notable job in providing funding to Black Colleges, the simple reality is that the president’s raw, unfiltered comments and Tweets about Black people, Black ball players, predominantly Black nations, and police mistreatment of Black people, have rubbed most Black voters wrong from the very first.
Even worse, while I can credibly argue that most past presidents have exhibited racism at some point in their lives, the climate that exists at this time is dangerous because some whites feel emboldened by the president’s words, thus making even a routine trip to the grocery store fraught with peril.
No President is perfect, and I do not expect a President Biden to be perfect, either. But in an era in which the racial divide has widened and a global pandemic has engendered palpable fear throughout America, a modern day “Return to Normalcy,” the slogan used exactly 100 years ago when Warren Harding offered a change from World War I and the Flu Pandemic, would be a refreshing change from the constant flame stoking from the Oval Office.