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Black People Lose In 2020 – OpEd

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Black people will get nothing from a Joe Biden administration except fiscal austerity and the precarity that comes with it.

Election Day on November 3, 2020 ended with the outcome of the presidential race still undecided. Joe Biden has an Electoral College lead over Donald Trump but votes are still being counted in states that will be decisive. It isn’t clear when the count will end, or if this election will be decided by court decision as in 2000.

It is clear that it should not have been close at all. Biden made the Covid pandemic his election theme as he blamed the deaths of 230,000 on Trump’s mishandling of the health crisis. The administration’s poor response also resulted in an economic catastrophe for millions of people. Some of the states where the vote count continues have recently experienced an upsurge in Covid cases and yet there is no declared winner. 

Trump should have lost decisively on election night. But the Democratic Party chose to repeat their 2016 losing gambit. It was clear that their strategy of running neo-liberal candidates was no longer working. They had to appeal to people who sat out the 2016 election if they wanted to guarantee victory. The bloom was off the Barack Obama rose and they couldn’t get votes without making even a token effort to address the peoples’ issues..

Democrats don’t want to talk about low wage work, housing insecurity, lack of health care and student loan debt but millions of people don’t bother to vote because their experiences are barely ever mentioned. The voters who Democrats need in order to win choose to stay out because they have been rendered invisible.

Instead the Democrats again launched an attack on the most progressive candidate, Bernie Sanders, and rigged the process against him. Sanders chose to be a good soldier and capitulate but no one was fooled. His claim that a Biden presidency would be the most progressive since the days of Franklin Roosevelt was obvious nonsense. Only wishful thinking liberals were impressed and hoped that the ruse would work on those who are once again marginalized.

There is another factor at work here. This is a deeply racist country, and the Make America Great Again theme still resonates for millions of people. They like Trump precisely because he is a true believer in white supremacist thought and policies. The term white supremacy should not be misunderstood. The men in pickup trucks carrying AR-15 automatic weapons are the public face of this belief system but they are not the only adherents. 

Men who wear suits and ties and their wives, daughters, and sisters are just as likely to want a wall on the border with Mexico and are comforted in the knowledge that someone who agrees with them is in the White House. Many of these people are not public with their opinions because Trump supporters are as demonized as their president. They don’t want to be the face of racism, fascism, patriarchy and incompetence. They may not even see themselves as white supremacists but they are and they vote with those interests in mind. 

Democrats must stop living in denial. The images of kids in cages and families separated at the border may cause them to scorn Trump, but other people wholly agree with these policies and are happy that Trump wants to keep America as white as he possibly can.

Four years ago this columnist wrote, “Dump the Democrats for Good.” Many of the words written in 2016 remain true. “The black politicians and the Democratic National Committee and the civil rights organizations that don’t help the masses must all be kicked to the proverbial curb. The rejection must be complete and blame must be laid squarely at their feet.”

James Clyburn, the so-called king maker in the Congressional Black Caucus, operates on direct orders from the Democratic Party establishment who declared that the 2020 nominee would be anyone but Bernie Sanders. Clyburn and his cohorts make us all losers when they act in concert with people whose interests are diametrically opposed to ours. Clyburn has received more than $1 million in campaign donations from big pharma  Political Action Committees. That means his machinations are never carried out for the benefit of the people he allegedly represents.

Black people will be the losers even if there is a Joe Biden administration. He admits as much when he tells rich funders that nothing would fundamentally change if he is in office. Fiscal austerity and the precarity that comes with it will be the order of the day for Biden. We don’t prosper because smart black people have good jobs in a Biden administration. We need a right to free health care and food and housing security. We need action of police brutality and a cut in the military budget that devours nearly 60% of discretionary spending.

Once again we lose, whether Donald Trump or Joe Biden is sworn into office in January. The ties to the Democratic Party must be cut once and for all. 

Margaret Kimberley

Margaret Kimberley

Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR (http://www.blackagendareport.com), and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgandaReport.com.

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