Joe Biden Won the Election — but It's Not Over Yet

After four years under the leadership of a man who has sparked more controversy than any modern president, the people of America have used their voices to bring hope back to the nation. Just this year, tension filled the air in regard to racism, classism and misogyny. 

With COVID-19, many people were stuck at home for the elections, but that did nothing to stop the American people. Across the country, record-breaking requests for mail-in ballots were made, and the voter turnout — especially with the younger generations — was like never before. 

November 3, 2020, Election Day, was nothing less than anxiety-inducing. The hours after votes began to be counted turned into days as we all waited to hear the results of the election. Seeing states turn back and forth from red to blue kept people up for nights. Then, on the 7th day of the month, it was announced that the American people chose their next president: Joe Biden. 

Joe Biden speaking Photo by Phil Roeder from Flickr

It was only a matter of time until people began to celebrate. The streets looked like scenes from a movie — people were singing, dancing, drinking and crying. Crowds of people formed outside of the White House to display the glee that was suppressed for four years. 

While so many people are overjoyed with Donald Trump's departure, there are still underlying issues that won’t leave with him. A lot of people claim that with Joe Biden in office, all of the problems that plagued the nation during Trump’s presidency would be gone. 

What they don’t realize, however, is that those issues have left stains. And those stains have been here much longer than they realize. We have always faced racism, homophobia and misogyny. America and its police force has had Black blood on their hands long before George, Breonna and Ahmaud. The trans community has been dehumanized throughout American history, and it was only one year before 2016 that gay marriage was legalized. It just took Donald Trump’s presidency for people to stop telling minorities that they were overreacting.  

We live in a nation built on the backs of slaves, the land of natives, and the tears of those who didn’t fit into the white patriarchy. To be able to claim that ignorance started and ended with Donald Trump is a demonstration of your privilege. The fight for equality doesn’t end just because it won't affect you anymore. 

Imagine living in fear of dying at the hands of the people whose job is to protect you. Imagine not being able to walk alone once the sun goes down. Imagine keeping yourself in a closet so society won’t force you into it themselves. And that’s the thing — for so many Americans, this isn’t something they need to imagine. 

These scenarios aren’t anything new. When people ignore the deep-rooted problems in the United States, brushing them off as one-time issues caused by some “evil dictator,” they’re setting us up for a cycle where ignorance is acceptable as long as it doesn’t bother the privileged. And this gives people a chance to take advantage of the hatred bubbling inside some citizens’ stomachs, leading us back to another 2016 election — over and over and over again. 

people gathered for a Black Lives Matter protest Photo by Orna Wachman from Pixabay

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris aren’t going to be the ones to end America’s racism. Both of them have a history filled with cruelty, in fact. Biden’s political past is laced with a racist legacy, and Harris has set aside the rights of the incarcerated — most of whom were black men — on multiple occasions.

Polishing Joe Biden up as the perfect American president and girl boss-ing Kamala Harris just shows people that doing terrible things is fine as long as you paint yourself in a “pro-equality” costume. 

That being said, I understand the relief that erupted in the country after Biden won his 270+ electoral votes. It was like a weight was lifted from our shoulders as we finally got rid of a president who caused so much stress, sadness and mourning. As a queer Afro-Latina, my biggest reward from the election was not that we put President-Elect Biden into office, but rather that we got President Trump out of it.

I also refuse to ignore the impact that comes with Kamala Harris’s role as Vice President. She is our first female, Black and South Asian VP — and as she said, she “won’t be the last.” I can only imagine being a little girl, especially a little girl of color, right now, and seeing her stand with such pride and power on television. Her victory speech alone will inspire so many girls to take their place in office, making her a key step in certifying that the future will be female.

Kamala Harris speaking at an event in front of an American flag Photo by Gage Skidmore from Flickr

But, she still built her career off the imprisonment of Black people, and Biden is still the same man who supported a bill that wanted to end desegregated bussing. 

You're allowed to be happy right now, and you're allowed to be relaxed. At least for a while. What I, and so many other minorities, refuse to allow is that you give up the fight that you so proudly claimed to be a part of for the past few years. Even with Joe Biden as our president, we will continue to march with our fists in the air, letting out the screams that our ancestors were forced to suppress.

America has so much to change and so many areas to grow. This is not the end of our movements. We are only beginning.