“You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas”
— Shirley Chisholm
2020 has been a trying year to say the least. It has been a year of a sweeping pandemic, racial reckoning, horrific climate change related tragedies, and an economic downturn. 2020 is also an election year. In other words, 2020 has been THAT YEAR! There has been a lot of discussion claiming that this upcoming election on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020, will be the most important election of our lifetime. This may seem hyperbolic, but turning on the television on any given day, we are bombarded with political news that is misleading, ignorant, or downright hateful. Furthering the severity of the current state of the world, whether it is climate change, COVID-19, or police violence, Black communities are being underserved at disproportionate levels in comparison to other communities. If there is one area that Delayed Freedom exists for within the Black Community, it is within the realm of politics and wielding out political power. We have an opportunity, and the right to make change.
The Black Community has continued to do the work. It has been six months since the murder of Breonna Taylor, and we have yet to see any justice brought to her life and family. There has been months of resistance and demonstrations bringing national attention to the killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmad Arbery and countless others that have lost their life to police brutality and white supremacy. For Black communities, mobilizing and hitting the streets is a way to take ownership of the changes the American government has failed to provide. Critics might look at marchers and think voting is a better solution to the changes the Black community seeks. The reality is, both mobilizing and voting are ways to drive change. There isn’t one single solution to fix a faulty system. There isn’t one perfect person or candidate that will come and fix America or save the Black Community. It is up to all of us. This vote on November 3rd, 2020 isn’t about voting out a single person or party from the White House and Congress. It is about our message. The continued efforts of our message to the American government comes in the form of demonstrations on streets, parks, and bridges across both nationally and globally. It is a message to America that killing unarmed Black People is not acceptable and justice must be served. This message needs to be replicated on November 3rd, 2020. We must show America that having leaders, governments, companies, and foreign entities that AGREE (or even worse are SILENT during these times) with the killing unarmed Black People will NOT be tolerated. So what’s next you may ask?
Register To Vote/ Check Your Status: Figure out if you are registered to vote and do It! The deadlines are quickly approaching. It is also no secret that voter suppression is rampant toward the Black Community. If voting wasn’t so important, why would there be so many people and organizations fighting for you not to vote? Today, check on your status to make sure you are registered.
Tell Yo Mama and Nem. It is important to spread the word and make sure your friends, family, and local community are going out to vote. We are in a polarizing time, but one of the easiest ways to combat this is by making it personal and speaking to those that you love and in your community. While your neighbor is out watering his garden tomorrow, ask him if he is registered to vote! Take a Pledge with Delayed Freedom to Contact at LEAST 5 people and make sure they are voting! #DelayEndsHere
Research Your Ballot. Although a lot of attention is placed on the Presidential Election, there are so many other items on a ballot that may affect your life on a very local level like congress members and ballot initiatives. The elected officials on these ballots determine things like healthcare, voting rights, and legalization of marijuana. Take some time to research your local candidates and the policies they uphold.
Establish a Voting Plan. Determine your voter registration status and the deadline for your state. Here are a few questions that will help you map out your voting plan. Will you use an absentee/mail-in ballot? Or will you vote in person? We can expect voting polls to be filled with long lines this year so be sure to pick a time to go that will work with your work schedule. Will you need to get a babysitter? Does your state have early voting? Are you getting an absentee ballot and need to fill out your application? If you are in a state or locality that is notorious for an outstanding 5 to 6 hour wait time, how are you preparing for that? With being in the middle of a pandemic, it is important to not only be safe, but also to plan a head of how you will be voting ahead of time. Check on your family and friends and see how they plan on voting.
We should not only be holding each other accountable, but also helping and supporting each other where possible. After you do that, go and vote! As of 9/30, over 1 million people have already voted in the 2020 election. Let’s get it done.