By Cash Michaels –
A veteran political analyst says while African Americans have much to celebrate in the electoral defeat of Donald Trump, there is still much to be accomplished.
“After we have concluded our celebrations of the election of [Democrats] Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, African Americans should pay some serious attention to the political position in which we find ourselves,” says Prof. Irving Joyner of the NC Central University School of Law. “The Biden-Harris election was monumental and offers a promise for legal protections and support at the national level, but we cannot forget that the same people who controlled the US Senate are still in place in Washington and are poised to continue to legislate in the same manner that they did in the past. This reality must be impressed on the minds of everyone.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden clinched the 270 Electoral College threshold, and with it, his tentative claim to become the 46th President-elect of the United States, defeating Republican incumbent Donald Trump. The victory made history when Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) became Vice-President-elect.
But as Prof. Joyner noted, Democratic victories elsewhere were few and far between. Democrats barely held on to their majority in the US House, and the final count in the US Senate has to wait for Jan. 5th runoff elections for both Georgia Senate seats.
“In addition, in North Carolina, the same legislative leaders who sought to suppress the African American vote and to deny us some equities in the provision of governmental benefits are still in control,” Joyner added, referring to how Republicans maintained their dominance in both houses of the NC General Assembly.
“Of major concern is that this right-wing leadership cadre will be in charge of redistricting of the General Assembly which will likely mean another series of protracted legal battles to protect our voting rights. This means that efforts to expand Medicaid, to improve the quality and availability of education, to increase in the minimum wage, to expand opportunities for low-cost housing and to address other needs which seek to improve the quality of life for African Americans will be ignored or limited.”
“We also lost important judicial positions in the NC Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, and missed out on critical opportunities to add African Americans to the Council of State,” Joyner added.
“So, while it is great to celebrate whatever we can,” Joyner continued, “we must have a realistic understanding of the present political ‘tea leaves’ and develop coordinated strategies to counter the continuing attacks and apathy which will be directed toward the African American community during the coming years.”