Although President Biden has been in politics for almost 50 years and in my opinion is a lackluster choice for president, the American public still saw it best to elect him. I understand that most Black Democrats that I speak with “only voted for him to spite Trump,” but I still could not wrap my head around the stale energy in the air from his voters now that he is in office.
Pre-election, when a Biden voter was asked to take a deep dive into his not-so-favorable history, we were met with takes such as “we will push him further left” or, as soon as Trump is out, we will “hold him accountable.” But these days it seems as if they have all but stopped caring about politics.
However, in my heart of hearts, I knew that was not the case. I believe many of them still care about what is happening in the United States and in the world. I believe many of them have good intentions for Black Americans but do not see how these same systems that they say “oppress us” are still reprehensible even after an election cycle.
I recently sat down with an anonymous Black Democrat to get a gauge on how the political left was faring after Biden’s first 100 days in office. By now, we have seen enough of Biden as President of the United States to assess if he is worth all the hype of this past 2020 election cycle. I came out with a better understanding of their view of what is happening and if they felt everything was worth the hassle.
I asked if they felt that their political views had changed at all. Although they still lean very much left, there is some information that may have swayed their outlook of Biden pre-election.
“I think new information and just how I have been involved politically and having conversations with other people—what I’ve thought before has changed dramatically,” said the voter, “Not in terms of what side I’m on but being more aware and being more knowledgeable about what’s going on.”
I pressed further to get an idea of what they felt should’ve been disclosed pre-election.
“For example,” the voter responded, “This whole Hunter Biden situation I was not made aware of and how it has political ties to other countries, how it’s being swept up under the rug. and how his political ties to Joe Biden can have certain effects on different legislation.”
All-in-all though, the voter doesn’t believe if the Biden campaign disclosed this information sooner it would have changed who they voted for President in the 2020 presidential election.
So far, hard-Left leaning and right leaning voters and pundits in the media seem to have more in common than different these days. Both have criticized him on his airstrikes in Syria, immigration policies, his response to racial justice issues, and more. Yet, many moderate and progressive Democrats seem to still cover for him when any criticism hits his doorstep.
I personally believe that the moderates and progressives should stop holding up progress under the guise of liberal politics and let Black Americans converge across political spectrums. I asked the Biden voter how Black America achieves progress in our material conditions going forward and if they saw politics as a method to get there.
I was met with a refreshing answer that made me hopeful that some of the in-fighting would cease on a larger scale and we could come together to talk about solutions for our communities.
“I don’t think it has anything to do with politics. Politics on both sides, left and right– and this is part of my awakening– politics hasn’t really done anything for Black people since the Civil Rights Act. I don’t think it has anything to do with politics, I think we have to release ourselves from both Democrats and Republicans and look into other options.”
In a highlight of the interview, the Biden voter went on to describe separate ways we can enhance Black communities outside of politics. “I’m here for black people taking care of our own. It’s nice to have a corporation highlight what’s ours but it isn’t necessary to sustain the movement economically,” the voter said.
Furthermore, the voter discussed the power of the Black dollar and how the Black community needs to distance themselves from corporations. “Black people can uphold our businesses ourselves without stores like Target, etc giving us our own sections. That will help us sustain,” they concluded.
After the interview wrapped up, I concluded that solely relying on voting and politics to develop our communities is the first problem Black people need to address when having these conversations.
If we have seen that over and over this system doesn’t treat us fairly and does not advocate on our behalf unless it is beneficial for them, then why do we still put so much trust in politics? Regardless of different political views, there is so much more than Black Americans can accomplish when we unify with each other.