I’m writing to you all in the pitch black of my bedroom. The sun has not yet broken over the horizon and, on this day, I’m sure that it’s vacillating whether or not to come up at all. Only the illumination from my screen is what holds the shadows that surround me at bay, and the darkness that envelops me serves a stinging reminder that, due to the Monster that walks the halls of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, that same darkness has enveloped this country. For the past four years, this abominable excuse for a human being has peddled his sordid elixir of xenophobia, racism, homophobia, sexism and predatory hatred to his base, and they have consumed it like the Kool-Aid at Jonestown. He has plunged this country into shockingly divisive unrest and uncertainty so that, regardless of who’s elected, the rampant fear-mongering that he has masterfully executed better than any American politician will drive the stake even deeper into this country’s quickly-withering heart.
However, apropos of the existential dread that millions are feeling, I remain hopeful. I’m no stranger to hopelessness and despair—they were my close friends for nearly a decade, hanging their hats on every rack in every room in the place that housed my demons.
But, because I know them, I know that they can be defeated.
I also know that it will take a collaborative effort to vanquish the evil that has permeated the hearts and minds of so many “well-intentioned” people because, just like raising a child, it takes a village. Slaying dragons alone is a practice best served in storybooks. That collaborative effort, that first step in what will be a very long road to recovery in this nation, starts today. November 3rd. Election Day.
Realistically, I’m well aware that virtually everyone has made their mind up when it comes to the vote they cast today. Biden wasn’t my first choice or even my third for that matter, but what he and the Democratic Party represent is a clear and present opponent to the malevolence that has been allowed to run rampant through the halls of the West Wing.
Hope. Kindness. Compassion.
At first glance, the cynic in me cringes at the apple pie buzz words I’ve presented before you all, but I have to believe that these aren’t empty promises. So, I voted for Biden because I had to. I had to do my part to ensure that, regardless of the social and cultural tensions that will remain present long after the inauguration, that my children and my children’s children will have a home to call their own (i.e. I would hope that even the most virulent followers of the President’s dogma can understand that fighting for white power and supremacy is meaningless if there isn’t a planet left to inhabit).
So, realism be damned, I’m begging you all to vote.
Vote for hope. Vote for kindness. Vote for compassion.
And I need this to resonate with my young, Black brothers out there more than anyone else. I understand your frustration and disillusionment. I understand that having two white men in their 70s as the only candidates to choose from is completely antithetical to the vision of progress our people, both present and past, have fought so tirelessly to bring to fruition. I understand that, after George Floyd’s murder, police have went on to kill 59 more of our brothers and sisters from May 26th to August 31st.
But all of this is why we need to vote.
Not just to get the current occupant of the White House out of office, but to vote locally as well, to ensure that all of those judges and DAs and sheriffs that have continuously failed to hold our murderers accountable start looking for new employment. Voting is a right that our people had to fight for and die for (my grandmother, Allegray, was arrested for fighting for it). This sacrifice is something that I don’t take lightly and I hope those reading this feel the same way. Once again, our people and this nation is counting on us to get everyone out of yet another mess that of its own design. Black women consistently show up for everyone and every occasion. It’s time to share that burden with our sisters.
The sun has risen on the west coast. It’s a gray morning here in Los Angeles. The subdued light cuts through the slits in my blinds, evaporating the domineering shadows into the ether. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I hope it’s a sign of things to come. Maybe the sun will come out tomorrow.
Hope. Compassion. Kindness.