Blacks, Latinos, women power Democratic victories


I’ve always drawn a measure of comfort from watching and listening to ‘grandmother’-type clocks. There’s something soothing about the consistent tic-tic-tic of the clock as time moves on.

In my abstract thinking, I find significance in the movement of the pendulum and the intersection of time, physical laws of nature, and human behavior. There is comfort in the thought that evil doesn’t last forever and that, as the pendulum swings, principled ideas and action will renew.

Following the process
It was with those thoughts that I watched this year’s Nov. 7 election results into the morning hours of Nov. 8. I’m not one to abandon the television after election results are announced. I’m just as interested in the election process and the mechanics of election victory and loss.

It was reassuring to see the obvious repudiation of No. 45’s administration that remains ill-prepared and unsuited to govern responsibly. It was gratifying to see the denunciation of haphazard leadership and the rejection of policies that are based solely in envy, jealousy and the goal of destroying the legacy of enlightened leadership by a superior predecessor.

I was overjoyed with a victory that, some will say, began in Virginia and spread from “sea to shining sea.”

Starting to understand
Looking to 2018 and beyond, it’s reassuring to learn that many who were apathetic in 2016 now understand that voting is not a responsibility that can be passed off to someone else. It was just as gratifying that many had opened their eyes to the lies of an opportunistic narcissist and have committed to holding the line against No. 45’s further encroachment upon the norms and values that have already made us great.

Having learned a lesson from 2016, the Democratic National Committee invested $1.5 million and $500,000 in the top of the tickets in Virginia and New Jersey, respectively. Less publicized was the election of Manka Dhingra in Washington state that flipped the state Senate from Republican to Democrat. Party investments also secured mayoral wins in Charlotte, N.C., and St. Petersburg, Fla., among other mayoral and legislative races across the nation.

Not going backwards
Voters showed us how important healthcare is to them. Moving backward to when the value of one’s life was measured by the depth of her or his bank account is unacceptable.

Although no federal officeholder was elected, the balance in several state legislatures was tipped in favor of Medicaid expansion. A Maine referendum overwhelmingly affirmed Medicaid expansion for its citizens.

As a woman, I’m pleased that women received recognition for 2017 election success. My greatest disappointment is the apparent lack of appreciation of the Black and Latino vote, especially women!

Although media sources noted that more than 80 percent of Black voters voted for Democratic candidates and Black women voted at our usual and reliable 90 percent-plus, I’m still waiting to hear more leaders issue a special yet simple “Thank you” to Black people, especially Black women, and Latinas.

We know
When women of color vote, we know how to vote. We honor the sacrifices of our ancestors when we vote, but we’re past being overlooked because we vote for our “herstory’ and self-interest.

Leaders must ask how different this election would’ve been without us. Rather than attempting to reclaim voters who reject the message of fairness and equity for all, my party should focus on initiatives that get more of us out to vote: more resources for Black and Latino GOTV advertising.

Congratulations Black people, especially Black women. I’m proud of the Black women who voted, those who ran for office, those who won against great odds, as well as the Black women who taught us that one vote does make a difference, like my 95-year-old mom did.

Maybe the party that enjoys our loyalty will someday appreciate the victories we provide for God’s people.

Dr. E. Faye Williams is national chair of the National Congress of Black Women, Inc. Contact her via www.nationalcongressbw.org.

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