Political Issues

This Election Shouldn’t Have Been Such a Close Call—Here’s How To Continue the Work

Kara Jillian Brown

Photo: Getty Images / Hiraman

It’s not a surprise that a clear winner didn’t emerge on Election Day. Or that the following days will be filled with uncertainty. But, no matter the outcome, election results this close—in this election—are still deeply unsettling for Nicole Cardoza, founder of the Anti-Racism Daily newsletter, and Yoga Foster, and Reclamation Ventures wrote on Instagram.

“Grief today is palpable. What a heartache to witness how many people choose racism and systemic oppression over equity and opportunity for all,” writes Cardoza in an Instagram post on November 4. “How sobering a reminder that, regardless of who wins, we have so much more work ahead of us. The only thing you should be waiting for right now is the results. But spur yourself into action everywhere else.”

 

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Grief today is palpable. What a heartache to witness how many people choose racism and systemic oppression over equity and opportunity for all. How sobering a reminder that, regardless of who wins, we have so much more work ahead of us.⁣ ⁣ The only thing you should be waiting for right now is the results. But spur yourself into action everywhere else. Because we cannot wait for our political system for the change we wish to seek. A few places to start:⁣ ⁣ Sign up for a Protect the Results event, and commit to mobilizing if Trump undermines the election. protecttheresults.com⁣ ⁣ Have conversations with your family and friends about who they voted for and why. Do not let their actions go unchecked. It is a privilege to avoid that conflict. And if that person is you, sit with your complicity for the terrors this nation inflicts, and why you find them less urgent than whatever you choose first (and unfollow me 👋🏾).⁣ ⁣ Make an election safety plan. Support local organizers and community aid funds. Connect with your neighbors and see what you can do.⁣ More @antiracismdaily. Speaking of, if the election results so far are surprising to you – you haven’t been paying attention. Go read some stories over @antiracismdaily — each of the 154 newsletter we’ve written since launch are there. Hundreds of thousands of words. ⁣ Take care of yourself.⁣ (This photo is of me protecting my peace with my frozen pizza in tow on my birthday weekend in Alaska this past summer ✨)

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Even if Joe Biden becomes president, we will still be living in a divided nation. To continue fighting against what the Trump administration stands for, Cardoza says there are a few things you can do.

How to continue the work

1. Sign up for a Protect the Results event

Protect the Results is a coalition of over 130 groups prepared to protest if Trump does anything to stop counting votes.

“We can’t assume that Donald Trump will respect the peaceful transfer of power,” says Sean Eldridge, founder and president of Stand Up America, which started organizing the coalition. If Trump interferes in the counting of ballots or pressures officials to stop counting “then we would mobilize,” says Eldridge.

As recently as early this morning, Trump told supporters he didn’t want any more ballots counted, as several states continue to tally mail-in votes. “We don’t want them to find any ballots at 4 o’clock in the morning and add them to the list,” he said. The Trump campaign has sued Michigan (where Biden is leading over Trump with 96 percent of the votes counted), seeking to halt the counting of election ballots in the state. The suit alleges that Michigan had “found” ballots to deny a Republican Senate victory.

“Commit to mobilizing [with Protect the Results] if Trump undermines the election,” says Cardoza.

2. Speak with your friends and family about who they voted for

“Have conversations with your family and friends about who they voted for and why,” says Cardoza. “Do not let their actions go unchecked. It is a privilege to avoid that conflict. And if that person is you, sit with your complicity for the terrors this nation inflicts, and why you find them less urgent than whatever you choose first.⁣”

These conversations are tough but necessary, says Cardoza. Whether it means talking about white privilege with your friends and family or unpacking the social determinants of health that have a disproportionately negative impact on Black people, it’s important, and an act of love, to call people out on the things they don’t know and the harm they’ve caused.

3. Make an election safety plan

No matter who wins, there is bound to be some civil unrest. As Trump warns of a “stolen” election, fear of his supporters is palpable. In any case, activists are likely be out protesting and in need of support.

“Support local organizers and community aid funds,” says Cardoza. “Connect with your neighbors and see what you can do.⁣”

Author Ogorchukwu shared in a separate post that anything from creating and sharing a soothing playlist with friends to figuring out was to serve your community right now can be helpful.

 

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