I cast my ballot on the very first day of early voting in Texas as the line of masked up voters socially distancing themselves snaked outside into the parking lot of Sunland Park Mall in El Paso. A little before nine in the morning my three sisters and I stood for nearly an hour to make our voices heard. But all the while I thought to myself that America does not deserve the Black vote because this country has done very little to earn it. As a matter of fact, I don’t believe America deserves our allegiance, our love of country, our military service, our labor, etc… But most of all, America does not deserve our patience.
I am extremely unhappy with Joe Biden as the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee. That out of such a diverse field of presidential candidates (some of whom I felt were more qualified) African Americans are, once again, left with the option of voting for two white men. It is an all too familiar and tiresome predicament which does not speak well of a country that allegedly seeks to heal its racial divide. A country that has managed to produce a single African American POTUS after centuries of existence only to then elect a man who gives a voice to white extremists and legitimizes white nationalism is not progress. It is failure on so many levels.
So, why did I vote?
I voted because by not voting in the previous presidential election I felt that I had actually helped to elect the man currently occupying the Oval Office who admitted to down playing a virus he knew to be potentially fatal causing a massive loss of American lives. I voted because there are many Americans who after knowing this still support this same man. I voted because there are Americans who are willing to take his word over medical experts and put the lives of their fellow Americans at risk. I voted because I am tired of the rage tweeting, the racist dog whistles, the disinformation by him and his administration. But, more importantly, I voted because I could not live with myself knowing that after all the ballots are counted and no matter the outcome that I did nothing.