“I was waiting for this day,” North Carolina healthcare management worker Connie Neal told the Post. “We need change. We need a new president. As soon as I could do my part, why put it off?”
“There is no group of Americans who are more vested in this democratic experiment, historically, than the Black person in the United States of America,” Democratic pollster Cornell Belcher said. “Black people are literally voting like their lives depend on it.”
They’re voting against Trump’s targeting of Black Lives Matter protesters, and the Justice Department backing off from investigating police departments for patterns of abuse. They’re voting against an incumbent who’s called violent white supremacists “very fine people.” One who rose in politics by claiming that then-President Barack Obama was born in Kenya, spent four years trying to dismantle Obama’s legacy policy by policy, then turned around and tried a version of the same birther argument on Sen. Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice presidential nominee this year. One who specializes in personal insults but saves many of his most vicious and demeaning insults for Black lawmakers and activists.
In response, Black voters are bringing chairs and food to wait in line. They’re there to do whatever it takes, many remembering the brutality of the fight for the right to vote in the 20th century (not so very long ago), as well as understanding the voter suppression they now face that keeps them in those long lines lest their mail-in ballots be rejected.
It shouldn’t be this way. Basic democracy should not rely on the outsized efforts of a group of people trying to participate in a government that has been repeatedly targeted, a vulnerable group in the midst of a pandemic. It is wrong that this is what it takes—and heroic that so many voters are doing what it takes despite being in full knowledge of how wrong it is.