It’s currently 10:38pm here in Houston, TX. My son should be in bed by now, I should be wasting away scrolling through my Instagram feed, but neither of us is following our regular routine this evening. No, this night has taken on a much more somber tone. About 34 minutes ago, I watched Andrew Gillum, one of the strongest candidates Florida Democrats have had on their ticket in years, concede to a man knowingly supported by white supremacists. An hour before that, I watched as Democratic Senate hopeful Beto O’Rourke did the same, congratulating Republican Ted Cruz on his win. And with exit polls spelling out an unfortunate reality in this country by highlighting the fact that Black voters were the only racial demographic to vote overwhelmingly against blatantly racist candidates, it’s tough to cloak myself in blind optimism and expect a better America for my son. My Black, autistic son that is. I’ve never been totally oblivious to the realities of these United States. Growing up in a socially conscious household resulted in a radical tinge thats only intensified in my adulthood, one that’s become far more acceptable given the “woke” craze. But more recently, I’ve come to accept that I cannot save this country. Not alone, not with my community in tow, and likely not ever. Not because I’m unwilling to put in the work or to sacrifice, but moreso because we lack the support. As we all sit stunned at the results of these mid-term elections, seeing other races vote overwhelmingly in support of candidates who’ve openly expressed their devotion to a racist imbecile, it might be time to accept the fact that we are completely in this fight alone.
The exit polls were a reminder that the unity everyone had been ranting about since our most recent presidential election was a joke, nothing more than a talking point. It wasn’t actually unity the country wanted. If it were, Black people wouldn’t have been the only ones voting for it. With the Latino vote being split in each state’s Senate race, it served as a somber reminder that we cared more about the wellbeing of the other minority communities than they seemed to care about themselves. The Asian communities, the Arab communities, they too split their votes down the middle. Only further exemplifying that these minority communities, the same ones who demand our solidarity anytime an issue arises reminding them of their non-white status in this country, just as quickly chose self-preservation when expected to do the same. With Black people making up only 12% of the population in Texas and 14% of the population in Florida, I thought to myself how the hell were we expected to pull this off alone? Who designated us as the change agents in this country? A country that’s still dragging its feet to recognize our humanity as a whole. It was unrealistic to begin with. And furthermore, it allowed other communities to enter the polls guilt free, with only their nuclear needs on their minds. All while we entered carrying the weight and burden of an entire nation. I shouldn’t be surprised, but every election I sit stunned at the many communities who would demand black bodies at their rallies and call for black voices at their protests just so they can climb on our backs and prop up their own interests when it comes time to return the favor. This was the election for white women to make their voices heard against an administration that seeks to treat women like mindless breeders. This was the election for Hispanic men and women to make their voices heard against an administration that seeks to evict them from lands historically their own. This was the election for everyone to return the unity they’ve had on loan for the past 400 years and once again, we see that was asking too much. If we didn’t know we were on our own before now, this election certainly left no doubt.