I shouldn’t have been so naïve. I shouldn’t have gotten any type of hopes up for last night’s special election results. I shouldn’t have so quickly forgotten the main lessons learned after the 2016 election.
The Democratic Party and affiliated organizations dumped a record amount of money into the special election in Georgia. The total cost of the House race was $50 million dollars, a ridiculous sum of money and a symptom of the cancer that cash has created in our electoral system.
I’m upset that the Democrats lost, but I’m totally furious at the way they lost. They gave the world in resources to a middle of the road candidate who attempted to appeal to moderate Republicans who voted for Trump. They spent much of it on television and Internet advertisements, rather than grassroots organizers. The thinking was that they might come back to the left after getting a taste of the current administration.
They didn’t and they’re not coming back. Ever. This type of white voter has made their choice. In 2016, they chose an individual who represents racism in its most obvious and disgusting form, casting aside any considerations for policy. In 2017, still believing that whiteness in America is under attack, this group of voters chose, yet again, to send someone to Washington who would inflict terrible policy on this country as a show of support and solidarity for Trump’s awful agenda.
This is not difficult to understand: these white voters vote the way they do because they are overtly or unconsciously biased against people of color. So why in the world would leaders like Tom Perez and Nancy Pelosi make the conscious choice to reason with that mindset over getting further involved in communities of color, registering voters and rolling out a platform that gives them a reason to get to the polls?
It’s not right. On both sides, the racism on the right, the pandering on the left, it’s twisted and wrong. It’s unjust.
We won’t get to productive policy, or justice, through pandering to voters that look like me.
Justice looks like police officers going to jail for the murder of Philando Castile, or better yet, police officers not killing people of color or individuals suffering from mental disabilities. Justice looks like my wife and one of my neighbors not being the only two black people on my block that own a home. Justice looks like clean water to drink in Flint. Justice looks like diseases like sickle cell getting the same level of funding and research as diseases that affect white populations. Justice means great schools for everyone at an affordable costs. Justice means ending the silent genocide that guns commit on our communities.
Justice means abandoning the notion that you as an individual are important and should get credit for a moment or a movement. It means finding the best place for you to move justice forward and understanding that the greater good comes first.
So when I see justice in this country and in this world, I’ll know, because it won’t look like me.