With Biden & Harris in Charge, What Now for ‘Black Lives Matter’?
Even after Donald Trump has been voted out of office, the issue of Black Lives Matter remains as critical as ever.
But where does Black Lives Matter go from here?
Decentralised Organisation is Key
Activists learned their tactics from a long tradition. Decentralised organisation, , has always been integral to African Americans’ campaigns for rights. The Civil Rights Movement succeeded because of the work of women such as and , which culminated in the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
But in 2013, a conservative-leaning Supreme Court ruled sections of the Voting Rights Act . Nine states – including seven in the south, where voting had been closely supervised by the federal Department of Justice – were now able to limit the franchise.
In other words, those in power could resume discriminating against voters. So too could other states, now the threat of having such supervision imposed was removed. Voter suppression efforts, which were , have .
Black Women Lead the Charge
Not all African American voters favoured Democratic candidates, of course, but the proportion was high enough . Importantly, the proportion of Black women who voted for Trump was small and, , it was under half that of Black men.
Success Beyond the Election
The Black Lives Matter movement is much more expansive in its aims than either defeating Trump or putting a Democratic president in the White House.
Movement’s Strength Also Brings Out Republican Vote
The record-breaking turnout for Trump, especially given the appalling failure to manage the COVID crisis, suggests the successes of Black Lives Matter have also generated a parallel backlash.
Trump certainly used the visibility of the protests to anchor his campaign around anti-Black Lives Matter rhetoric and sentiment. He “LAW AND ORDER!” , in his trademark all caps. When asked in the presidential debates about racism and racial inequality, he pivoted to this theme.
Much More Work to Do
Anti-racist organisers knew long before Biden was even picked as the Democratic candidate it wouldn’t matter who won the White House, because true change comes only from grassroots activity.
The mission will be helped if the broad anti-racist coalition that seemed to emerge mid-year can be sustained, even without the galvanising presence of Trump in the White House.
By the same token, Republicans will hope their own successful “All Lives Matter” rhetoric and tactics can provide sufficient ballast to win the two seats and retain control of the Senate.
In the medium-term, activists nationwide will continue to work to mitigate the varied forms of voter suppression, because these disproportionately affect voters of colour. The apparent closeness of the presidential election – a produced by Republican state legislatures’ decision not to count mail-in ballots until election day – drew a great deal of attention to this widespread disenfranchisement.
(This is an opinion piece and the views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article here.)
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