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WILLIAMS: Old Friends

Friends and friendships have always been valuable commodities in my life. Periods of absence of my friends have always left gaps in my sense of personal wholeness. Things always seem better when I have meaningful interaction with friends. Things are more complete when my life’s journey includes like-minded companions with whom mutually supportive goals are our basis in working for the achievement of a higher quality of life in our respective communities.

If you can understand these perspectives, you can understand the joy I experienced in watching the 2020 Democratic Party Virtual Convention. Each night I turned off my television with a more finely tuned sense of purpose. Each morning I awaken with a heightened spirit of possibilities. Although virtual, I was able to confirm the existence of hundreds, if not thousands, of citizens who also desire for a government based in truth, unity, and justice for all. Through their expressions, I realized that, although committed to the continual struggle, many had been worn and demoralized by the conflict and confusion generated by the current administration. Good news—relief can be a short ten weeks from us!

Of all the indicators of success in the coming election, I’m most inspired by the active engagement of Black women. Projections of overwhelming participation and support of the Biden-Harris team confirm the dedication of the most reliable block of voters in the Democratic arsenal. The significance of Kamala Harris as the vice-presidential candidate of the party is, undoubtedly, of great historic significance, but she’s just the first cog in the wheel of parity in diversity that our times now require, and that people are rightly demanding from our party.

Although inspirational, I hold no naïve ideas about perfection from the candidates for whom we vote. We should, however, be realistic in predicting the consequences of a continuing future with the current administration.

Most of us are thoroughly disgusted with the profane, racist, ignorant, uncaring words and behavior of those currently charged with leading our nation. They’ve demoralized our people and caused the loss of so many of our friends around the world. We have a leader who can rightly be blamed for most of what ails us now. Compliance with his policies by his puppets have allowed over 170,000 deaths of Americans from COVID-19. His response: “It is what it is!” Thirty million Americans are unemployed and the man in the White House only “speaks” support of a continuing lifeline to our citizens. That same man has crippled the post office we need to maximize voting opportunities. His deliberate efforts to suppress the vote acknowledge his understanding the policies of his party are mainly objectionable to so many Americans. Again, he’s hedging his bet with Russian interference in our election.

The theme advanced from the Democratic convention was the fact that, despite the negatives of #45, the election is not a gimme. If Democrats want it, more than Black people will have to work for it every day from now to Nov. 3 late into the night and maybe a few days later until all the votes are counted.

We mustn’t forget the inspirational words of these great speakers—especially the powerful women of whom I am so proud. How can any woman not be proud? We must use each word of promise as inspiration to do all we can to make Nov. 3 a glorious day for the American people that says, “Democrats have just shown us what America should look like in order to perfect our union.” Joe Biden is an old friend, and he has been through the years. We know Joe, but more important, Joe knows us, and he has for a very long time.

(Dr. E. Faye Williams is President of the National Congress of Black Women. She hosts “Wake Up and Stay Woke” on WPFW- 89.3 FM.)

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