Op-EdOpinion

WILLIAMS: Our Political Realignment

Nancy Pelosi laid out clearly what Democrats must do. Watching her handle a press conference was such a contrast after seeing the angry, silly, untruthful, bragging, disrespectful press conference by #45, whose name is not worth calling because it is so filled with pollution. What a relief it is to have a potential Speaker stand up to #45 — and have the power to block some of his childish antics!

Obviously, my heart was broken when it became apparent that we would not be able to celebrate the election of Mayor Andrew Gillum or Stacey Abrams for governor or Beto O’Rourke for the U.S. Senate. Those results harkened the bitter memories of the voter suppression, racial hatred and overtly racist acts I experienced in my own run for Congress in deeply red Louisiana. Sadly, a majority of this racism came from my own party.

I upset the image. I was both a woman and Black, and White Democrats had not seen such a candidate before. Louisiana was still firmly in the grip of the “Old South” mentality. And, as James Baldwin said, “Segregation may be practically gone, but the funeral is still going on.”

During this campaign, the spirit of racial animus was resurrected in full force. In Florida and Georgia, high-quality Democratic candidates were defeated by those who placed their delusional racist reasoning over their own interests and the interests of those they claim to love. In Beto’s case, the racists thought he might actually help the underserved.

Now, let’s talk about the good stuff. Democrats regained the House of Representatives. People, who are inclined to support our community, won many local elections.

Though not truly complete, the efforts of many women were rewarded with victory. More than 100 women were elected. Among them, three Black, two Muslim, two Native American, and a Palestinian woman! Now that women know we can win, future victories are assured.

It’s a shame that instead of welcoming diversity, many have gone out of their way to reject it — some in a violent way. We’ve seen white males in horrendous acts over the past few weeks. They’ve killed 11 innocent worshippers in a Pittsburgh synagogue and sent shock waves of fear through that community and the nation; Two innocent people fell victim in a yoga studio in Florida; and two innocent Black people were gunned down at a Kentucky grocery store. This very same indifference to justice and honor was mirrored by the secretary of state, who was sufficiently arrogant as to try to sell us the idea he could fairly and impartially manage an election in which he was a principal. Oh, how they try to stop our progress!

Despite these inexcusable infractions and the fact that our preferred candidates did not win, we must hold to the belief that the arch of the pendulum swings toward justice. Horrible acts of domestic terrorism and #45’s immoral distortion of our national character and the TRUTH will not overshadow the insight, courage and bravery of those citizens who work unceasingly for the goal of perfecting our union.

Florida offered us little to cheer about in recent elections, but its voters have offered a ray of hope for the future. They approved the restoration of voting rights to felons who have paid their debt to society. In the midst of chaos, we continue the struggle to bring about equal justice for all. We must be willing to continue, because we’re not there yet. Perhaps this minor political realignment will start the process of moving us from the chaos wrought by #45 and some of his followers to a more perfect national coexistence.

Williams is national president of the National Congress of Black Women, Inc.

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