Does Trump Leaving Office Mean Black Lives Finally Matter?
Updated: Jun 27, 2021
With Joe Biden projected to be the next U.S. president, many black people are feeling a rush of relief and excitement. The Biden-Harris ticket is historical, making Kamala Harris the first female vice president and the first Black, South-Asian vice president as well. Many people interpret the win as an end to most of the problems plaguing America right now, a more notable issue being race.
But is that sentiment accurate? Yes, there are many ways that Trump and his administration have heightened racial tension: his banning of critical race theory, his offensive, divisive rhetoric, his history of refusing to denounce white supremacists and their actions, his continued critique of the Black Lives Matter movement—the list goes on.
But the history of racial injustice going unchecked under presidents started long before Donald Trump: the criminalization of black and brown communities with a declared “war on drugs” during the Nixon administration, various crime bills that disproportionately affected black and brown communities during the Clinton administration, and even Obama’s defending of the Department of Justice’s decision to not charge the Ferguson police officer responsible for the death of Michael Brown.
Unfortunately, this will continue if we do not keep applying pressure on politicians to actively correct injustice. Racism is so woven into everyday aspects of life that one socially aware administration alone cannot abruptly bring an end to it.
Plus, Biden has big fish to fry with handling the coronavirus pandemic, climate change, and simply reversing some of the drastic changes that Trump has put in place. The Black Lives Matter movement is exactly what it sounds like, a movement to prove and reiterate that Black Lives Matter.
Unfortunately, it is up to us to keep up the fight. Keep emailing and calling your representatives, donate to bail bonds, have conversations with your families who don’t quite believe that systemic racism exists, read books to educate yourselves, and do not let the conversation die.