Black vote the win(d) under Biden’s wings

Herb Boyd | 11/7/2020, 2:16 p.m. | Updated on 11/9/2020, 3:38 p.m.
What Rep. James Clyburn and Black voters in South Carolina started by igniting and salvaging Joe Biden’s presidential dream, the ...
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Adam Schultz / Biden for President photo
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President-Elect Joe Biden & Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris Address the Nation

What Rep. James Clyburn and Black voters in South Carolina started by igniting and salvaging Joe Biden’s presidential dream, the rest of the Black electorate finished.  Biden was on the ropes during the Democratic presidential nomination run before the primary in South Carolina and then everything began to change.

Then as Biden and Trump headed toward the finish line, the Black vote came to the rescue again in the heated battleground states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, with the vote in Georgia still uncalled but leaning toward Biden.

Michigan presents a good example of Biden’s appeal to Black voters. Take the five major counties in the state that comprise a large Black population, particularly Wayne County where Detroit is located, and you have more than half the nearly 3 million votes for Biden.  And like the other major metropolitan centers, the turnout of young Black voters in Michigan was unprecedented.

Overall, according to early exit polls, Biden received 87 percent of the Black vote, to Trump’s 12 percent. The number was even higher when the young Black vote is tabulated, at least by one percent.

In his first public address from Wilmington, Delaware, Biden with his vice-president-elect Kamala Harris in tow—buoyed by her several firsts--acknowledged the support he garnered from people of color, saving a special shout out to African Americans.  Biden polled more than 75 million votes, a record high as we go to press with 290 Electoral College votes.

He said he was proud of the campaign and proud of the coalition he put together, “The broadest and most diverse coalition in history,” he said. “Democrats, Republicans, Independents, progressives, moderates, conservatives, young, urban, suburban, rural, gay, straight, transgender, white, Latino, Asian, Native American. I mean it, especially those moments, especially those moments when this campaign was as low as damn, the African American community stood up again. You've always had my back and I'll have yours.”

There is already speculation that several African American women will be appointed to cabinet posts or to key administrative posts, including Susan Rice, Stacey Abrams, and possibly Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta.

Even so, getting the nation back on an even keel after four tumultuous years of Trump setbacks will take some time and cooperation, a task in need of Senate approval—and that remains an issue that awaits the outcome of the runoff senatorial election in Georgia.

Meanwhile, Trump, as expected is not going quietly into that good night, continuing to gripe and complain that the election was stolen, was rigged, and that he’s taking the matter to court.

Most pundits believe that he will not get any favor from the courts or state officials overseeing the vote, despite possible recounts.

Moreover, breaking news announced that Ben Carson, HUD Secretary, has tested positive for the coronavirus.  He had appeared at the White House for an election night event where Mark Meadows, the chief of staff was in attendance.  He had tested positive for Covid-19 the week before along with other White House aids.