Our democracy is in danger, folks. I don’t want to sound alarmist or histrionic, but we are in dangerous waters right now. Never have I seen so many Americans emboldened to say racist, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, antisemitic, and anti-LGBT sentiments. I am seeing more and more frightening videos of ordinary white Americans deputizing themselves to stop and harass people of color in stores, on the street, or just doing mundane activities while minding their own business.
What is so disturbing, but not surprising at all, is the vitriolic and incendiary language of the 45th president. Of course, he still believes in fanning the flames of white supremacy. I have sadly grown accustomed to his rhetoric over the years; he is going to say what he feels to try to inspire his followers. He will consistently try to scare them into believing they are losing “their country.” Rally after rally he uses racist dog whistles and now blatant statements to frighten his supporters into “fighting” for what is theirs. And in a nation that believes in selling guns and ammunition to anyone, this rhetoric is laying the foundation for violent responses, similar to what we saw on January 6, 2021. Sadly, that was likely a foreshadow of what is to come if the Republican party does not get their supporters under control.
What is even more disturbing, beyond the violent rhetoric of the former president and so many Republican candidates for office, is the absolute silence by prominent Republicans on the local, state, and national levels. Where are Mitch McConnell, Mitt Romney, Liz Cheney, Lindsey Graham, and Susan Collins? Why aren’t prominent Republicans denouncing these white nationalist statements against Blacks, Jews, Muslims, immigrants, and so many other groups?
When we go to the polls on November 8, 2022, we must remember that our freedom and our democracy are on the ballot. We must have qualified members of Congress who denounce far flung conspiracy theories. We must support candidates who have promised to uphold the Constitution and the will of the people, not the whims of the 45th president. We need people with courage, convictions, ideas, and dignity. We need people elected who care about this country and the future of this nation, both economically and ideologically.
I am ringing the alarm. We are in troubling times with some real dangerous people on the ballot. One need only look at the Republican Trump loving candidate for New York governor to see how the seeds of division know no geographic boundaries. We must vote, have a voting plan, and make sure everyone we know and love has a voting plan as well. We must educate ourselves and prepare for Tuesday November 8th like our lives depend on it. We have no time to waste—get to work.
Christina Greer, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Fordham University, the author of “Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream,” and the co-host of the podcast FAQ-NYC and host of The Blackest Questions podcast at TheGrio.