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Dear America, we have a new President & Vice President Elect

I was in Carolina Beach, North Carolina. It was the day after my 30th birthday. I laid on the beach reading the book “The Subtle Art of not Giving a F*ck”; (Good read, especially for someone just hitting the big 3-0), when an older white woman, accompanied by her friend’s dog walks up to us.

According to her, she saw the title of my book and knew I’d be excited to hear the news. (I guess the title gave liberal vibes). She came over and said “hey, did you hear the news?” Me and Johnny looked up at her and asked, “what news?”

“Biden won. He’s going to be the President. They just called it!” I evolved from being anxious to watch the election results on the 3rd to spending the weekend constantly refreshing my phone to see the updated results. But of course, the one time I was relaxing and off my phone, the election is called.

She was incredibly happy. We talked and laughed with her for a while, learned why she was in town, her thoughts on everything and then she went about her day.

As soon as she left, we grabbed our phones to look up the results. It was Pennsylvania that pushed the electorate. The result was 274 to 214 in Biden’s favor. Johnny and I talked about the implications of the election, what this meant and the fact that the election was so close.

Yes, I was happy about the win, but I was also pondering what this all meant. Personally, I projected a lot onto this election. For one, I have been in a space where I was questioning if morals mattered; does right and wrong matter, when being right, or honest did not seem to be getting people far. These thoughts came partly because of what has been going on in the White House and Congress, but also things that were transpiring around me. Two, was accountability still a thing?

My mom always told us to do what was right; be honest; be kind; think for yourself; love people. That is what will prevail. But it has been a while since I have seen those things play out fully. So a vote for Biden, in my eyes, was beyond the economy, beyond party lines and beyond the intentional socialist messaging. It was a vote for basic human decency—an inclusive America. It was a vote for logic, science, facts, hope for semi-truth and a vote against fear mongering and voter suppression. It was a vote for hoping America will be seen as a world leader again…possibly?

Now, I am not naïve. I am not saying that a Biden win will solve all problems, or that America has ever been near perfect. But I do believe it is a step in the right direction of healing and preserving democracy. We were on a fast and sure fire path to autocracy.

This historical Biden Harris ticket is an undeniably symbolic ticket. There’s Joseph Biden who has run for president three times. Finally, he wins after 32 years. Never give up. Kamala Harris, born to immigrants (like myself), Howard educated (like myself) first minority and only woman to be second in command of the Free World. Dreams do come true. This ticket symbolizes possibilities.

There is a lot of work that needs to be done, but also a lot of undoing. Of course we will have to make sure the work gets done. We will have to keep the newly elected President and Vice President's feet to the fire. But I believe they have an honest intent and a sense of duty to the people who voted for them and those who did not. I am confident I would not be saying the same of a second Trump term.

This win, for me, is redemption. Perhaps it restores my faith in the American people, it’s ability to course correct. Maybe it gives me a stronger belief in Democracy. Perhaps the win was a reconciliation that my mom is still right—be honest, be kind, do what’s right. Maybe I am just happy to have a President and Vice President who don’t seem so cold or distant to one another; or maybe I'm excited about the re-introduction of the word unity back into American politics. It could be all of those things at once, or none of it at all. I am still sorting it out.

I do know what has transpired over the past four years has been stomach churning. There were a lot of days where I was disgusted about the rhetoric. The events were astonishing. I was even more amazed at the fact that more people were not outraged. I was amazed that there seemed to be a deep preference of economy over people; hate over love; and exclusion over inclusion. It was absolutely disheartening.

And while I do not understand how there are people who see Donald Trump as redeemable, or president worthy, I will not vilify them. I will try not to perpetuate that. However, I will acknowledge that our mindsets are vastly different.

With Biden winning, I have hope for better days. Most times, in the darkest times, hope is what fuels us to keep going, to not despair. I know that there are skeptics and I know (based on the numbers) that a little less than half of the voting population is not happy with the outcome of the election. To them I say give it a chance. We gave Trump Pence a chance to make their case. Give Biden Harris a chance to make their case.

A group of guys pitched their umbrella next to us. They came to fish. The waves were big. There were guys surfing. We had no idea with waves so choppy ocean fishing was possible. They caught about 50 fish the day before and kept about twenty. One of them also mentioned that my book was a “f*cking awesome read”.

While we were talking to them, the older lady circled back. This time Johnny played with the dog while we talked. In the middle of us talking, one of the guys came over with a medium-sized fish in his hand and said “see, we got a fish!” We watched beach goers struggling all morning. They were not catching anything. These guys were there for maybe five minutes and had already caught a fish. He was excited to show us. We were excited to see. As a collective, we were all excited, us, the older lady and them. He went back and threw the fish in their cooler.

The woman wished me a happy birthday. I wished her blessings on her friend getting better. We parted ways for the final time. Smiles all around. This is the kind of America I want to continue seeing.

Let’s get to work.

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