History Lost in History

What if…Hillary Clinton had won the 2016 election?

I’ll never forget the celebration that overtook New York City on Nov. 7, 2020, when Joe Biden officially defeated incumbent Donald Trump for the presidency of the United States. My whole neighborhood exploded in parties and celebrations that swarmed so many streets of the city — and so many cities across the nation. There was a palpable sense of relief, all the sweeter when contrasted to the day Donald Trump won the election over Hillary Clinton in 2016. That day, it rained, and I trudged around McCarren Park in Brooklyn with a good friend as we wondered what the future would hold.

I’d like to take us back to 2016, but to a different version of it: one in which Trump lost and Clinton won. What would the world look like today if that had happened? 

Other than Clinton making history as America’s first female president, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Right now, I wonder how different might the US’s response to Covid-19 have looked under Clinton and a Democratic administration? The world may truly never know what she would have done and if lives may have been saved had a different person held the Oval Office, but what is true is that in 2018 the team responsible for pandemic preparedness was partly disbanded.

It’s quite possible had that not happened, America’s response to the pandemic would have been different: perhaps the debate surrounding masking, lockdowns, and vaccine promotion campaigns would have been handled with less controversy. Under Clinton, we probably wouldn’t have had a president who refused to wear a mask, adding fuel to the fire of anti-maskers. 

Other than Clinton making history as America’s first female president, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

But even further back, if Trump had not been elected, I would not have joined the 2017 Women’s March in New York, because it likely wouldn’t have been as necessary as it was at the time (not surprisingly under Trump, the #MeToo Movement was in full swing).

Politically, Clinton is the very opposite of Trump. To mention a few of her stances, she is pro-abortion, pro-marriage equality, and pro-DACA. Life might have looked so different under her administration that just reading this Ballotpedia entry about her campaign kind of made me weepy. 

Other potential differences involve the Supreme Court. At least two current justices, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, were appointed by Trump. If Clinton had won she would have been the person appointing both those justices, leading to a strong liberal majority instead of the current conservative, mostly-anti abortion Supreme Court.

If you’ve been following US politics lately, you’ll know that the Supreme Court was involved in a Texas case penalizing abortion providers after six weeks by…refusing to get involved and blocking the law. Now, they may be reviewing cases directly concerning Roe V. Wade, meaning abortion rights are currently on the line. When abortion rights are called into question, women’s rights themselves are at risk. Given Clinton’s stance on abortion, if she had been elected president we likely wouldn’t be having these conversations at all.

Of course, Clinton is not just a politician, but a human, and she would have made mistakes had she become the 45th president in 2017. Even Biden, whom we cheered and celebrated, has made critical errors: notably, the handling of the chaotic removal of US troops from Afghanistan, a lack of follow-through on campaign promises such as student loan forgiveness, and his failure in reducing the border crisis. 

No one can achieve all the promises they make as a candidate. And no one is perfect, meaning some of the promises will have flawed foundations. 

But here’s the thing: I believe in my heart of hearts that Hillary Clinton would have been a less destructive president than Donald Trump was. If for no other reason than the Supreme Court, which has outsized power in US politics, looking differently under her administration, we would have been better off had Democrats been victorious in 2016. 

We can’t change the past now. It’s written. All we can do is change the present to affect the future. And I hope the next time we face a chaotic election 2016’s, that we make the right choices. 

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The Environment Politics The World Policy

Joe Manchin’s decision to block Biden’s climate bill is shortsighted and dangerous

Joe Manchin, a Democratic senator from West Virginia, has made headlines over the past week for objecting to a key part of President Biden’s climate bill. According to NPR, the portion of the bill Manchin opposes would “financially reward utilities that transition to renewable energy and penalize those which do not.” This is a key aspect of the bill that would apparently cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, which trap heat in the planet and warm it. 

Manchin, on the surface, is looking out for his constituents and saving the country money — in 2019, nearly 20,000 West Virginians were employed by the coal industry, and the state was surpassed only by Wyoming in coal production. In addition, Manchin has reportedly indicated he is trying to keep the country from spending money unnecessarily. The Guardian reported that “Manchin has called the bill’s spending ‘reckless’ and said it ‘makes no sense’ to pay utilities to increase their share of renewable energy when they are doing so already.”

But his decision to stand in the way of climate change reduction efforts, and the gradual retirement of coal production, is ultimately shortsighted as the detrimental impact of coal on the environment far outweighs any potential benefits in the short-term. Biden’s bill originally intended to slowly retire the coal industry, which impacts the environment in two major ways. In some states, including W.Va, mining involves detonating the tops of mountains, changing the landscape and often sending pollutants into streams and other waterways. In addition, burning coal results in emissions of harmful gases, including carbon dioxide. Some of the effects of these emissions include acid rain, a warming globe, and neurological or developmental damage brought about by the release of mercury and similar heavy metals.

Manchin’s refusal to get on board with the climate plan means that Biden doesn’t have all 50 Democratic senators on his side. The Senate is currently split evenly down the middle, with 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats or Independents who vote (caucus) with the Democratic agenda. The tie will then broken by Vice President Kamala Harris. If just one member of the Democratic caucus breaks ranks, the Democratic agenda is without sufficient votes, because it’s highly unlikely that in today’s Trump-driven Republican atmosphere any member of the GOP would vote with Democrats.

Manchin’s steadfast refusal to bend has far-reaching consequences, meaning that the bill’s climate agenda will need to be significantly altered or even watered down. The thing is, every decision we make (or don’t make) today impacts the world of the future. I’m not a scientist, and I can’t bend my imagination to understand just what the world will look like if we don’t make any changes. But others have used their science and imagination to figure this out for me, and the picture they paint isn’t just ugly, it’s downright terrifying. Scientists are warning that much of what the world experienced this summer — from raging wildfires and droughts to floods and hurricanes — could continue and even get worse if we don’t change the way we treat the world.

While Manchin’s spokespeople have said they are trying to save the U.S. government money, indicating many companies are already moving in the direction the bill intends and thus do not need to be incentivized, nearly every article on the subject points out W.Va’s reliance on the coal industry as well as Manchin’s own ties to it. The truth of the matter is, whether Manchin’s reasons are the ones stated (a desire to not spend money on companies allegedly already taking their own steps) or whether the rationale is more nefarious (the senator has made millions from a coal company and raised astronomical amounts of funds from members of the fossil fuel industry), it is ultimately foolish.

The research has all been done to prove that we need to change our actions in order to keep the planet from warming even more than it already has. Manchin’s refusal to think innovatively and problem-solve is in no one’s best interests but his own, and only for a short period. If the planet continues in its current direction, with climate disaster upon disaster, all the saved money and jobs in the world will be worth very little during a climate apocalypse. 


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Editor's Picks Activism Race The World Inequality

58 years later, Martin Luther King’s words ring true: “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”

In 1963, Martin Luther King wrote a letter from a Birmingham, Alabama jail cell after being imprisoned there for participating in a peaceful protest against segregationist laws. King’s letter of 7,000 words over 21 pages quickly became some of his most famous written work.

During his time in jail, King reflected on Black people’s continued fight for liberation, why the demonstrations of the fifties and sixties were vital for Black people’s survival, and the need for accountability and allyship from “liberal” white America. King decided to write this letter to address criticism from white religious leaders who felt the civil rights demonstrations King was leading were “unwise and untimely.” A very familiar sentiment white Americans, on both sides of the political spectrum, use to critique Black civil rights movements to this day.

King was released from jail shortly after writing the letter and immediately returned to his activism in Birmingham. Notably, two weeks after his release, on May 5, 1963, over 1,000 children participated in the Children’s Crusade, skipping school to demand integration and equal rights. In response to the protest, Birmingham’s Commissioner of Public Safety ordered dogs and fire hoses to be used against those who participated; as a result, 600 children were jailed and brutalized on that day. The excessive use of police force exerted against child protesters had been broadcasted on television, thus horrifying the rest of America in the process. 

Martin Luther King famously stated in his letter, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” and at the moment, injustice in America lives all around us.

However, although America was seemingly disgusted by the horrific images they saw, their horror was short lasted, as there was very little tangible change surrounding racial power structures in America after the shock died down. People instead remained complicit in the ways in which white supremacy continued to viciously brutalize Black Americans.

Given the now-infamous storming of the capitol in the name of fascism enacted by white supremacists and Trump supporters from earlier this month as well as the global uprisings in support of Black Lives Matter from last summer, I found it necessary to reflect on King’s letter today. Like the white liberals King fired back at almost sixty years ago, many people on social media similarly criticized Black Lives Matter protestors and demonstrations; saying there are better ways or more appropriate times to get our demands for equality across. And, in a familiar fashion, critics of Black Lives Matter protests made these critiques without giving any alternatives to what they perceive would have been a better way for Black people to advocate for justice.

What is more eerily similar is how the capitol riots were broadcasted on television in real-time, and Americans again watched white people commit acts of violence in horror, only for calls to “just move on and let go” for the sake of unity to arrive from US senators hours after the “insurrection” occurred. Another stark contrast to how the BLM protests in the summer were treated.

Adding insult to injury, tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter protestors have been arrested since last summer. More specifically, approximately 14,000 BLM protestors have been arrested across 49 of the 50 United States so far according to a Forbes article. All of which further highlights how so little has fundamentally changed about the race and power dynamics in this country over the past six decades.

Black people fighting for equality are still criminalized harsher than white supremacists.

58 years after MLK’s letter from that Birmingham jail, and Black people fighting for equality are still criminalized harsher than white supremacists. In addition, when Black people lead civil rights protests, we’re still being held to higher standards of behavior, decency, and respectability compared to white people who enact domestic terrorism. 58 years and Black people are still putting our bodies on the line in the name of freedom and simply wanting to be a respected part of America’s democracy. So, what do we do about it?

In a couple of days, President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn into office; however, we cannot ignore the existence of Trump’s supporters and white supremacists simply because Trump is out of office. As Martin Luther King famously stated in his letter, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” and at the moment, injustice in America lives all around us. Many of the people who committed criminal offenses at the capitol were seemingly “average” and “unsuspecting” racist white people who take up spaces in schools, as medical staff, in office-related work environments, in law enforcement, military, and more that negatively impact Black people’s lives.

For example, Black women are up to 3 times as likely to die from pregnancy-related causes compared to white women due to medical racism. Black students are 4 times more likely to be suspended from school and almost 3 times as likely to be expelled compared to white students. Black people make up 13% of the US population but account for 42% of people on death row and 35% of those executed; similarly, in 2018 Black people accounted for 33% of the prison population in America, nearly triple our general population. Black trans women have high mortality rates, and therefore have a life expectancy of 35-years-old. In workplaces, Black women are paid 38% less than white men and 21% less than white women. Needless to say, Black people are constantly subjected to harmful and life-threatening racism, in every facet of our lives, at the disposition of white supremacy.

Martin Luther King said, “justice delayed is justice denied.”

All of us should now see clearer than ever the oppressive double standards for how Black people are treated in the US compared to whites. To achieve true equality, racism must be addressed and rooted out in both liberal and conservative spaces. Additionally, Americans must hold our elected officials accountable for their participation in white supremacy and force them to earnestly denounce racism as well as create laws that provide equity for Black people. We cannot just keep moving on when white nationalists display themselves because we’re consequently allowing the same racial injustices to be forgotten for the sake of white people’s comfort or for fear of making the country “more divisive.”

However, the focus needs to be less on white comfort and more on vehemently ensuring Black people’s survival. Martin Luther King said, “justice delayed is justice denied.” So, how much longer are we going to continue allowing racism to not only exist but prosper so blatantly before we’ve decided enough is enough?


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USA 2020 Elections Activism Politics Race The World Inequality

Uplifting Black people is the best way to thank Stacey Abrams

Thanks to the efforts of Black organizers and activists, the state of Georgia has made many historical wins regarding their recent Senate races. Notably, it’s been almost 30 years since Georgia was a blue state. Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff won in their respective races, on Tuesday night, to tie the United States senate 50-50 between Demoract and Republican seats. This means when the Senate votes on important political issues, Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris will break ties if there is one, becoming the deciding factor on what policies get approved or thrown out.

Additionally, Rev. Warnock will be the first Black senator to represent Georgia, the eleventh Black senator overall to serve in America, and the second Black senator from the south since The Reconstruction Era. In his victory speech, Warnock acknowledged the historical significance of his win stating, “The other day, the 82-year-old hands that used to pick somebody else’s cotton went to the polls and picked her youngest son to be a United States senator.” In addition, 33-year-old Ossoff will be the youngest person to hold a seat in the senate since Joe Biden won Deleware in 1973 at 30-years-old.

Needless to say, Black women came through for the Democratic party. Again. As has been highlighted many times, Stacey Abrams has been fighting against voter suppression since her governor loss in 2018 and has since registered an estimated 800,000 Georgia citizens to vote. Stacey Abrams’ organization Fair Fight that emphasizes voter empowerment for Black people along with others such as Black Voters Matter, The New Georgia Project, and The People’s Agenda carefully and tirelessly strategized to advocate for Black voters in the south. 

So, these monumental Democratic wins for Biden, Harris, Ossoff, and Warnock are a result of the groundwork Black people did, fighting to take back our democracy since Donald Trump’s unsavory presidential win in 2016. These major wins also further highlight how Black women are indeed the backbone of the Democratic Party as well as the importance of political groundwork, in-person interaction, and community care to progress the political framework of the American government. 

Black organizers have been focused in Georgia for years before the rest of America invested attention in the state after it became a battleground in the 2020 presidential election. However, it’s been noted the way Black female political figures tend to become idealized by white Americans after the rest of the country can reap the benefits of Black women’s work. 

For example, people praised Kamala Harris during her vice presidential debate with Mike Pence last October when she continuously asserted her will by not allowing him to speak over her. And people are now praising, in a hyper-romanticized sort of way, Stacey Abrams, similar to the way they did Kamala, for all of the work she’s done for the Democratic Party. The praise in itself isn’t the problem; however, it is uncloaking a pattern of behavior rooted in misogynoir.

It feels as though white people will only allot praise to Black women when our efforts are beneficial to them. Whereas Black women elsewhere still tend to get talked over, overlooked, and accused of being angry, difficult, or combative when we advocate for or defend ourselves. Abrams herself has denounced this sentiment of being a magical savior for the Democratic Party in a New York Times article stating, “I chafe at this idea that we then objectify one group as both [the] savior and as [the] responsible party.”

Democrats won those senate races in Georgia because Black women organizers and activists fought hard through voter suppression and historical disenfranchisement to ensure Black people’s voices were heard. Political efforts on the ground from Stacey Abrams, Felicia Davis, Helen Butler, Nsé Ufot, and other Black women across Southern states aided in numerous crucial Democratic wins. White liberals were ready to give up on Georgia when Abrams lost in 2018, but she stayed to fight the suppression that cost her the governor seat.

The many successes for Democrats are after years of racism, disenfranchisement, and oppression on the Black community. So, don’t romanticize our work, offer to support us instead. 

Black people are often forced to move mountains with little resources. People must seek to financially support Black grassroots organizations, create or donate to scholarships for Black youth, and/or aid in investing in community care benefitting the Black community. Also, head how the Black women in your lives are treated. Uplift the voices of your Black female colleagues or friends when they need it. It’s likely that as you praise the likes of Abrams and Harris on social media for their strength, the Black women in your lives are being chastised for the same reasons.

Furthermore, Black women continue to do standout work in American politics, but we are also not your political work mules to be praised only when it benefits others. Rather, we are people who are oppressed and in search of freedom however we can get it. The best way to thank Stacey Abrams and other Black female organizers for their efforts is by continuously showing up and being an ally for Black people everywhere and in anyway way you can. As I’ve said before, the work of achieving true equality continues, and the road towards liberation will be made easier if and when we are all engaged in this work together.

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USA 2020 Elections Politics The World

Trump concedes victory to Biden after the assault on the Capitol, but is it enough?

A day after the assault on the US Capitol that could’ve belonged to an apocalyptic movie, and two months after the 2020 US election was called, President Donald Trump has admitted defeat and accepted a transition of power.

But can we believe him? Probably no.

In a statement released overnight, Trump said: “Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless, there will be an orderly transition on January 20th. I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again.”

If we are able to ignore the fact that he still maintains his false belief that the election was rigged, and that he described his term as “the greatest first term in presidential history” despite the 361,000 COVID-19 deaths and the major social justice upheavals that occurred during his presidency, then yes, he did, for the first time, state that there would be a peaceful transition of power.

Yes, he conceded the election; but he never said he lost it.

Only two hours after the Senate and the Congress met at the US Capitol to certify Joe Biden’s victory, Trump held a rally where he encouraged his supporters to “walk down to the Capitol” and “show strength”, stating that “you will never take back our country with weakness.” He told them the election was being manipulated and stolen before their very eyes. All blatant lies that he knew would light the fire that he had been building on for months, even years. Moreover, before the president took the stage, his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani publicly called for “trial by combat” against the Democrats to win the election.

White supremacy is on display in the US Capitol

Encouraged by the President (or, at least, not discouraged by him), rioters marched up and into the US Capitol building, vandalized the whole place, draped a Trump flag over the Capitol balcony and paraded, for the first time in history, confederate flags around its corridors. The situation reached a crisis point, where police guards had to draw guns, and four people were killed.

Despite this brutal attack on the US institutions, and on democracy itself, 80 members of the House of Representatives, led by Senator Josh Hawley, still challenged the election results from Pennsylvania, unsuccessfully.

Nonetheless, some Republicans did stand up to Trump. Senator Kelly Loeffler, who was originally planning on objecting to the certification of the results from Georgia, changed her mind when the session was recalled. “The events that have transpired today have forced me to reconsider, and I cannot now in good conscience object to the certification of these electors,” she said. Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney tweeted after the assault: “What happened at the U.S. Capitol today was an insurrection, incited by the President of the United States.” Ex-Republican President George Bush, also condemned Trump’s conduct, although he did not name names: “I am appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions, and our law enforcement. The violent assault on the Capitol — and disruption of a Constitutionally-mandated meeting of Congress — was undertaken by people whose passions have been inflamed by falsehoods and false hopes.”

Several members of the Trump administration have also resigned in the last few hours including Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Deputy National Security Adviser Matt Pottingerthe First Lady’s Chief of Staff Stephanie Grisham, the Commerce Department’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Security John Costello, along with a press aide and the White House social secretary. No word from higher officials, nonetheless.

Eventually, Biden’s victory in the 2020 US elections was certified, and democracy was protected. Or was it?

At the moment the United States is facing two questions: Will Trump be impeached? And will he leave the White House peacefully, as promised? In summary: will a President that promoted a coup face any consequences for his actions?

Following the events on Wednesday, multiple Democrats wrote a letter to Vice-President Pence urging the invocation of the 25th amendment to remove Trump from office. Several media outlets have supported the decision.  At the same time, Ilhan Omar has presented a resolution of impeachment and called her colleagues to introduce the resolution.  60 of them have already signed it. “Every single hour that Donald Trump remains in office, our country, our democracy, and our national security remain in danger,” she wrote. Later in the day, Nancy Pelosi stated that the impeachment process will begin if the President is not removed under the 25th amendment.

If anyone expects Trump to resign, wake up; where do you think you’ve been for the past four years? No, Trump will not resign, nor he should.

If the United States and, in particular, the Republican party, wants to show that the respect towards its laws and its democracy is still intact, it should force the President out of office in the next two weeks.

In order for that to happen, Pence and the majority of Trump’s cabinet would need to declare that Trump is unable to perform the duties of the presidency and remove him under the terms of the 25th amendment, according to Paul Campos, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Colorado. Pence would then become President until January 20th. However, Trump would still have a chance to declare that he is capable of resuming the job, and the matter would be taken to Congress. Although Congress would need a two-thirds majority of both chambers of Congress to maintain the impeachment, Pence would be President until the issue is voted on, so the House could delay the voting until after Biden’s swearing.

In contrast to the process of impeachment, this process would immediately remove Trump from office, should Pence be brave enough to enact it. If he doesn’t, the fate of the United States will rest upon that feared 20th January, and the hope that the President is willing to leave without a tantrum.


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USA Editor's Picks 2020 Elections The World

White supremacy is on display in the US Capitol

As I am writing this, the Capitol of the United States is under siege. During the certification of the electoral college vote, thousands of ‘Proud Boys’ and Trump supporters have descended on the hill with two goals in mind: to stop the vote and cause chaos. The rioters breached the building by breaking through windows with shields and climbing through. Many of those who joined the mob were heavily armed and have reportedly pulled out their guns and fired shots.

Watching this play out is a surreal experience. The past four years of the Trump presidency has been marred with police brutality and blatant racism. The KKK has resurged incomprehensibly all the while the President himself has consistently used decisive and dangerous rhetoric which encouraged the kind of visceral we are seeing today. Joe Biden’s win in November incited a catalyst in which Trump objected to the integrity of Democracy and has used Twitter as well as his base to argue that the election was stolen from him and, in effect, America has been stolen from the people. The events that we are all currently watching are what white America does when it doesn’t get its way. It is an eleventh-hour attempt by the MAGA militia to give the election back to ‘the true winner’ and away from the “liars.”

In reality, however, this demonstration is a disorderly assault on American Democracy and one of the largest domestic terrorist threats of our time. 

What has really struck me is the lack of work and preparation from security forces, particularly in contrast with the civil rights protests from the summer. The Black Lives Matter protests were met with riot shields, tear gas, rubber bullets, and oftentimes military forces. At the time, streets were filled with tear gas to a point where a fog had descended and protestors could barely see through the smoke. Some activists even lost an eye after being severely pelted with rubber bullets.

This demonstration is a disorderly assault on American Democracy and one of the largest domestic terrorist threats of our time. 

In sharp contrast, only the Capitol Police, who in hindsight did the bare minimum, were present when unhinged terrorists stormed onto and raided a building that is meant to be a beacon of Democracy. In fact, there are live images of them watching the rioters from the balconies in minimal gear. If these were Black people, many would have been harassed and brutalized 20 minutes in with the police wearing military-grade protection. This doesn’t just show white privilege but white power. Law enforcement is certainly at fault for much of what took place today, and speaks to its level of complicity with this behavior.

Such lack of action paints a sobering picture of who those in power deem a threat. On Capitol Hill today we saw an overwhelming number of white armed bodies, mainly male, who were widely not viewed as a threat even after weeks of organizing and making their intention to be violent clear. Meanwhile, when peaceful Black Lives Matter protestors, mostly consisting of Black bodies, took to the streets over the summer to denounce white supremacy, police brutality, and the state violence, they were attacked and berated. The harsh reasoning behind this contrast and ultimate inaction is the seed of white supremacy which has been planted irreversibly at the root of our society. The rioters on the Capitol are fighting a legitimate election that has been counted multiple times during which the US President consistently held that the votes were fraudulent – a claim that many courts have thrown out. They are domestic terrorists emboldened by Trump’s inflammatory, seditious and false rhetoric. This was not a spontaneous coup, in fact the hate it so vehemently and deeply projects has been brewing for centuries.

This was not a spontaneous coup, in fact the hate it so vehemently and deeply projects has been brewing for centuries.

The biggest question I have been reflecting today is what is the result for American democracy? The US itself has openly and proudly invaded other countries which have had similar events take place, claiming the urgent need to preserve democracy. If this was any other state, the US would have surely invaded, and denounced the demonstrations as anti-democratic, vicious, or uncivilized. If the bodies ‘protesting’ weren’t white, then blood would be dripping from Capitol Hill. But the question remains, if this is the democracy the US wants to transport to the rest of the world, why should we accept it?

Thinking back again to the protests around BLM and more specifically police brutality, the call for the abolishment of the police was met with the slogan #BlueLivesMatter. Of course, the implication being that police officers are also victims, and the BLM protests failed to recognize their sacrifice. The very same people who so proudly shouted Blue Lives Matter then, are committing acts of violence against the Capitol Police today. They argued that people should ‘respect the cops and you won’t get killed’ but are now fighting, punching, and kicking those same officers. The BLM protest had nothing to do with disrespecting the police and everything to do with Black people demanding actions which would ensure human rights. This makes clear that what was seen as offensive to the white population had nothing to do with lack law and order, and everything to do with race.

The harsh reasoning behind this contrast and ultimate inaction is the seed of white supremacy which has been planted irreversibly at the root of our society.

Perhaps one of the most sobering images I have seen from todays events was the Confederate flag being flown in the Senate Chambers. This horrid flag stands as a personification of white power and white control. No one who cares for racial equality looks to the Confederate flag with anything but disgust. The message the flag bearer, who was surrounded by anarchists claiming to be ‘real Americans,’ intended to send was clear: white supremacy is alive and well in the United States, and they will go to great lengths to restore dangerous ideologies they so passionately believe in.

These events aren’t new either. Coups have taken place all over the world when citizens and in some cases the military have been dissatisfied and taken over the government. The US has always flown in as the beacon of liberty and democracy and, with its military force, attempted to solve the issue. Time and time again we have heard ‘this isn’t America’ – but it IS America. When white America has been unable to get what it wants it historically responds with violence. Think of the Tulsa Race Massacre or the Massacre at Wounded Knee as examples.

After much time and convincing, and after most of the damage had taken place, the President went on TV and asked the rioters to return home. He did so while reiterating that the election was stolen, stoking more violence, and called them ‘special people’. He also told the terrorists that he ‘loved them.’ There was no denouncement of their actions nor did he oppose any future action. The statement was pathetic. Throughout the height of the violence, he sat and watched. Fascists will not stop fascist movements, however, so I am not surprised that authorities allowed this coup to continue for as long as it did.

The wrong use of language hasn’t helped either. Many news outlets and tweeters have referred to the rioters as protestors; this is intentional. When we hear protesters we automatically tend to support them because protests largely happen against oppressive regimes. Let me be clear: these are not protestors but domestic terrorists. They refuse to accept a legitimate election and have chosen to attempt a coup and to destroy the democratic system. As one would expect, BLM was referred to as a riot. This automatically painted people peacefully protesting for equal rights as criminals and vandals. Language is important in the way we interpret a cause. In this way, white people are again falsely seen as a beacon of civility against the Black criminal rioter due in large part to language.

The last time the US saw this level of attack on government was in 1776, the same year it gained independence from Britain. Not even during the Civil War has democratic buildings been attacked in such a manner as we saw today. If today’s events have shown anything it’s the extent to which white extremists will go to voice their concerns. It highlights the importance of carrying on the fight for equality. The day Biden won, people cried. It was finally over, it felt that they were no longer at war for the basic right to live. We should look at the events of today and begin to dismantle the white supremacy which infects America like a plague and start to bring justice to people who have been ignored and brutalized for so long.


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USA 2020 Elections The World

Dr. Jill Biden is not “flaunting” her title

On December 11th, the Wall Street Journal published an opinion piece by Joseph Epstein, titled “Is There a Doctor in the White House? Not if You Need an M.D.” that received a generous amount of feedback, to say the least. In his piece, he referred to the future First Lady as “kiddo.” He also indicated that her professional title, Dr. Jill Biden, as fraudulent and comedic. As you can see, the overall tone of the piece was misogynist, demeaning, and disrespectful.

Dr. Jill Biden has been an American educator for over three decades. She is not just a wife, mother, or grandmother. She also is certainly not your “kiddo.” Dr. Biden received her undergraduate degree at the University of Delaware in 1975. She went on to earn a master’s degree from West Chester University and Villanova University. Lastly, Dr. Biden earned her Doctorate in Education from the University of Delaware in January of 2007. Her dissertation was titled, “Student Retention at the Community College Level: Meeting Students’ Needs,” and focused on maximizing student retention in community colleges, which Epstein called unpromising.

Although people are not fainting and passing out anymore to receive their doctorates like was mentioned in Epstein’s article, it does not mean they are meaningless, or those doctorates have not been earned. While earning my undergraduate degree in Media Studies at the University of Virginia, I worked on my thesis for two years and stayed up many nights to get it done. I cried a few times from stress during the progress, but I pushed through.

Most of all, I gained a deep appreciation and respect for my professors and the professionals that have pursued this path. I received a small glimpse of what it is like to do the work to earn a Ph.D. or a doctorate, and I can assure you that it takes a lot of time, dedication, commitment, and sacrifice.

It is clear from the title and the tone of the article it was structured in a way to grab readers’ attention.  Epstein wanted a reaction.  He wanted his opinion on Educational Doctorates and the prestige of doctorates to be heard. But is this an excuse to be misogynist and sexist in the process? Is it also an excuse for him to undermine her work on maximizing student retention in community colleges?

No, it is not.

Additionally, would Joseph Epstein have said the exact same things if Dr. Jill Biden was male? Do you think he would have written this piece that specifically mentions Dr. Biden if she was not going to be the First Lady of the United States?

I have a feeling that the answers to these questions would also be no.

Of course, academia and institutions need to be critiqued and questioned. Research and dissertations are allowed to be critiqued and questioned as well. However, this opinion piece is not the way to do so. I doubt that we should be simply listening to the wise man that said no one should call himself “doctor” unless he has delivered a child. It is 2020, not the 1700s.

Also, if we want to get technical here, the word doctor is actually derived from the Latin root verb “docēre,” which means “to teach.”  The term was originally used by a select few theologians. It was not until the 14th century that physicians began calling themselves doctor. In the Renaissance qualified academics and medical practitioners both used the term. Both can rightfully claim the title of doctor.   

Epstein claims that asserting advanced degrees titles within humanities and social sciences are now pathetic, bush league, and meaningless. He tries to begin a larger conservation within higher education. But his language and use of Dr. Biden to “introduce” his point make it clear that he has never had to think of the value and significance of these titles and the work to earn them from the perspective of a woman. What bothers me the most is that the article was clearly written from a place of male privilege.

Historically, women have been denied opportunities to receive an education, and in many countries around the world, they are still denied that opportunity. Women were mostly excluded from attending college in the United States until the 19th centuryThe University of Virginia, where I attended, did not even begin full coeducation until 1969.  

Additionally, women still face discrimination, harassment, and gender biases in academic spaces today. Several studies have been done in university settings that document gender biases against women in teaching evaluations. A recent study conducted by Emily Khazan, a Ph.D. candidate in ecology at the University of Florida, demonstrates the tendency of female professors and teachers’ assistants (TA) to receive more negative reviews than their male counterparts due to students’ perceptions and gender biases.

In Khazan’s study, she split her virtual asynchronous online class of 136 students in half and assigned the students to a male TA or female TA.  What the students in the class did not know was that Khazan was posing as both the male and female teachers’ assistants. In the study, out of the six negative evaluations reported in the study, five of them were for the female TA. This means that the female TA was given five times as many negative reviews as the male TA, despite them being the same person.

The degree of gender bias and discrimination in academia cannot only render and have implications on the careers of women but also discourage and cause a lack of motivation for women in those spaces.  In college, I read an article by Minh-Ha T. Pham called “I Click and Post and Breathe, Waiting for Others to See What I See”: On #FeministSelfies, Outfit Photos, and Networked Vanity that taught me about the narrow connotations of vanity and the important role vanity has when it comes to the “social visibility and social recognition” of marginalized and unrepresented groups. It is important for women to not downplay their experiences, accomplishments, achievements, and who they are for the sake of others. Showcasing the work of a woman is important and academia needs more women. The American Association of University Women that only 27 percent of tenured faculty at four-year institutions are women in the United States.

Women are right to assert their earned titles. You claim that her title is comedic and fraudulent, but is actually encouraging and uplifting for other women to see.  It can actually inspire other women to pursue careers in academia and women already pursuing a similar path. Dr. Biden is the professional title that she earned, and she certainly does not need to drop the “doc.”


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USA 2020 Elections Politics The World

Georgia’s elections for Senate will shape the Biden administration

You might be thinking, ‘At least all of that US election stress is over.Well, do I have some news for you: Georgia is still in the throes of the election. In November, two Senate seats were up for election, previously held by Republican Senate incumbents Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. However, in both races, no candidate won a majority (50 percent + 1 percent).

Perdue only narrowly missed the mark with 49.7 percent and is now running off against Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff who received 47.9 percent of the votes. The second race, a special election to fill the seat of recently resigned Republican Senator Johnny Isakson, was also divided. Democratic candidate Reverend Raphael Warnock received 32.9 percent of votes, but the Republican party split between Loeffler who received 25.9 percent, and Doug Collins who received 20 percent of the votes. As a result, no one candidate qualified.

Since Georgia’s elections use a run-off system between the top two candidates of each race, we are still awaiting the final showdown of Perdue v. Ossoff and Loeffler v. Warnock. Make no mistake, the election candidates have continued to aggressively campaign across the state. Early voting began on December 14 with over 1.6 million Georgia voters already turning in their ballots. January 5 is the official election day for the runoffs.

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Georgia has been breaking all types of expectations this year. In November, there was a record in early voter turnout with over 1.1 million votes by mail and over 1.2 million in person. The state also flipped from its traditionally Republican-leanings and voted for President-elect Joe Biden, giving him 16 electoral college votes. The results have been largely attributed to the success of early voter turnout and persistent on-the-ground campaigning by organizers like Stacey Abrams, who helped mobilize Black voters for the past several years. 

But Georgia voted for a Democratic president, so what does the Senate matter now? 

While Georgia’s red-to-blue flip for a Democratic president was significant—and frankly, pretty dramatic—the upcoming Senate elections are just as, if not more, important. These Senate seats determine the ability of the upcoming Biden administration to run some of its most ambitious plans. Currently, the Republican Party holds the majority of incoming Senate seats. If either Loeffler or Perdue wins their respective races, then the Senate remains a Republic majority. However, if both Ossof and Warnock win, then the Democratic and Republican parties would be tied in the Senate. Ultimately, any ties that might occur in the Senate would be broken by vice president-elect Kamala Harris. 

Georgia’s Senate elections would have huge implications for the promises that the Biden administration made on the campaign trail. With a Democratic majority in both Senate and House, it would give more leeway for the president-elect to not only work on his long-term promises but also fulfill his immediate goals for the first 100 days in office. This will likely affect cooperation for future stimulus bills during the pandemic, considering how the current one under Republican Senate leadership has struggled to get off the ground. 

Moreover, Republican Senator incumbents Loeffler and Perdue have both refused to acknowledge Biden as president-elect, even after the electoral college has voted. Earlier this month, Loeffler refused to rule out a formal protest of Biden’s victory in Georgia’s November elections. Perdue also reaffirmed his allegiance to President Donald Trump, stating, “I have fought alongside President Trump since day one to get our agenda accomplished, and I continue to stand with him now.” Both candidates’ statements continue to highlight a partisan divide that has and may continue to plague Congress.

With the voting day for Georgia’s elections rapidly approaching, it’s important that we don’t forget how significant the role of individual states and votes are. Keep in mind, Biden only won Georgia by a narrow margin over Trump: 12,670 votes.

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USA 2020 Elections Politics Race The World

Black women deserve more from the Democratic party

Throughout the course of an excruciating election week, many Black activists, community organizers, journalists, and political commentators, on social media highlighted the vital contribution of Black voters in key states like Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Nevada. Notably, and more specifically, it was the all-too-often thankless work from Black women providing substantial amounts of support for the Democratic party that helped Biden pull out a win in this election.

In her debut for the Washington Post, Taylor Crumpton wrote of Black women’s saving grace for the Democratic party- once again. Regarding Black women’s continued overall contribution to liberation efforts Crumpton states, “Black women’s civic and political engagement extends beyond the polls — we’re organizing for a future where Black women don’t have to vote for the “lesser of two evils,” but none at all.”

The “lesser of two evils” narrative has been a reoccurring one amongst American elections; correspondingly, Joe Biden was dubbed the lesser evil compared to Donald Trump in this presidential race. Many democratic voters, especially Black women voters, supported Joe Biden despite his shortcomings as a candidate. Namely, Biden’s many sexual assault allegations, his treatment of Anita Hill during her testimony before congress in 1991, and his history with oppressive crime reform.

Nevertheless, regardless of whatever reservations we had about Joe Biden as a candidate, Black women didn’t just simply vote for him, but rallied behind him. In addition, Black organizers and activists across the United States strategized and mobilized to advocate for marginalized communities and fight against voter suppression, often with less resources and funding than establishment run organizations. 

Even more, it was the combined efforts of Black Lives Matter, the cosign Joe Biden received from highly respected social justice activists within the Black community like Angela Davis and John Lewis, and community organizers across the country – especially in the south – that provided Joe Biden the opportunity to claim victory in such a crucial presidential race. Not to mention the efforts of Stacey Abrams, who registered an estimated 800,000 Georgia citizens to vote since her governor loss in 2018, that changed the dynamic of Georgia’s voter turnout and party support.

It’s time the Democratic party rightfully acknowledges the persistent work Black people are doing for their party. A party which notably continues to center white, moderate political figures and centrist politics that simultaneously condescends progressive and grassroots movements.

Some of the largest and most influential movements have been created from the labor of Black women and Black queer individuals. Therefore, if we collectively decided to reserve our right to be selfish, advocating only for ourselves, civil rights progress would be nearly non-existent. Of the many societal short-comings highlighted this year, it’s been noted that despite our consistent efforts towards equality and equity, Black women and queer folks are still the most marginalized and at risk demographics in the world.

The recent cases of Megan thee stallion, Oluwatoyin Salau, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade (a Black trans man killed by police this year), and so many more, illustrate how much work still needs to be done to protect the most vulnerable within the Black community.

During Biden’s first address to the American people Saturday night after his win, he recognizes how “The African American community stood up for me. [They’ve] always had my back, and I’ll have [theirs].” It’s true, Joe Biden has a lot of work to do in advocating for the Black community earnestly. In fact, showing up for the countless and nameless Black organizers is imperative going forward. Most of the time, Black grassroots organizations are underfunded. So, here are some organizations that do direct groundwork in urban and rural parts of America for under-privileged communities to support, donate to, or amplify:

Additionally, the state of Georgia is having runoff races for essential senate seats. Democratic nominees Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock need to win their election races to tie the senate with republicans. This would mean a Republican majority senate couldn’t immediately dismiss Joe Biden’s policies towards environmental justice and repair, affordable healthcare, and more.

Click here to directly support organizers in Georgia. Similarly, click here to donate to Ossoff’s campaign and here to donate to Warnock’s campaign.

Going forward, there needs to be more of an emphasis on community care, progressivism, and protection for those who continue to show up for everyone else. Trump is out of office, and the democrats pulled off an impressive victory; however, the necessary fight for true equality persists.

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USA 2020 Elections Politics The World

The depth of Trumpism is here to stay, even under a Biden Presidency

If we’ve learned one thing during this election, it’s that Donald Trump has defied the expectations laid out by polls and political pundits in the lead up to the national vote. He’s managed to seize 48% of the popular vote and gain more votes than he did in the 2016 election, reflecting the firmly rooted support for Trumpism ideology by Republican voters in the U.S. Trump’s political doctrine and style of governance has helped coin the term Trumpism we recognize today. Proudly spearheaded by the 45th U.S. President, his populist, personality-driven agenda will continue to dominate the Republican Party. The 2020 election has shown that even under the Biden Presidency, Trumpism will outlast Trump in the coming years. 

In the immediate aftermath of the election, Trump desperately tried to control the narrative around the election – prematurely declaring victory, complaining of corruption, claiming there were “tens of millions of unsolicited ballots” and announcing an investigation into the states Joe Biden won. His frantic attempts to hang onto political office undermines the election process and the very democracy he is president of. 

The 2020 election has shown that even under the Biden Presidency, Trumpism will outlast Trump in the coming years. 

Despite Trump losing his second term in office (and his subsequent unwillingness to accept defeat), he lost by a razor-thin margin, signifying that the power of Trumpism can and will be prolonged. His core support will undoubtedly remain a huge force within the U.S. and within the ranks of the Republican party. To voters, the GOP is synonymous with Trump. For the Republican party to hold onto the support gained by Trump, they will be reluctant to break away from the Trumpism agenda. Trump’s style of politics executed during his tenure in office is what Republican voters want in their leader – enforcing strict measures on immigration, aversion to trade deals, divisive foreign policy, cuts to foreign aid, ignoring budget deficits and attack on the media. His policies, statesmanship style, and white-identity politics are heavily affiliated with the Republican party, whether the party like it or not. 

What is more startling is that despite Trump’s diabolical handling of the coronavirus pandemic; (with over 230,000 deaths and 9.7 million cases at current count); mass unemployment and blatant exploitation of presidential power for his own political gain, 48% of voters still consider him worthy of serving another term in office. Trumpism has held firm in the U.S. and is more embedded in society than we realized. 

Trump’s power to the top has also validated and given authority to white supremacist ideologies. During September’s presidential debate, Trump refused to condemn one neo-fascist group, Proud Boys. The Anti-Defamation Group describes Proud Boys as misogynistic, Islamophobic, transphobic, and anti-immigration with ties to most states, Britain, Norway, and Australia. Instead of condemning the group in the debate, Trump addressed them directly:  “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by! But I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about antifa and the left.” 

Trump’s extreme right-wing beliefs have seeped through his immigration policies

Trump’s right-wing convictions have shaped policy areas. His aggressive opposition towards U.S. immigration policy led Trump to sign several executive orders that would diminish the U.S’ standing as a country that proudly stood for family reunification, asylum, and safe harbor of refugees. Trump signed executive orders on banning refugees, prohibiting citizens from Muslim countries travelling to the U.S, replacing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) which was later rejected by Congress and reviewal of the H-1B Visa Program granted to foreign workers. Under Trump’s “zero tolerance” directive, his administration ordered a clampdown on undocumented migrants crossing into the U.S, enforcing the separation of children from their parents. The heart-wrenching images of children being taken away from their parents at the border horrified the U.S. and world. These images affirmed Trump’s extreme right-wing beliefs which have seeped through his immigration policies, allowing crying children to be separated from their parents at the border and confined in detention centers.

Abortion is another policy area where he has enacted right-wing control. Before his presidency, he declared that women should face “some form of punishment” if they have abortions. Last year Trump banned federal funds going to organizations that provide abortions or refer patients to abortion clinics, resulting in Planned Parenthood losing millions in funding.

His four years in office has enabled Trump to appoint three Supreme Court judges, with the most recent appointment of Judge Amy Coney Barrett hurried through a week before the election, securing a 6-3 conservative majority in the Supreme Court. For decades to come, Trumpism will live on in the Supreme Court when it comes to the Court reaching judgments on politically divisive cases.

The extreme right-wing sentiment is entrenched within Trumpism. It’s out there in black and white through Trump’s policies and statements and cannot be overlooked. If the Republican party standby Trumpism ideology post-Trump era, they are allowing this sentiment to continue to thrive and evolve within the party. 

The disturbing reality is that Trumpism has triumphed, and it will affect the American life forever. 

So will Trump make a return to the presidential race in 2024? There’s a strong possibility that he will given that back in 2017, Trump filed to run for reelection on the day he was inaugurated. It’s safe to say that the Trump family will be with us for years, and Trumpism will last even longer. American citizens will continue exhibiting Trumpism, even under the Biden Presidency. Trumpism will truly divide the nation through its homes, classrooms, workplaces and social spaces. Trump’s re-election loss will trigger an outraged response by his loyal followers who firmly believe he has been robbed of the presidential office that was meant for Trump. They will obediently follow Trump and hang on to his every lie in the hope of delegitimizing Biden’s win. The disturbing reality is that Trumpism has triumphed, and it will affect the American life forever. 

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The Internet 2020 Elections Pop Culture

The best memes from the rollercoaster that was Election Week

The past few days, the world held its breath as the United States embarked on a nail-biting election week. Punctuated with an anxiety-inducing number of twists, the 2020 American election ended in a win for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Now, as we all sit back and relax, here is a roundup of some of the best memes from election week.

1. One of the few things that kept us going:

Anyone else’s screentime up 110% this week? Just me?

2. Literally everyone else in the world:

No matter where we’re from, we all put our lives on hold this week. I know I canceled all my appointments and got no sleep at all to obsessively check polls.

3. Election anxiety might’ve been getting to us juuuust a smidge:

I am walking anxiety at this point, but working on becoming a person again.

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4. Meanwhile, this was happening and several points were made:

Honestly, poor Count Dracula. He gets enough bad rep without Trump weighing in.

5. Honestly this sounds good to me right about now:

I’m not an American citizen but do I qualify to get one? Please, Canada?

6. Unpopular opinion – Jake Ryan was the real visionary on Hannah Montana:

I confess I was Team Jesse back in the day, but I may be rethinking my stance all these years later.

7. Yeaaaah, Nevada’s not going to live this down for a while:

I guess they took “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” a bit too seriously.

8. I think we can all agree that Miranda Priestly would have wrapped this whole thing up with days to spare:

Miranda would’ve had Nevada running for her life.

9. #Knope2024 :

It’s happening!!!

10. UM, chills. Literal chills.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe just got a whole lot more interesting.

11. It’s the 100% accuracy for me:

It’s a coping mechanism, guys.

12. You and me both, Ben Schwartz. You and me both.


13. Until next time, Steve Kornacki:

If you have developed an irrational obsession with our boi Steve here, know that you are not alone.

14. They say a video compilation speaks a thousand pictures:

Good one, Daily Show.

15. And finally, the meme to crown them all:

This one just speaks for itself.

So we can breathe for a bit for now, but the fight is not over. Tomorrow we will wake up and we will continue to evaluate the work of the US government. But for now, we sleep (and laugh a bit more).

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USA Editor's Picks 2020 Elections Politics The World

Joe Biden’s won the election, but that’s just the first step

This presidential election has polarized the entire nation, with young voters coming out in droves to vote for Biden. The debates and months-long campaigns have served their purpose.

It seemed to be a close call, but the Democrats have prevailed. Joe Biden has won the presidency, but he’s definitely got his work cut out for him. 

Trump broke his silence to deliver a press conference on Thursday (5th November) filled with lies about the election process. He spoke about the result as if it was a conspiracy theory created by Democrats to remove him of power.

Without offering any evidence, he claims that by counting ‘legal’ votes, he is the rightful President.

But despite these claims, Biden’s managed to pull ahead and win the presidency, in part thanks to an overwhelming vote from minorities and people of color.

In Georgia, for example, there’s been a large increase in new, mostly Black voters. Thanks to Stacey Abrams and Fair Fight, more than 800,000 new voters have been registered in the state. Biden’s also captured the popular vote, breaking Obama’s record of around 69 million votes. Biden’s record is impressive as the vote was held amid a global pandemic.

With more than 100 million Americans voting prior to Election Day, Biden’s popular vote count swelled. Republicans and Democrats alike joined forces in an attempt to have a sane, rational man once again lead the nation.

Republicans and Democrats alike joined forces in an attempt to have a sane, rational man once again lead the nation.

In terms of electoral college votes, Biden was able to capture the majority and win the election, but it is difficult to bridge the gap between the popular vote and the electoral college system.

In fact, this gap is what led to Trump’s victory in 2016.

The electoral college system is one that’s clinging to the past, and its authenticity is questioned during almost every election.

We’ve seen Presidents win despite not having the popular vote, because of an outdated system, one with a dark history that benefits white Southerners. Biden has captured the electoral college and the popular vote, but it is time to restore democracy to its roots, with the people.

President-elect Biden’s first and most pressing task is to roll out a nationwide plan to fight COVID-19.

The initial priority would be to address the ongoing economic damage, and contain the virus’s rising death toll in the US.

Biden will still face a myriad of challenges, including from his own party.

Young liberal Democrats are protesting for nation-wide institutional changes in response to certain questions, and want to take big steps to ensure the country’s future. 

He has already proposed a science-based plan. The plan includes a national mask mandate, greater financial assistance for the population, expanded testing and contract tracing, and measures to prevent higher bills for COVID-19 treatments. Biden has also vowed to work with Dr. Fauci, bringing the experts back to their domain. 

Building a global public health infrastructure, getting involved in the global vaccine effort, and having international allies are all key to bring the virus down. 

In his foreign policy, where Biden wants to put the United States “back at the head of the table”, according to one source.

Though Biden may not radically change the military or slash the Pentagon’s budget, he does plan to rethink the way the military is deployed, to advance American interests.

Going against Trump’s method, Biden wants to organize and host a global Summit for Democracy during his first year. The goal would be to renew commitments on human rights, and against corruption and authoritarianism, to have a ‘foreign policy for the middle class’, by investing in tools of diplomacy, development, and institutions. 

The aim is to combat the waves of nationalism and exclusion, and try and rebuild an international order.

Biden will try and restore US membership of the World Health Organization (WHO), rejoin the Paris climate agreement, and reverse Trump’s travel ban for travelers from Muslim countries.

His administration is also more diverse than ever, with half his staff consisting of people of color, and more than half his staff identifying as women.

Kamala Harris as Vice-President is a big step forward in terms of diversity. We’re finally seeing some ethnic representation at the highest level, and bring some much-needed representation into the office. In terms of co-operation with Biden, Harris has shown signs of being a truth-teller, compared to Biden’s softer, glad-handing approach. This kind of criticism, of delivering hard news and cutting to the chase, will be beneficial to the White House.

We need a partnership that’s willing to be critical, to remind each other of commitments and duties, especially when an easy compromise is on the table. Kamala Harris is the kind of woman to cut no corners and lay everything on the table, and it’s this kind of energy the White House sorely needs.

 Biden’s also vowed to sign legislation to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

One of his agendas during his first 100 days is to roll back some of Trump’s discriminatory executive orders, and advance the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. 

It will definitely be a moment to remember, and one that can change the way the US sees itself, and how it’s perceived by countries around the world.

Of course, Biden’s first 100 days will largely be influenced by which party controls the House of Representative and the Senate, and by how many seats.

This is crucial, as without control of the Senate, most of his agenda will stay in limbo. Though Biden is optimistic about Republican senators working with Democrats, there are others who are more uncertain.

We’ve seen Republican senators not stand up against Trump, failing to stand against his irresponsible conduct.

From voting to acquit Trump during his impeachment trial to supporting his deployment of force against citizens during protests against police brutality (oh, the irony), Republican senators have done little to keep Trump in check. 

The 2020 election was stressful, with most of the country being divided across partisan lines. It will definitely be a moment to remember, and one that can change the way the US sees itself, and how it’s perceived by countries around the world.

Now that Biden’s been elected President, he has to go beyond reversing Trump’s policies.

Rather than just putting out Trump’s fires, President-elect Biden must be able to take the country forward. So far, he has modern, progressive ideas for the US, but there is an uphill battle ahead.

Winning the election was just the first step.

I’m waiting to see how he’s able to pull this country out of its murky depths.