After some tried to take away our right to vote, we stood in line for hours and fought back in the name of justice. After many said we were too uninvolved, we got our loved ones to register to vote, we had poll drives, and we VOTED.
Showing the power of our place in this democracy, we re-elected President Barack Obama and drove progress forward. This week, victory was ours.
Elections are about choices about whom we want to govern us. Well on Tuesday, we sent a clear signal to all. Black folks were counted out, as if we were unmotivated or didn’t care to vote in 2012. As the results show, nothing could be further from the truth. Beginning with tremendous early voting in many areas, Black voters made sure they did not lose their constitutional rights to have their voices heard.
And when many states instituted new restrictive voter ID laws, cut back or ended early voting days, as well as used other tactics of voter suppression, we pushed back — even in courtrooms in some states.
The fundamental lesson from this historic election for us is that we cannot deny the power of our vote. When people tried to shake our vote, we proved what we will do when our backs are up against the wall. We would not allow and never will allow anyone to take away our civil rights. We fought far too long and sacrificed too much to ever allow that to happen.
In vital swing cities like Cleveland and Cincinnati, President Obama’s success was due in large part to the Black vote. Latinos also came out in droves for this President, as did Asian Americans. And these things don’t just happen. The losers in this election will try to say that it had to do with the President’s race, but that’s just an insult to our intelligence. We saw this President deal with people in a humanistic and relatable way. We saw him fighting for the middle-class for the last four years even when some tried to block his every move. We saw him pass historic health care reform. We saw him save the auto industry. We saw the economy making progress after the mess made by Bush. We saw him pass legislation that would assist young immigrants who were brought here illegally through no fault of their own. We saw him passing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. We saw him support marriage equality. We saw him speaking to us.
And we saw Mitt Romney hating 47 percent of us.
While we’re still awaiting the final tally from the state of Florida, we know that President Obama has so far already won the popular vote as well the electoral college. When they tried to tell us no, we came out powerfully and participated in the process because we understood that the stakes were just too high. We know that we cannot depend on widespread fairness from the private sector, and we know that we want a government that cares about things like education, jobs and the future for all of us. Oh, and we need a government that can quickly and fairly respond with disaster strikes.
Now that we’ve once again shown the power of our vote, let’s continue to carry it though in other important races.
Locally, in my city of New York, we have a mayoral race coming up soon. In cities and towns across the country, there are important local and state races that will be taking place shortly. Before you know it, the mid-term elections will be here. The time for sitting back and relaxing isn’t now. President Obama is staying in office; now we must do our part to ensure that the policies include our issues and benefit the success of our people.
Victory is ours. Let’s keep it that way!