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As a Black woman in America, I need you to know something about this election

No matter what happens, the fight for equality will always remain consistent

woman standing beside white wall
woman standing beside white wall
Photo by Suad Kamardeen on Unsplash

As U.S. citizens, we've witnessed a lot and come a long way in expressing our morals and ideologies with our government's underpinnings. With today being Election Day, (kudos if you voted early!) it's critically important we express our constitutional right to vote.

Even though we'll likely wait awhile to know the official outcome, this election will determine whether or not this nation moves forward towards the ideals of a more perfect union. Like myself, many of you share some semblance of fear when analyzing the two paths our nation can embark on.

When I was in an Advanced Placement U.S. history high school class in 2012, the election of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney was a defining moment for me. As I learned more about our country's history and figured out what ideals resonated with me more, I decided to vote Democrat.

So, it isn't entirely a surprise I would be voting for Joe Biden. If he is elected, he has promised to promote racial justice. This would include better homeownership, pandemic relief and holding financial institutions accountable for discriminatory practices when dealing with BIPOC Americans.

To be quite honest, I don't believe his plans will achieve complete racial equality within our lifetime... even though it's a great start. Regardless, Biden's running mate, Kamala Harris, has a signature policy that piques my interest. In her LIFT Act ( also known as the Middle Class Act) legislation was provided to middle class and working families with a tax credit of up to $6,000 a year or $500 a month to address the cost of living expenses.

Although the act has its flaws, it's an excellent example of one of the closest policies mapped out to guarantee income on a national level. For the Black community, economic security truly unlocks a potential that wouldn't normally be present. My parents - being in the medical and accounting industries - were able to move from an area where they where able to get degrees, receive better jobs, and ultimately bring my sister and me to a safer neighborhood.

A neighborhood where we could both have a similar, and even better shot at succeeding.

More importantly, I've seen my parents' faces, as well as my peers, when financial anxiety is reduced: happiness and the understanding that the sky is the limit.

I really want all people – especially Black people – across the country to realize this won't be the reality under Trump's Administration. There's no need to continuously address why tax cuts for the rich and other corporations won't get us closer equity. Trump's family clearly states what they think about us.

We also deserve respect and things with our names on it. As long as we desire to be successful, which is rude to assume when many of us aren't provided opportunities amounting to 'success' due to systemic inequality.

Realistically speaking, neither the Republican or Democratic Party has a strong enough plan to decrease the disparities carried throughout decades of weak policies and racism.

That is nothing new.

Regardless of what happens on Nov. 3, the equality the Black community consistently fights for - and deserves - won't fully be achieved until we focus on an economy reflecting and respecting our contributions.

Not to worry. We, as a community, need to have each other's backs.

Trump's election was not the first time the Black community was confronted with embedded racism our country was built on. However, another four years won't deter us from speaking up. While exploring this yearning to voice our minds, it reminded me of a quote from James Baldwin:

"I love America more than anything in the world, and exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually."

At the end of the day, I find solace in knowing the Black community will continue to do our due diligence in standing up for what we believe in.

We are continuously on a journey of elevation, and for that, we will always have each other.

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Eeva Rehnström, in her graduation cap. Four years later, she became my mother. (1931-2012)

Photo courtesy of Dr.Jaana Rehnström, the Founder of The Kota Alliance

A special bond exists, in all cultures, between mothers and their children. Fathers are important as well, of course, but due to the very early bonding arising from feeding and nurturing, a child's emotional life is strongly affected by the mother.

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