I don’t think a lot of people understand how bad Black people were suffering under the Trump reign, which is why 87% of those of us who vote showed up to give his ass the boot.
And to be clear, most politicians have never adequately represented or advocated for our needs, but Trump has made it abundantly clear that besides a few initiatives like Congress giving money to HBCUs and pardoning a few Black men from prison, he really doesn’t give a damn about us. But please don’t mistake our turnout for JoeMala as renewed faith in the Democratic party—y’all definitely owe us bigly.
I gotta drag some skeletons out of the closet real quick.
I’m not a person who holds someone’s past mistakes or policy stances against them because changes of hearts and minds do happen. But when those policies and inaction cause generational and communal harm, an apology alone isn’t enough—we need and deserve sincerity and restitution.
While on the campaign trail, Joe said that he would eliminate student loan debt for people who come from families making less than $125,000 a year. That’ll definitely help break links in the chain of generational poverty in Black communities.
As a first generation college student who knows the struggle of only making $28,000 a year with Sallie Mae blowing my phone up every other hour with the expectation of me making monthly student loan payments of $650, I’m for this. I just wish this policy was retroactive for those of us who already have our degrees.
But I’m feeling this even more so because higher education is the new poverty pimp in marginalized communities.
So yeah, go ahead and make good on that pledge to ease student loan debt so the promise of prosperity yielded through education can be a reality for us, too.
We also want to see JoeMala choose a secretary of education who’s committed to providing a quality education for every child in America—someone that’s beholden to the greater well-being of students and not agendas that only serve their interests or that of the status quo. With that said, Randi Weingarten—President of the American Federation of Teachers—is an automatic “no” for me.
And listen, I don’t care how her professional resume reads. What we don’t need is anti-school choice (which is anti-parent choice), teachers union gatekeeper whose main priority is to protect educators that ain’t doing their damn job well—whether that be performance-wise or in doing a disservice to Black kids because they can’t see past their personal prejudices.
We need someone that truly understands the plight of public education and has been or is currently connected to the communities that are most impacted, a leader that promotes and enforces equity, understands the necessity of and is intentional about developing pathways for more teachers or color and so much more that would enhance the quality of education for Black kids. For me, Randi ain’t it.
Lastly, what would really make us Black people good with Kamala and Joe is if they finally started busting up this school-to-prison pipeline.
Look, I don’t care what they call the reallocation of funding from police and SROs in schools to programming and supports for traditionally marginalized students but, it’s a conversation school districts need to hear from our nation’s leaders in order to protect our most criminalized kids. And also in disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline, this administration would immediately need to remediate the damage Betsy DeVos did in reversing Obama-Era discipline guidelines.
D.C. tyranny may be on life support, but traditional American politics are still alive and well. Black people have carried Democrats to victory time and time again and as soon as they cross, we get left in the dust.
If we’re making history in giving Joe Biden the most votes ever received by a presidential candidate and Kamala Harris being the first woman and woman of color as vice president, then let’s keep this energy going in being one of the few times in Black American history that we get what we need and want from this country and party whose false claim to fame and office has been representing the 99%.
Tanesha Peeples is driven by one question in her work—“If not me, then who?” As the former Deputy Director of Activist Development for brightbeam, Tanesha merges the worlds of communications and grassroots activism to push for change in the public education system. Her passion for community and relentless mission for justice and liberation drive her in uplifting and amplifying the voices and ...