I posted this on the.ink, Anand Giridharadas’ substack page.
Howdy brother Anand,
Many thanks for your work.
I traveled from here in Eagle, CO to Grant Park in 08. I was sure America was going to elect the 1st black president and I wanted to be there live, to see Obama.
Thinking back, I recall talking with black people in the crowd. I think most weren’t regular voters. That they rallied – stood in line, did whatever it took to vote for Obama. When I looked around and talked with people, I felt that Obama was theirs. He was one of them. I was so happy for them.
Reading your piece, I don’t have that same feeling in the upcoming election.
You wrote Harris “descends from privilege in the Indian system”. It’s hard for me to see how someone who comes from the right side of the tracks, is going to connect with the millions of black voters who live on the wrong side of the tracks, who’ve given up hope. I just can’t see those same voters doing whatever it takes to vote on election day. I don’t get how they see Harris as one of them.
We have an apartment in our home that we rent to a late 20’s couple. They’ve now seen 9/11, 2008, Obama, the climate crisis, Trump, and now the pandemic.
They’re both professionals. They lost their jobs in the pandemic. Both got new jobs, but lower pay. They’re scraping to get by. When I talk to their friends, it’s the same story.
When I talk to them about creating a world for the next 7 generations, they get it. They clearly see we’re on a speeding train to a brick wall. But they shrug their shoulders.
When I bring up the election, they think Trump is a sluggo. But I don’t hear any excitement for Biden/Harris. If it works out, yeah, they’ll vote for them. But if not, if there’s something better to do on election day, whatever. It’s just another day.
Brother, I just can’t see enough people rallying to push Biden/Harris over the line. Because black people on the wrong side of the tracks have given up hope and young people see the ticket as a nothing burger.
Jeezus I hope I’m wrong.
peace and love, brother,