In less than 46 days we have the opportunity to make history again. Whether you mask yourself and vote, cast your ballot or vote in the mail, we all have the power to change the direction of our country and back our way. It's hard to forget that feeling – put your vote and watch it make history. Let's do it again on November 3rd.
This year has exposed the reality of Donald Trump's America. Almost daily, we awaken to the news of civil unrest and outrage caused by mounting frustrations over patterns of police brutality and systemic racism. In the meantime, we continue to experience a global pandemic that kills more than 200,000 Americans and devastated our color communities.
As a country, we have not seen the moral – and frankly – competent leadership of this White House necessary to address the challenges we face. If ever there was time to work out a voting plan, it is now.
Senator Kamala Harris made history as the first black woman to be named vice president. Her extraordinary experiences, and her experience of fighting to protect the most vulnerable in our society, should give us all confidence that she and Vice President Joe Biden will focus on healing our country and bringing us together, rather than the increasing fire of one Add fuel to polarized land. We know they will be powerful and effective partners for the black community from day one.
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Today, with millions claiming their vote back from BET as part of National Black Voter Day, we cannot forget what this election is about and who went out of their way to make sure we blacks could vote.
Advocates of justice and freedom such as Diane Nash, Ella Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, Medgar Evers and many others endured the unimaginable so that there could be Barack Obama and Kamala Harris. Congressman John Lewis, a man who fought for equality, left a clear call to use the power of voting to be the “change maker” our democracy needs. He said, “Voting is the most powerful nonviolent changer you have in a democratic society” and that “our democracy is not a state. It is an act.” If we are to regain our rightful place in this democracy, we must have our full citizenship exercise like never before.
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If we want to change something, we make it happen through voting. It is not enough to say that we want to see change; We have to be the change we are looking for. If we want accountability in our policing, we need to vote. If we want better schools, we have to vote. If we want to address inequalities in terms of pay, housing, health care, or all of the other challenges facing our community, we need to vote. If we want leaders who care about our community and put our interests first, we need to vote.
There will be some who wonder if their voice makes a difference. Consider this: In 2016, Donald Trump won Wisconsin by 23,000 votes; in Milwaukee, 93,000 blacks voted. In Florida, Donald Trump won with 177,000 votes, but in Miami alone 379,000 eligible black voters did not vote. The story is the same in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgia; The margins on which Donald Trump was able to win are dwarfed by the number of black voters who could have made a difference in our democracy if they had voted. Too much is at stake to miss this election.
Votes are the only way to make sure your concerns are important. If you don't choose, let someone take control of your own life. Make a plan to vote today and help organize your families, friends, community, and co-workers to make sure they are registered and ready to vote too.
When blacks vote, we have the power to change the outcome of an election. Our moment to change history is now and if you believe, as I do, that Black Lives Matter is, skipping this election season is not an option.
Valerie Jarrett is the author of the New York Times best-selling memoir, "Finding My Voice: When the Perfect Plan Collapses, the Adventure Begins." She was the longest-serving senior adviser to President Barack Obama and headed the public engagement and interstate affairs offices of the White House. She was chair of the White House Council for Women and Girls. She is currently a Senior Senior Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School and a Senior Advisor to the Obama Foundation and ATTN. She also serves on the boards of Lyft, Ariel Investments, 2U, the Innocence Project, Time & # 39; s Up, and the Economic Club of Chicago and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.