I was driving my kids to the library yesterday morning when the Resistbot text came through announcing that the presidential race had been called for Biden/Harris. As I made the right turn into the library parking lot, I burst into tears.
“Why are you crying, Mommy?” Isabelled asked.
I grabbed her hand once I parked the car and said, “They’re happy tears, sweetheart. It’s over. Biden/Harris won!”
“So you’re crying because you’re… happy?”
“Yes,” I replied. I paused to take several cleansing breaths. “I’m crying because I’m so very happy. Sometimes we cry when we’re happy.”
A moment later, a notification from The Washington Post popped up confirming what Resistbot said. I texted Marc, who was waiting for us inside of the library. I told him Biden was president-elect and that we’d be a couple extra minutes. (I needed to dry my face.) He must’ve known I was having some big emotions since he met us at the car and helped me get the kids out.
I can think of no better place than the public library to find out about the outcome of this election.
It’s morning again in America. *
This morning, after a restful night’s sleep, I took my kids to the park to feed the ducks. On our drive there, I noticed many of the political signs that had been adorning people’s lawns had come down. I felt lighter as normalcy seemed to return to the local landscape.
Biden lifted some — not all, but some — of the sadness and anger that hovered over the Black community, immigrants, Jews and others as they’d watched the current administration allow white supremacy to grow freely and thrive. Biden was willing to acknowledge the existence of systemic racism not in theory, but in reality. He knew what it meant for a Black parent to give their Black child “the talk” about how to move through life. He knew that it was not just about how to engage with police officers but also about how to avoid suspicion, how to always strive to be better than best, in order to just be seen as okay. Biden could see the world through other people’s eyes and that alone was worth cheering and banging on drums.Robin Givhan
Despite feeling a sense of relief, I know the election of Biden/Harris will not make white supremacy, anti-immigrant bias and racism disappear. There is enormous work that needs to be done to help people accept one another not in spite of their differences but because of them. But as an American Jew, I feel like I can exhale.
*= I’m aware that this was from a 1984 Reagan for President ad. My use of it has nothing to do with my approval or disapproval of Reagan. I appreciate the renewal metaphor, which is why I began with it.