Black Bodies, Black Votes: Post-Election Reflections Panel Discussion
What just happened? What impact will the contentious 2020 U.S. election have on Black people and racial animosity in the U.S. and globally? What will become of the conspiracy theories, vitriolic language, and nativism that have defined the last four years, or, as others argue, have merely found public legitimacy under Trump? This panel will take place 8 days after the 2020 U.S. Election – what political analysts have called “the most important U.S. election ever” and during a time of great racial reckoning and conflict around the world. The road to the election reflects this deep anxiety. An unprecedented 97 million early votes were cast, 70% of all votes in 2016; Trump’s “stand back and stand by” rally cry brought armed white men out protect their notion of national interests; Kamala Harris made history; Black voters are skeptical of Biden's record on race but also fearful of another 4-years of Trump's hatred, attacks on the truth, and complacent Republican allies; and the courts emerged, as they did in 2000, as a key player in whether votes will count or not. The stakes of this election are undeniably high, both nationally and in key races around the country. The days ahead are critical to how our nation begins the racial repair or deepens a growing divide. The Department of African & American Studies has gathered a panel of top national and international thinkers on race and politics. Each panelist will offer a unique perspective on the meaning of the election and the future of Blackness and the African Diaspora.