If Trump Loses, Thank Black People. If He Wins, Blame White People

Illustration for article titled If Trump Loses, Thank Black People. If He Wins, Blame White People
Photo: Sean Rayford (Getty Images)

When the dust settles and a winner of the presidential election is declared tomorrow night or some time in 2023, the results will immediately be proceeded by a vast and annoying ecosystem of discourse attempting to find answers, give thanks, and assign blame. Fortunately, we do not have to wait that long to perform those acts. I am not Nate Silver, so I will not wack you over the head with wonk. I’m just a pretzel-eating Pittsburgh nigga. But listen!

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Somewhere between 85 and 95 percent of the Black people who are voting in this election are voting for Joe Biden. Whether he hits the low or high end of that range is yet to be determined. Either way, despite a lack of enthusiasm for and faith in him as a candidate (and America as a country), the staggering majority of us who are voting recognize the danger four more years of Donald Trump poses to the nation, and are choosing the man and the party who will do the least harm. (And who also appears to believe in science.) And despite my sadness about the number of Black men whose politics are aligned with the worst of white peoples, even if Trump gets 20 percent of the Black male vote—he won’t, but let’s say he does—that still means there are up to four times as many of us who will do the right thing tomorrow. Contrarians are only contrarians because they’re vastly outnumbered and wish to stand out. The “chess not checkers” and “seat-at-the-table” ass niggas, as annoying as they are, are loud as fuck but on an island.

We also know that most white voters are voting for Trump. In 2016, he received 58 percent of the white vote. Hopefully, that number inches down to 53 or 54. But I wouldn’t be shocked if it stayed solid—or hit 60. This support exists despite, among so many other things, a raging pandemic that is literally killing them after the rallies he holds for them. White people are not well.

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If Joe Biden wins, it’ll be because enough of us (Black people) voted blue—and subverted the local, national, and international efforts to suppress our votes—to shift the white/red majority. If Trump wins, it won’t be because we didn’t show up. Or because a few more of us shifted right. Or because Kanye West is on a ballot. No, the main reason will be because there were just too many white Trump voters—and too many efforts to suppress our votes—for our 90 percent to balance them out.

It’s sunny in Pittsburgh today. I’m going to take a walk.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)

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DISCUSSION

“Hopefully, that number inches down to 53 or 54.”

Why do Dems use the word “hope” when Republicans are out here, destroying votes, cutting power to booths, intimidating voters, and attempting to kidnap Democrat officials. These evil fuckers don’t hope shit. They DO what villains  do to win. Walking the high road while your enemies are lying cheating and stealing an election is not hopeful.