Earlier this year The Boston Globe and Boston University Center for Antiracist Research announced that they would be teaming up to launch The Emancipator to share opinions, ideas on journalism, and featuring contributions from experts and community voices.
The publication’s name is a nod to America’s first abolitionist newspaper which started in the early 19th-century. The hope is the online publication will create a forum to help reframe the national conversation on race.
“Even when The Emancipator was first founded in 1820, it was very difficult for people to believe that slavery, 45 years later, would be no more. Just as I think there are many people today who can’t imagine there could be a nation without racism and inequality,”
Ibram X. Kendi commenting in the video Announcing: The Emancipator
Yesterday’s activities in D.C. championed by the President and the Republican Party (yes, I find the entire Republican Party complicit) had me tossing and turning last night much like I was last spring when I first wrote this poem.
random thoughts ramble through my head thinking these thoughts are keeping me from bed- round-n-round, back-n-forth they go yet where will this lead? i don’t know-
so i toss-n-turn in my bed with images run amuck in my head- a restful sleep i need, i know but that will have to wait til tomorrow-
I think RFK would not mind that I modified his famous quote. I also think it is appropriate that by and large it has been women who have collectively been the ones to stand up to Donald Trump and the Republican Leadership over the past four nightmarish years far more effectively than the weaker sex.
Donald Trump’s inability to accept defeat by Joe Biden is not a surprise. What is a surprise is Biden receiving 77 million votes; nearly 5 million more votes than Trump as well as winning the two solidly red states of Arizona and Georgia.
As mail-in ballots were counted in the days that followed the election and Trump watched his lead in several states dissapear, his limited cognitive abilities left him to conclude (what he has been asserting since he ran for election in 2016) that our democracy is rigged. These bogus claims have failed to stand up in court, but I’m frustrated by Republicans like Attorney General William Barr and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who are lending credence to these claims without any evidence and the media’s (and when I say “the media” I actually mean FOX News) lack of pushback to these conspiracy theories.
We’ve just witnessed an historic election that had more Americans voting for president than ever before. The latest tallies have Joe Biden with 77 million votes and Donald Trump with 72 million votes, meaning 149 million Americans cast a vote in this election up from 138 million in 2016.
Biden’s cushion of 5 million more votes than Trump is why he was able to win states like Georgia which saw 1 million more voters participate in this elecation than 2016, and Arizona which saw approximately 900,000 more voters participate in this election. Turnout was up everywhere in the nation, but in many sunbelt states that increase favors Democrats.
As corny as it sounds, I have absolute faith that our government will transition power to Joe Biden in January, but what concerns me is the way this will happen and at what cost to the Biden/Harris team? Will Joe Biden be plagued by innuendo and unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud due to this public trial based solely on Trump’s vivid imagination and no facts? Will Biden’s effort to address and curb the coronavirus pandemic be set back? Will they be able to conduct background checks on members of their incoming administration so they can be ready to work come January 2021?
Who can say what the coming weeks will bring, but this is an excellent civics class where we are all able to watch our government. The real question in my mind, is will key Republicans be true to the democratic process or to their beloved, obese turtle who finds himself on his back flailing in the hot sun?
The “Blue Wave” seems more like a ripple at this point. Election results in several states won’t be known tonight and it looks as if the Senate will remain in control of the Republican Party.
I don’t think I’m being overly dramatic when I say the world’s attention on COVID-19 has temporarily abated to watch Americans go to the polls today. There is a feeling that everyone’s fate is tied to the results of this election.
Having said that, I’m optimistic about the election for two reasons. First, you either believe in polling or you don’t. I subscribe to the fact that no poll is perfect but in aggregate they can show trends and the “Blue Wall” states Trump barely won in 2016 (Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin) have shown a remarkably consistent lead for Biden since the summer. It is true that polls failed to properly represent voters without a college degree in 2016, but I believe reputable polling companies have corrected this oversight and greater scrutiny has been given to these Blue Wall states.
Second, it’s about the compelling demographics. Biden appears to be doing far better than Hillary Clinton with groups like suburban and older voters, putting Trump on the defensive in states he won in 2016 like Arizona, Florida and North Carolina. Additionally, Gen-Z voters are participating in record numbers and 65% of them support Biden.
There is evidence of Trump doing better with Cubans and Venzuelans in southern Florida but little is mentioned about the 850,000+ Puerto Ricans who can vote and mostly live in central Florida or the millions of Mexican-Americans living in states like Arizona and Texas.
I can understand Biden voters being skittish after Trump’s surprise win in 2016 but this ain’t 2016 and Biden is not Clinton. I’ll be the first to admit I could be wrong, but I see a blue wave coming. The only question in my mind is, how big will that wave be and who will be swept away by it?
If you are a registered voter in Boston and you have not participated in early voting or by mail-in ballot, please make time on Tuesday, November 3rd to get to the polls. If you are a first time voter, new to the area or cannot remember where to vote, I’ve got you covered.
In addition to voting for your candidate, Massachusetts has two state-wide ballot initiatives that you will be asked to vote for in this election.
Massachusetts Question 1, “Right to Repair Law” Vehicle Data Access Requirement Initiative
A “yes” vote supports requiring manufacturers that sell vehicles with telematics systems in Massachusetts to equip them with a standardized open data platform beginning with model year 2022 that vehicle owners and independent repair facilities may access to retrieve mechanical data and run diagnostics through a mobile-based application.
A “no” vote opposes requiring vehicles beginning with model year 2022 to be equipped with a standardized open data platform that vehicle owners and independent repair facilities may access to retrieve mechanical data and run diagnostics through a mobile-based application, thereby maintaining that vehicle owners and independent repair facilities may access mechanical and diagnostic data through a personal computer.
You have to flip your ballot over to read and vote on Question 2.
A “yes” vote supports enacting ranked-choice voting (RCV) for primary and general elections for state executive officials, state legislators, federal congressional and senate seats, and certain county offices beginning in 2022.
A “no” vote opposes changing the existing plurality voting system to ranked-choice voting for primary and general elections for state executive officials, state legislators, federal congressional and senate seats, and county offices.
For what it is worth, I plan on voting YES for both Question 1 and 2, but regardless of whether we agree or not, I’d like to encourage everyone to make sure they vote.
I have voted in every Presidential election since I’ve turned 18 years old but this year I participated in early voting for the first time. I have to compliment Mayor Marty Walsh, The Boston Red Sox and all the volunteers at Fenway Park for how they managed early voting last weekend. According to Boston’s public radio station, WBUR-FM, 4,000 people voted there.
I wanted to vote early and the opportunity to do this at Fenway Park was just too tempting. Early voting was available at Fenway Park last Saturday and Sunday and turnout was through the roof. When I arrived at Fenway Park just prior to the polls opening, the line nearly wrapped around the entire ballpark. I was unsure what to expect and was pleasantly surprised that I was able to vote in less than 1 hour despite the hundreds of people queuing.
There is a common saying in Boston that “Fenway is where I pray”, and I did although this time my prayers were not focused on the Red Sox. My prayer went something like this, “I hope Donald Trump loses by historic proportions and the Republican party loses seats in the US House of Representatives as well as their control of the US Senate. Lastly, I prayed Americans will not look away after November 3rd and will remain engaged to hold our politicians accountable for their actions, because elections matter.“
Over the weekend thousands of gay men launched a savvy online campaign using the the hashtag of the white supremacist group “Proud Boys”, depicting proud gay men of all ages in a variety of poses. The online activity resulted in making the hashtag #proudboys a top trend on sites like Twitter.
For those unfamiliar with Proud Boys (as I was prior to last week), the group formed during the last Presidential campaign in 2016. The group is considered a far-right, neo-fascist and male-only organization and are labelled as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The group actively promotes and engages in political violence in the US and Canada. While the group officially rejects racism, their composition and the words of their members suggest otherwise.
Because of the recent attention and what this violent group propogates, some social media channels have reportedly been blocking this hash tag and mention of the group but as of today, #proudboys was still trending on Twitter so if you have a moment, share with the world how proud you are.
Voting by mail has suddenly become politicized with unfounded claims of voter fraud. At the same time the Postmaster General has been accused of intentionally underfunding the US Post Office and removing mail sorting machines to slowdown mail processing. All of this makes me feel sick to my stomach. I will admit I’ve taken my right to vote as a given, but now I feel like that is being tampered with, and I really don’t like it. Considering our history of setting up barriers to minorities and immigrants to vote, I suppose I’m getting only a taste of what some have had to deal with for generations.
I will admit in the past I’ve taken my right to vote as a given.
I don’t really care who you plan to vote for, but I do hope you will vote. If you have decided to vote by mail, I suggest you vote early. The State of Massachusetts recommends voters submit an application for a November ballot no later than October 20th. You can register online here. It only takes a couple of minutes and is easy to do online. If you know people who plan to vote by mail, follow up and encourage them to vote early (mail your ballot by Tuesday, October 20th if possible). By mailing your vote in two weeks prior to election day it stands a better chance of being tallied on election day.
For those of you in Massachusetts, bookmark this early voting – in person or by mail web page. Additional guidance on voting locations will be updated no later than October 9th. In-person, early voting in Mass. will be held October 17 – 30.
Share this information with anyone who may find this helpful.
If you read or watch only one thing today, watch this five minute excerpt from Michelle Obama’s 2020 DNC speech last night. The quiet one-on-one setting gave an intimacy to her words and hit home. Below, I’ve included text from part of her speech, that really resonated with me and I hope inspires you.
If you plan on voting by mail this year, do so now or as early as possible, then follow up to make sure your vote is counted. Speak to your friends and family and encourage them to vote in this election because, to quote Mrs. Obama. “if you think things cannot possibly get worse, trust me, they can; and they will if we don’t make a change in this election. If we have any hope of ending this chaos, we have got to vote for Joe Biden like our lives depend on it.”
“Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what it is.”
I believe that voting is a civic responsibility incumbent upon all of us. However, voting during a pandemic can be tricky so I apprerciate that Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill into law earlier this month, allowing all registered voters in Massachusetts to vote by mail in the primary and general elections this fall.
How to vote by mail in Massachusetts
Voting by mail in Massachusetts is easy, requiring you to do the following:
2 – Send the ballot back via postal delivery, email or fax. For the Sept. 1 State Primary, your application must arrive at your local election office by Aug. 26 and for the national election on Nov. 3 it must arrive by Oct. 28.
Note: Your signature must be visible and everything legible and complete to ensure your ballot is not disqualified.
One City Hall Square
Boston, MA 02201
Massachusetts legislature is currently considering an important bill that will help provide relief for the arts and culture sector in Massachusetts, which includes organizations large and small that enrich our life and need your legislators support to provide funding for artists, local museums as well as students to gain access and experiences from our local arts and cultural organizations.
HOW YOU CAN HELP: Write or call your legislators at the State House today to voice your support for H.4879, An Act Enabling Partnerships for Growth.
Late last month the city of Boston announced it would form a “Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission” to review racial inequities, police violence and misconduct in the legal system.
Boston becomes one of just three cities to convene and pilot such a commission with the hope that more shall follow. District attorneys in Boston, Philadelphia and San Francisco have all pledged to create the commissions with a goal of starting work as early as this fall.
Inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation commissions formed when apartheid ended in South Africa in the 1990s, these groups will be overseen by district attorneys who could decide to prosecute