It’s November 4 and there is still no decisive winner in the 2020 presidential election. The race for the White House will undoubtedly come down to a few battleground states that will decide whether or not America will move in a new direction or continue down a path led by Trump that has further divided an already divided nation. While the next president is uncertain, one thing is for sure—Americans are on edge. As we learned in 2016, elections have consequences and this is particularly true for Black LGBTQ+ Americans.
The Reckoning assembled a virtual group of five Black queer men on election night to collectively watch and provide political analysis on election results across three major cable news networks (CNN, MSNBC, FOX) in real-time; Kipper Jones, Anthony Antoine, Justin Smith, Malcolm Reid, and Michael Ward all lent their voice to the discussion. The result was a robust political exchange around the state of America under Trump’s leadership, what his ascent to power says about our country, the role the media plays in shaping the narrative, Black male support for Trump’s presidency, and ultimately the kind of country they’d like to live in regardless of who is sitting in the Oval Office.
For American journalists, election night is their Super Bowl. And while it may be exciting inside newsrooms, it is a source of increased anxiety for many voters watching at home. This is exactly why Michael Ward says he avoided news coverage until late on election night.
“I’ve purposely been avoiding all of this today,” he said. “I’ve just been trying to fill my day with other things that have brought me joy to kinda brace myself.”
Like many Americans who are hopeful for a Biden presidency based on the record-breaking turnout for early voting, Democratic-leaning absentee ballots, and favorable polls showing a consistent lead for Biden over Trump, there is still residual scarring from the 2016 political defeat of Hillary Clinton who won the popular vote but lost the electoral college—a system that Kipper Jones believes needs to be abolished.
“That has to be a part of the conversation of the next administration. That whole process of the electoral college and how that is no longer necessary because we don’t have slave states anymore...let’s talk about it. I think it needs to be abolished. There’s no need for it,” said Jones.
“It seems like it’s the only way that Republicans will be able to be competitive in presidential races,” said Justin Smith. “They’re not going to have an incentive to get rid of it because it’s their pathway to power.”
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