I haven’t written about this election for months.
Over those months, I’ve spent much of that time slowly spending less time understanding the landscape for the election and much more time on self-reflection and broader political education. When I wrote most of the pieces I did over the course of the year leading up to the primaries and the end of those primaries, I felt like I had an overwhelming grasp of electoral politics, of what I thought Black people would need to see our liberation. I thought I had a clear and solid understanding that would then point me towards a definitive answer to what to do.
And then, everything this summer happened.
Quarantine gave me the chance to truly slow down, reckon with my thoughts, and seemingly for the first time in years, buckle down and read extensively. I didn’t settle on my ideology. I sought answers to new, broad, difficult questions in a landscape where I was asked time and time again to be pithy. I allowed myself to just radically expand my worldview, learning about the world and what it took for me to get to where I am today, writing this on the blog. Kaba, Wilson-Gilmore, DuBois, Fanon, Moten + Harney, Robinson, DG Kelley, Burden-Stelly, Briond, Vitale, Wolff. The list goes on and on and on as to the people who were so crucial in this journey, and those are just a few of the people who gave me the directions to seek answers to all of the questions I would ask myself.
Rather than talk about Tuesday itself, what that day entails, the outcomes, the strategies, or how you participate in electoral politics, I want to instead speak to how it is crucial to seek community in times like these. For so much of my life, I felt like this sort of political education and just learning needed to happen alone. But that just isn’t possible. We inhibit our ability to reach more expansive and bold visions studying in isolation. What gave me the most hope this summer and what I gained the most from quarantine is a sense of belonging with those who also want to build a just and equitable world. The people I’ve met through Zoom calls or random Twitter interactions, the people I’ve gone to protests with, written for. They are who have helped me continue to pursue hope as a practice. It is in the conversations with friends and family members about envisioning something liberating for us all. These folks are who I am thinking of as we approach Tuesday.
My advice for that day? Ask yourself a few questions. Do you know how you plan on approaching the events of election night? Do you have people you can be around or reach out to for whatever you may be feeling? Asking yourself these questions and if you don’t have answers, try and reach out to other folks in your community.
No one knows what this week will bring, but what I do know is this: November 3rd is the furthest date imaginable from a finish line or even a checkpoint. What I did before and after this date will not change much, and if that is the case for you, well I’d strongly urge you to re-evaluate why. I’ll be with my roommates, probably watching results come in, and also working on the ridiculous amount of assignments I have with it being sixth week. I wish everyone good health and safety this Halloween and the rest of this unpredictable week.