Always Bet on Black Women – Doug Jones and The Democratic Party Owe Black Women
On Tuesday, black people, specifically black women, showed up in record numbers to elect Doug Jones as the first Democratic Senator in Alabama to be elected in a quarter of a century.
I’m legit shook.
My father’s family lives in Alabama and I was born in Montgomery. I spent my summers, and holidays, and spring breaks in Alabama.
Alabama is my other home.
But I was scared. I wasn’t sure if Alabama would disappoint me again by electing another crazy ass white person to office. I wasn’t sure if Alabama would overlook Roy Moore’s nasty ass in favor of sticking to party lines. I wasn’t sure if people would be able to see my hometown for more than a backwards, redneck, voter suppressive, antebellum-esque, monument to the Confederacy.
Don’t get me wrong, Alabama is definitely all of those things, but it’s also a place where black people stood together on the Edmund Pettus Bridge and said “No more”; Where Rosa Parks said “Nah”; Where Dr. King wrote some of his most impassioned speeches; Where civil rights marches effectively galvanized the support for the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
So many pivotal moments in U.S. history revolving around the struggle, pain, tenacity, and strength of black people happened in Alabama. And Doug Jones’ victory on Tuesday was no different.
Early exit polls reported that Black women once again turned out in droves to support Doug Jones, despite some of his outspoken color blind policies, and his campaign's lack of tangible voter outreach to the black community in Alabama. Black people are only 26 percent of Alabama’s population and exit polls showed they made up 30 percent of people who cast ballots in Alabama on Tuesday.
And while I wanted to spend time dragging the hell out of the Swift of White Feminists like we did when they voted for Gillespie in Virginia earlier this year, or ask again where the hell are the pussy hat wearers who showed up in the hundreds of thousands to march for “white feminism,” I instead want to take this opportunity to tell you that black women are really tired of saving the world without tangible thank you’s.
So while I sat on my couch in my “fuck your pussy hat” t-shirt celebrating black women again tonight, I waited to hear Doug Jones’ speech and just knew he would get it right this time.
I waited to hear “Thank you black women.” Or,” Thank you black people.” Or, “Yessss black women.” Do you think he thanked black women tonight for saving his ass and helping to get him elected to the U.S. Senate? I’ll wait.
Listen: 65 percent of white women voted for Roy Moore, which is significantly higher than how they voted for President Trump (53 percent). I won’t even talk about how white men voted because it’s not important. They voted for an accused child molester, who told a black person America was at it's best when we had slavery, and was disbarred twice as a judge, so there's not point in diving into their logic.
What is important is to point out that the Democratic Party cannot continue to rely on black voters, particularly black women without taking into serious account the issues that are affecting our community, and actually working on them.
I’ll say it again: If the Democratic Party do not take black women’s issues seriously, then we will take our vote and our coins elsewhere.
You cannot understate the significance of the black vote. The Atlantic said it. Newsweek said it. Essence said it. Think Progress said it. The Root said it. The Intercept said it. Hell, even Don Lemon said it.
Like Symone Sanders said on CNN on Tuesday, “It’s a good day to be black woman in America.” True. And it’s clearly a good day to be Doug Jones because we saved him and y'all again.