Diversity Matters

A Historical Election for Minorities in America

Joe Biden's victory represents a step towards equality and equity in America.

People of color voted in unprecedented numbers this election. Unsplash

On November 7th, 2020, it became clear Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were elected the President and Vice President after four long days of counting votes. For many people across America, this election will change life as we know it. For diverse people in particular, this election represents a turning point in history. With Kamala Harris being the first Black, South Asian, woman vice-president, and over 130 women being elected to congress, we are now seeing more representation for marginalized people within our national politics. 

This ground-breaking historical election came as no surprise. After four years under the Trump administration, many people of color and underrepresented groups have faced oppression. Before COVID-19, we saw countless lives lost to police brutality without an effective response. For undocumented students within the U.S., we saw rules that made it more difficult for current DACA students to complete their education. Also, undocumented immigrants faced serious trauma during the spring of 2018 as children were separated from their families at the border due to President’s Trump “Zero Tolerance” policy.  The current administration’s lack of attention to the pandemic has also made life even harder for lower-income groups, as they were not able to get the proper resources while also being at a greater risk of dying from the virus.  These are only some of the many examples of how the current administration has failed to uplift minorities and lower-income groups within America. 

With so much unrest over the last 4 years, underrepresented groups of people lifted their voice through the vote. Many studies show different results, but generally speaking, people from cities and areas with high amounts of people of color voted for Joe Bidden and Kamala Harris. In addition to this, most of President-Elect Biden’s supporters focused on racial equity and COVID-19 as their reason for voting whereas many of President Trump’s supporters thought of the economy as their main factor. This was true on Furman’s campus as well. 

Even though the election is over, the path to improving the status of diversity issues in America has just begun. Within the last few days, President-Elect Biden has released a number of first actions he plans to take when entering office, many of which affect underrepresented groups heavily. As of Monday, November 9th, President-Elect Biden has revealed the members of his coronavirus task force. By putting focus on this issue before he has taken office, it shows that this is a top priority and the resolution of this pandemic will be a huge relief for people of color and lower income groups. Next on the list of actions, President-Elect Biden has put emphasis on repealing the travel ban on Muslim countries. This repeal will allow some immigrants, refugees and visa holders to enter the U.S. once again. For children of undocumented immigrants, President-Elect Biden plans to reimplement the DREAMers program and the DACA program. These programs would allow immigrants and  their children to remain in the U.S. and continue to live and work. Lastly, President-Elect Biden plans to revert the transgender military ban that prevented transgender people from serving in the military. There are many issues that still need to be solved, but there seems to be a promising hope ahead for people of underrepresented groups, as many of the first actions presented are geared towards giving them a fair chance within our country. 

This historical election has given underrepresented groups of people relief as they do not have to live in fear of what policy could be implemented next to infringe upon their rights. There is no certainty that all promises and plans mentioned by the next administration can be fully implemented, but compared to the last 4 years, it is evident that there is more hope regarding liberties for minorities within America. Especially for students at Furman that are minorities and come from lower-income families, this election gives them the hope that they will be able to have people in office that are fighting to give them a fair chance . As a country, we have taken one step closer to equality and equity in our nation.

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