port of harlem magazine
Theo Hodge, Jr. M.D.
America: When She is Beautiful
November 08 – November 21, 2018
mike espy

After wasting many years vilifying the Affordable Care Act, voters in majority White and conservative Idaho, Nebraska, and Utah passed ballot initiatives that would commit their states to participating in the Affordable Care Act’s expansion. The Act, also known as Obamacare, is the signature achievement of America’s first president of African descent, Barack Obama.

Though Florida may have rejected Andrew Gillum’s bid to become the Sunshine’s State’s first Black governor, voters there passed a ballot initiative that would restore voting eligibility to as many as 1.4 million people with a criminal record previously barred from voting. “Nearly one-quarter of the entire disenfranchised population in the U.S will now have the right to vote and will no longer be treated as second class citizens,” says The Sentencing Project.

About 1,100 nonwhite Democrats and 275 nonwhite Republicans ran in Tuesday’s election in the United States.  And, the election resulted in the Democratic party looking more like America, electing the nation’s first two Muslimah’s to Congress, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota (see Omar on the "The View"), the first two Native American women to Congress, Sharice Davids of Kansas and Deb Haaland of New Mexico. Omar is also Somalian-American. Davids is also a lesbian.

Democrat Jared Schutz Polis of Colorado will become the first openly gay governor. Kim Davis, the clerk who refused to sign marriage licenses for gay couples, lost to Democrat. Elwood Caudill, Jr.

Prince George’s County, Maryland, the wealthiest and best educated majority Black county, elected its first female county executive. She is an African-American Democrat.

While much of the media focuses on the “forgotten working class Whites” in Middle America, Illinois and Wisconsin managed to elect several African Americans to statewide offices including Juliana Stratton and Mandela Barnes as lieutenant governors, respectively. Illinois also elected Kwame Raoul as attorney general as did Minnesota with Keith Ellison, who was the nation’s first elected Muslim to Congress.

Also, in the state the produced the nation’s first Black president, Lauren Underwood, a progressive Illinois Democrat, flipped a Republican seat that only has a 3 percent Black population.
While much of the media focuses on the “forgotten working class Whites” in Middle America, Illinois and Wisconsin managed to elect several African Americans to statewide offices.
Down in Mississippi, where many Illinoisans have their roots, former Congressman Mike Espy faces a runoff to become Mississippi’s first Black Senator since Reconstruction I.  Much celebrated Democratic Stacey Abrams is also facing a runoff to become governor of Georgia and the first Black female governor of any state.

Lucy McBath will not only make the Congressional Black Caucus larger, but will add to its female ranks. McBath, whose son Jordan Davis was murdered by a racist motorist in Florida in 2012 after complaining the Jordan and friends were playing their music too loud at a gas station, declared victory on Wednesday in her bid to unseat White, Republican incumbent Karen Handel as the representative of Georgia’s 6th congressional district. Newt Gingrich was held this seat.

The Republican Party, however, continues to be the “White” party, with Mia Love trailing in her re-election bid. If she loses, only two Black Republicans will remain in Congress, representative Will Hurd won reelection in Texas and Senator Tim Scott was not up for reelection. Republican Boyd Rutherford was reelected as lieutenant governor of Maryland.

“Now we must hold all elected accountable as we fight to ensure that the democracy works for everyone. We must also prepare for the 2020 Census and the imminent threat that the 2020 Census will substantially undercount African-Americans and other people of color in communities throughout the United States,” stated NAACP President Derrick Johnson.
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