Tuesday, November 3, 2020 Was The Scariest Night I Have Ever Lived Through.

I have never been so relieved to see the final version of a map in my life!

I exhaled when President-Elect Joe Biden won. I had been holding it since November 8, 2016. I was at work when the election was called for Donald Trump four years ago and had not even realized I had been holding my breath. I had taken a sabbatical from social media in September, determined not to venture back into the quagmire of social media until after this election.

I was scared. I was more scared than I have ever been in my life. And I have been in some scary, crazy situations in my almost four decades. But this? This here?! No, this fear was ancestral, primal and I have never felt more helpless! But I am getting ahead of myself.

I gave in to curiosity and turned on my television on Election Night, after working the night before–I stayed up to go vote. I didn’t want to risk going home, sleeping, and shenanigans break out about my poll place. For reference:  I am in a red state (Missouri), governed by a COVIDidiot (Gov. Mike “I hate science” Parsons), and I am a Black woman. I had my voter registration purged, and had to re-register. So participating in this election I knew would be a fight! But, I had been ready for it. And I put myself in seclusion since before Halloween. I turned by notifications off. I didn’t check Facebook. I didn’t go on TikTok. I hunkered down.

I waited. I prayed.

When I peeked at my social media because of curiosity, I almost started screaming crying. I saw a sea of red–just like in 2016! I saw Joe Biden’s lead shrink, and I panicked. All I saw was red, and as I sat in my apartment by myself, I fought tears. I was on the phone with my love and he told me, “It is going to be okay.” That was a slap in the face! I told him he had no idea what that meant! I told him how scared I was! I was scared for my daughters. Scared for my mother and sister. Scared for my godmother, queer family, activist family and everyone attached to me. I was so scared I wanted my father–and he has been dead for almost 20 years. I wanted my father because that was the only man that I had ever known that would be able to protect me and my daughters. I could not breathe. I called my Godmother Vickie and panicked in her Facebook inbox. She told me not to panic–and that brought me down from a 20 on a scale of 1-10, to a  solid 10.

My chest was tight. My hands cold. I paced through my house, and fought tears. I thought where I could go with  my girls. I am divorced from my first husband (and father of my children), and he lives deep in Trump Country Missouri. Due to paperwork and wording of my divorce decree, I couldn’t move without his ‘permission’. I knew he would never give it, and he would never let me leave! I knew he wouldn’t understand, and would not protect the girls like they would need! I knew that he would deny my fear, say I was overreacting and say I was ‘trying to take his kids.’ It was the most obscene sort of auction block. I could not be assured the father of my children would be able to protect them–or have the desire to!–and he would do all in his power to make my life a nightmare, while I try to protect these children from the world, the flesh and the devil! With that knowledge, I realized just for a moment, what the ancestors felt while enslaved. I was in a land where the people in it wanted my death, my body or my complete erasure. And there was nothing I could do about it! NOTHING!

I got to bed after 2:00 AM that night. And it took all of my faith to pray, and pray to sleep.

My mother, my sister and I supported one another through this madness! My  mother and sister were watching CNN/MSNBC as recounts were happening, and when the mail-in ballots where added and the map began to change. We all watched and prayed. Prayed and watched, needed Nevada, Georgia, Arizona and Pennsylvania to certify their results and call this election.

It was my sister that texted me to let me know Saturday, November 7, 2020 at 10:41 AM CST this:  “Biden wins Pennsylvania, biden in the 46th president elect! “bout to lose ‘yo job!” Then, I exhaled. I know that President-Elect Biden is not White Savior. Yet, neither is he a incarnation of  Nero, starving for the blood of the poor, Black, Brown, Latinx, queer, Muslim, etc. There is still work to do, and now that I can breathe? I can fight again. Too much depends on the next four years to be silent!

Special thanks to my TikTok fam for getting me through the crazy of Election Night and the days that followed!  Namely Conscious Lee (@theconsciouslee); Quentin (@quentinjiles); Tommy (@my_doode); Jason (@bardude97);  Nicole (@nikkinoo813); Sunny (@_sunny_laluz) and Tiffany (@doubledeemuva). If you want to follow me, I am @whatjayesaid.

The Stake Of Micah 6:8

Micah 6:8 (NIV): He has shown you, O mortal what is good . And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

I make no apology for being a follower of Christ. It is my faith that has sustained me, my family and sanity since I came to faith at 8 and formally at 16. Since then, all I have ever wanted was to make God proud, and help people. With that small prayer, I have dedicated my energy to activism, helping people and being a support–much as I saw and see the followers of the Savior do.

Then came the Election of 2016…and I held my breath.

Then came the Election of 2020…and exhaled. Four days later.

What I have seen in these four years is nothing but racism, deflection, and the worship of a man as a god by the vox populi of the greater part of the country because they are still mad they no longer have the right own people! What I have seen is how the Evangelical Right prostituting the Gospel of Christ–which is so precious to so many people!–for the sake of power!

I, for one, will never forget how people in the faith that I respected and listened to, were in this room praying for a man whom would mock the faith which so many have died to proclaim! I will never forget hearing Dr. David Jeremiah (whom I have never been able to listen to since), Bishop Clarence McClendon, and Jetezen Franklin praying for a man whom was proven not to know God! Who can such a thing be?! And to see Paula White–whom is the spiritual daughter of Bishop T.D. Jakes (just like Dr. Juanita Bynum is) praying for him–as well as becoming his ‘spiritual advisor.’

My heart is grieved. Completely grieved. And here is why.

For the sake of power, the Gospel by which I have revered, treasured and the God I treasure, I have seen trashed! I have seen those whom are considered elect and wise, praise a man whom is a racist! I have seen people pray for a man that has tear gassed protestors for a photo op! I cannot understand how this has happened in a nation which claims to be built on Christ.

Yet, in looking at this image I found on my professional IG (@authorjbharris), I was angry. The last four year cannot be erased! It cannot be pushed aside, or even easily forgiven. There is a such a pain that has been shown in this nation, and there is no amount of “I’m sorry” could fix this.

It is not ‘just a vote’. These people applied GOD to lie! To defend a liar! To justify their own racism, compliancy, privilege and to disparage people whom do not believe as they do! This cannot be overstated!

Forgiveness is a far off. I wish these MAGA cultists would understand what they have done, and what cannot be undone. Your sorrow is hallow. Your tantrum is evident. You cannot simply roll up a flag, take off a hat, and think that those vain actions will fix it! The work of reconciling will be work…real work!

And do not ask Black women to be on the forefront of it. We just flipped a ruby red state, voted in droves, and are about to help deliver the country from destruction–again!–after a lunatic tried to destroy it!

The Mammies are done, there are none left. There are none to come to rescue White America from their tears this time.

In The Suppression Of Voting

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.

When I voted for Senator Barack Obama the first time, I was pregnant with my second child, hadn’t eaten breakfast, and thought I was smart for just coming out to vote early. It was the second presidential election I had voted in! And, to think that I was pregnant when it happened? That is a mix of joy, disbelief and complete relief. I remember watching the results come in when he beat Senator John McCain. And Governor Romney. In reflecting on this, my fourth presidential election I have voted in, it seems much more important!  

As of this posting, I am working 12-hour shifts (nights of all things!) in the midst and grips of a global pandemic which has killed over 225,000 people. After my shift, I will drive to my voting site, unshowered, hair wrapped up and may not see my bed before noon! I am not saying this complain, only to be observant. With this year, living in Missouri (which does not offer early voting), it seems like an extra insult to injury; another affront or hurdle to maneuver.

But, I will go. I will stand. I will wait. I have books, Apple Music, and Audible. I will not be moved. I’ll grab breakfast and keep it pushing. I refuse to be silenced in this election surrounded by so much death, misinformation and quasi-fascism! I have found myself watching Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone again for either reminders or prevention. The episode entitled The Obsolete Man (Season 2, Episode 29) is most applicable to this current state of our nation. There is a quote at the end of this episode which only Serling could deliver:

Any state, any entity, any ideology that fails to recognize the worth, the dignity, the rights of man, that state is obsolete.”

With this said, I make my declaration clear. It is not an exaggeration what the corrupt right desires to do. It is not exaggeration of their intent, their desire and their willingness to prove or shift their fallacy into truth through blood if necessary. I am a cis-het, Black, and woman living in the last slave state in the Union. I am living in a time similar to my hero and patron saint of Black writers, Ida Bell Wells Barnett. Lynchings are still happening. Racism still determines legislation! To be a woman is now to be a pre-existing condition, with my womb not even mine to control! It is surreal, completely surreal. And yet, it is happening!

Could Election Day be a national holiday? It could be, it should be. Should the Electoral College be abandoned because it is an archaic appeasement to an unruly time whose then citizenry was mad it could no longer own people as chattel? Yes, immediately! But what fun would that be for racists? What glee does equality grant to the bigot? No, power and fear drive such people–equality is to admit their dominance is an illusion. So, I will vote. My voice will be heard. My faith is through works! If my ancestors can live, to make sure I could, then I will not die in the land of MAGA, under the dictate of the Mad King.