Stand Together. Vote Together. Win Together
COMMENTARY

November 3, 2020by Antjuan Seawright, Founder & CEO, Blueprint Strategy LLC
FILE - In this April 7, 2020, file photo, voters wait in line to cast ballots at Washington High School while ignoring a stay-at-home order over the coronavirus threat to vote in the state's presidential primary election in Milwaukee. Many Black voters are skeptical of voting by mail even as states seek to expand that option during the coronavirus pandemic. Decades of racism and voter disenfranchisement are at the heart of the uneasy choice facing Black voters. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

I’ve been talking about the significance of the black vote for a while now.

I know, you’re probably sick of hearing it. But we have to understand that, from the caucuses and primaries to early voting and Election Day, this is a turning point in our nation’s history. It’s not just because we have a clear choice in candidates, in policies and in what kind of country – what kind of people – we want to be in the generations to come. But it’s because, for the first time in America’s history, roughly 30 million black voters will be eligible to vote.

30 million black voters. That’s a big number, right?

It’s time those voices were heard.

Of course, there are some who’d rather we remained silent. There are some who want to keep us maligned and marginalized, disregarded and disenfranchised and, from voting restrictions to militia threats, they’ll do their best to keep us from casting that ballot.

They know, as I wrote last week, that black voters are casting a survival vote this election. And they know, like we all know, the many reasons why.

But we know their tactics and, like any bully who’s been punched in the nose, they’re just not that scary anymore…not nearly as scary as the cost of not voting.

That’s why, before the polls even open today, more than 91 million voters have already cast their ballots. That’s not only a record, that’s already more than two thirds of all the ballots cast four years ago.

Of course, we all know that the black vote is far from monolithic. Furthermore, as I’ve been blowing the horn about since 2016, a too often overlooked piece of that coalition is black men.

And the work so many of us have done to reach these voters over the past four years has been exceptional. The DNC’s long term investment strategy – which I’m proud to say I’ve been a part of – has not only kept us engaged and involved, but created an infrastructure to meet black men where they are.

That’s made all the difference.

Now here we are and it’s time to decide. It’s time to draw the proverbial line in the sand and pick a side.

By now you know that 13% of black men voted against their own interests in 2016. 13% of black men were led astray by GOP misinformation and suppression. We also know that they’re at it again with even more lies and misinformed celebrities in their arsenal this time.

But what we don’t know is “Will it work?”

That’s up to you. From healthcare to education to wages, climate change, voting rights and criminal justice reform, the issues that hang in the balance will not only hit black men harder than white, but two or even three times harder.

Your lives hang in the balance. Your brother’s life, your father’s life, your husband, boyfriend, uncle and cousin’s life hangs in the balance.

But, while they may not listen to me, they will listen to you.

Make sure they’re heard today and, together, we’ll make history.

We stand together. We vote together. We win together.


Antjuan Seawright is a Democratic political strategist, founder and CEO of Blueprint Strategy LLC, and a CBS News political contributor. Follow him on Twitter @antjuansea 

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