Amid reports of harassment and threats directed at minorities and immigrants in the wake of Donald Trump’s election victory, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in a Facebook post on Saturday that his state is a refuge for those who feel they are under attack.
“Whether you are gay or straight, Muslim or Christian, rich or poor, black or white or brown, we respect all people in the state of New York,” Cuomo (D) wrote. “It’s the very core of what we believe and who we are . . . We don’t allow a federal government that attacks immigrants to do so in our state.”
“Our government is built on a system of checks and balances, and I will promise you this: I will be one hell of a check and balance on him,” she said during her victory speech on Wednesday. “Tonight we start our fight together…. The diversity here is our strength and we will continue to be strong.”
“It’s not my voice I’m taking to Washington, it’s all of yours,” she added.
Cortez Masto beat out Republican Rep. Joe Heck to become the first woman to represent Nevada in the Senate on Tuesday, ultimately winning 47 percent of votes. She is the proud granddaughter of a Mexican immigrant, and strongly supports “comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship.”
After her victory on Tuesday, Cortez Masto took to Twitter to thank her supporters and voice her willingness to fight hard for the rights of all Americans.
In a great stride for representation Tuesday, nine black women were elected to become judges in majority Democratic Jefferson County, Alabama, The Birmingham Times reported.
The black women who came out on top in the district and circuit courts, Javan Patton, Debra Bennett Winston, Shera Craig Grant, Nakita “Niki” Perryman Blocton, Tamara Harris Johnson, Elisabeth French, Agnes Chappell, Brendette Brown Green and Annetta Verin, are to be sworn in next January.
French, who was re-elected to Jefferson County’s Circuit Court, told The Birmingham Times that she believes her hard work and years of experience helped to propel her to elected office.
“I think the people don’t necessarily just support you just because of your race and gender. I think voters expect more than that. They look at our qualifications and make a decision about who they can trust with the leadership position,” she said.
For personal and political reasons, I was really hoping this morning would never come: a morning where I’d see Donald J. Trump elected to lead this nation as its 45th president. It has come, however, and as I posited in my most recent editorial, What I Want to Be Able to Tell My Children About Their Next President, I was at an initial loss for what to say.
But before I said good-bye to my children this morning, I let them know who won the Presidency. My seven year-old daughter Phoebe asked, “So it’s all boys?” I responded, “Yes. That’s how the results came in. But that doesn’t mean we stop fighting for what we believe in and what we think will be helpful for most people. And in four more years, we can go back to our polling place and use our vote to make a change.” My daughter nodded, satisfied. My nine year-old son Xavier took it in, much harder to read, but his silence was more stoic than sad. And then their father took them to school.
Like so many others, I then checked in on social media and witnessed a tide of anger, disbelief, sadness and deeply stirring, galvanized spirit pouring out of family, friends, acquaintances and strangers. Soon after, I turned on the television and watched Hillary Clinton give perhaps the greatest, most moving speechof her life. She was gracious, offering openness and healing while remaining indefatigably determined about her democratic agenda and beliefs:
Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power, and we don’t just respect that, we cherish it. It also enshrines other things –- the rule of law, the principle that we’re all equal in rights and dignity, and the freedom of worship and expression. We respect and cherish these things too — and we must defend them.
…Our constitutional democracy demands our participation, not just every four years, but all the time. So let’s do all we can to keep advancing the causes and values we all hold dear: making our economy work for everyone, not just those at the top; protecting our country and protecting our planet; and breaking down all the barriers that hold anyone back from achieving their dreams.
We’ve spent a year and a half bringing together millions of people from every corner of our country to say with one voice that we believe that the American Dream is big enough for everyone — for people of all races and religions, for men and women, for immigrants, for LGBT people, and people with disabilities. Our responsibility as citizens is to keep doing our part to build that better, stronger, fairer America we seek. And I know you will.
And then, for me, came two of her most stirring sentences:
Please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it. It’s always worth it.
Scripture tells us: “Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season, we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.”
So as of today, I am determined not only to continue to curate and write positive stories about people of color via Good Black News, but also to step it up and be a source for even more. To help provide information, ideas and maybe even forums on ways to be pro-active for justice, fairness and inclusivity on local, state and national levels. It may be loose, unpolished and grass roots-style; it may come in the form of tweets, Facebook live posts, IG snaps and super brief posts here, as our GBN squad is as small and volunteer-based as ever – but we vow to offer what we can, when we can, in whatever way we can.
It is my renewed and expanded mission to keep heart, love, be kind, be outspoken, work with whomever has good intentions, and to use any anger and rage as fuel for positive change. And most of all, to work day-by-day, moment-by-moment, step-by-step to deliver on promises for a better, more decent and humane future for our children, ourselves and our country.
Donella Wilson, at 107 years old, has never missed a local or national election since she cast her first vote in the 1940s. And Wilson, who was born in South Carolina to parents who were former slaves, says she is ready to cast her vote one more time and perhaps make history once again.
“I never thought I would live to see a day like this,” Wilson told WISTV.com. “I’m over 100 years old!”
Wilson has had to struggle some recently to retain her right to vote. She had to secure a new ID and registration card, but now she is ready and prepared for her opportunity to say something, and is heading to the polls, not just to back up her beliefs, but to remember those who came before who fought for the right she currently has.
“We couldn’t spell ‘vote,’” Wilson told the news station. “We didn’t know what the word meant other than we had an opportunity to say something and cast a vote, praying as we go along, that the vote could count to help us as a Negro race.”
Wilson said she remembers President Barack Obama’s historic election, expressing how “proud and thankful” she was to witness it.
And she hopes to witness history once again on Tuesday, saying that she planned to cast her vote for Hillary Clinton. “I’m looking for her to be our first female president,” she said. “I think it’s an honor, a precious gift from God.”