Unless you’ve been living under a rock in a soundproof room locked away in a vault located in the penthouse of a high tower without internet access solitarily hovering in the void of space… You are aware that the quadrennial election for U.S. President just happened. And, you likely have thoughts about the 2020 Election Results.
There have been tons of reactions and summarizations from every corner of the planet; and discussion about the entire election week itself and its results will likely continue for months (if not years) to come.
In all of the public discourse out there, however – these are the most significant perspectives for me.
Number 3: Dave Chappelle’s 11/07/2020 SNL Monologue
Why this one matters:Mark Twain Prize winner, David Khari Webber Chappelle, is one of the most prominent and brutally honest commentators on Modern American Society. He masterfully interweaves relatable truths, internal reflections, and bizarre experiential stories within his humor in a way that gets people to listen. Over his career (which I’ve been fortunate enough to witness nearly in its entirety), he’s proven to be an unexpectedly refreshing source of opening minds to things they otherwise wouldn’t have thought of-, considered-, or admitted to- in the first place.
I feel like Dave Chappelle was told to unload everything he’s wanted to say about the last 4 years, since his first post-presidential SNL monologue, on unfiltered live national television. A sort of catharsis on the 2020 Election Results.
And in (what I believe is) an unprecedented 16-minute Saturday Night Live Monologue delivery, he did just that in his typical fashion. Jovial. Hilarious. Scathing. Poignant. And, most importantly: Truthful.
Number 2: Last Week Tonight’s Commentary on the 2020 Election Results
Why this one matters: John Oliver’s outsider perspective shtick on U.S. culture has been enjoyable to see and learn from, to say the least. He regularly delivers well-researched exposés on a variety of topics, and I think he summed up the play-by-play of election week in a digestible fashion.
Yes, John Oliver has never hid his political bias this entire time – but – I challenge people to really argue against the objective truth of this comedic reporting.
Number 1: (Shocker) Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s and President-elect Joe Biden’s Victory Speeches
Why these matter: For those who can’t relate, I’ll try to paint a picture for you in the only way I know how…
Imagine growing up in a position of “less than”. While you aren’t actually legally labeled as such, your “state of being” marks you like a scarlet letter in a way that you can’t hide from. You see others who look like you constantly overstepped, demeaned, discouraged, and (historically) shut-out.simply because of their appearance. You live a life where subconscious pre-meditated assumptions are cast upon you on a regular basis. You have a feeling of “no matter how much I accomplish, I will always be seen as ‘less than’ in the eyes of a significant portion of the society I live in.”
That is seriously how I felt as a child. That is why, to this day, I don’t enjoy slave movies about Africans & African Americans in the cinema (and I LOVE movies). And that’s why finding out that Harriet Tubman was going to be put on American currency bothered me when we have other shining examples to choose from who had nothing to do with Slavery. I feel like such visuals reinforce a certain “mental positioning” of Black People’s place in this country for all who view it (whether they realize it or not).
And then… 2008 happened.
As a young Black man in America, I got to see Barack Obama become the 44th President of the United States and represent my country, and my culture, with dignity on the global stage. In the years to come, I’d see him face challenges (both blatant and subtle) related to his “state of being”, on a regular basis, with grace. I was able to witness his happiest moments and triumphs from afar – and take solace in knowing that he publicly and privately shared the outrage and pain I felt related to the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in 2012 (a significant moment). I was able to see someone who looked like me finally achieve a singular position furthest away from a “less than” (as far as American standards are concerned).
His unlikely presidency had a great deal more positive impact on my mind than I will probably ever fully be able to fully articulate.
Now, young Black and South Asian brown-skinned women get to take that same pride in Kamala Harris. Interracial people. Indians. Jamaicans. They all are proud of her, and she shines in this moment.
And Joe Biden?
While I don’t have some long drawn out thought related to what he represents for minorities on a personal level, I more than think he said what America needed to hear and be reminded of after 4-years of top-down led division.
That’s my honest assessment.
Both of these speeches set a hopeful tone for many in this country and around the world. Time will show what all they are actually able to accomplish within their realm of control – but it was a verbal message of unity, diverse representation, and inclusion. A noted change from the last few years of verbal divisiveness, homogeneity, and exclusion.
Words matter. That is one of the things I love about writing.
I am happy with the words that were chosen in all of these videos.