Dear fellow Black voters: Thank you

Dear fellow Black voters: Thank you
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In South Carolina, we say grace before we eat and sleep. We learn from a young age to say “yes, ma’am” and “no, ma’am.” Men still open doors for women, and it’s the only place in the country where sweet tea is the real thing. We’re also taught that the two most important words on this side of heaven are “Thank you.”

America now owes those words to Black voters.

Earlier in the presidential nomination process, I was clear and unapologetic about the net worth of South Carolina and the power of the African American vote. Although some of the cable news pundits rolled their eyes at the notion, House Majority Whip Jim ClyburnJames (Jim) Enos ClyburnA better response to political violence in America Exclusive 'Lucky' excerpt: Vow of Black woman on Supreme Court was Biden turning point Clyburn: Bush told me I'm 'savior' for Biden endorsement MORE (D-S.C.) and Black voters in South Carolina may have been the biggest key to saving the country from four more years under President TrumpDonald TrumpSenators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House Georgia secretary of state withholds support for 'reactionary' GOP voting bills MORE with this election.


I mean, let’s be honest: Black voters were the biggest factor in Joe BidenJoe BidenKlain on Manchin's objection to Neera Tanden: He 'doesn't answer to us at the White House' Senators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Overnight Defense: New Senate Armed Services chairman talks Pentagon policy nominee, Afghanistan, more | Biden reads report on Khashoggi killing | Austin stresses vaccine safety in new video MORE’s winning the South Carolina primary, and he would not have won the Democratic Party nomination without winning South Carolina. So it’s fair to say that, without Clyburn and Black voters in South Carolina, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

Now, I know we are still counting votes. And we all see the tomfoolery that President Trump and his lawyers are doing to delay results that ultimately cannot be denied. 

However, it’s clear to me that when this process is over — and it will be soon — the story will be how Black voters saved the Biden campaign and protected our democracy. And when I say Black voters, I mean the collective Black vote, men and women. 

Even though a reported 18 percent of Black men voted for Trump, the numbers regarding Biden voters really tell the story:

  • Strong black turnout in Wayne County, Michigan, which includes Detroit, gave Biden a lead of more than 322,000 votes in that state. He won Michigan by just over 148,000 votes, according to The Associated Press.

So, if you’re looking for a trend to report, the results appear to be pretty clear to me. There is no more loyal or dependable voting bloc in the country than Black voters — and, once again, they’ve stepped up to vote Democratic and save our country.


Okay, maybe that’s a bit much — after all, nothing is “saved” yet — but our country will get back on track. And does anyone doubt that there’s a very real difference between a Biden administration committed to facing a global pandemic head-on, with a real plan to prevent the spread of the virus that has killed over 247,000 Americans and devastated our economy, and a Trump administration whose chief of staff says the pandemic can’t be controlled?

Is there any suggestion that we are better served by a president who tries to tear down democracy itself by making baseless accusations about election fraud while standing in front of the presidential seal and a man who tries to empower us as a people because he knows that every vote matters and every vote should be counted?

So, despite misinformation and disinformation, despite oppression and attempted voter suppression, in the words of the Rev. Jesse Jackson: “The same hands that once picked cotton have once again picked a president.”

What’s more, voters have picked a House majority that includes Clyburn as the highest-ranking African American member of Congress, and by choosing Biden, they also elected history’s first Black woman to hold the vice presidency. On a side note, I’m really looking forward to watching Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellKlain on Manchin's objection to Neera Tanden: He 'doesn't answer to us at the White House' Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House Murkowski undecided on Tanden as nomination in limbo MORE (R-Ky.) and Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamPassage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy Progressive support builds for expanding lower courts McConnell backs Garland for attorney general MORE (R-S.C.) when they have to look up to the Senate’s new presiding officer, Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisEmhoff reflects on interracial marriage case: Without this 'I would not be married to Kamala Harris' WHO: Coronavirus deaths down 20 percent worldwide last week Collins: Biden's .9T coronavirus package won't get any Senate GOP votes MORE.

Yes, there is much work to be done, because rebuilding a nation “of, by and for the people” is not a job that’s completed with the election of a new team in the White House. But the Biden/Harris choice, aided by the votes of Black men and women across this country, is the only way that work can begin.

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.