Please see below for a statement from our Executive Director, Patti Lynn.
“This election season, we did not let anything get in the way of voting: We showed up to vote in the midst of a pandemic and persisted in the face of day-long lines, eliminated drop-off locations, and intimidation.
Now, every vote must be counted. We have been trained here in the U.S. to expect instant results, but we need to remain steadfast and peaceful while every vote is counted. What’s most important is not that we know the results now, but that those results—when they come—reflect all the votes that were cast.
So we, like much of the rest of the world, especially in these uncertain times, must be determined, peaceful, and avoid chaos. This is about defending the integrity of democracy.
Deeply flawed as it is, our democratic system has the potential to create a government by the people, for the people. U.S. democracy has never lived up to its ideals, and massive corporate and dark-money spending has threatened the integrity of elections for decades.
The U.S. was built on genocide and slavery for the wealth and profit of a few white men, and that violent legacy is built into the DNA of this country. Regardless of the outcome of this election, it is deeply troubling that results so far are not a referendum on white nationalism in this country. There is enormous work to be done to build a democracy in the U.S. that actually represents all people—particularly those who have been systematically oppressed and disenfranchised in our current system: Black, Indigenous, and people of color, low-income people, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ people, and women. And there is enormous work to be done to build a democracy that puts the lives and well being of people over corporate profit and the wealthy, regardless of who our elected officials are.
The stakes of this election are high for people around the world and in the U.S.—particularly Black, Indigenous and people of color. We must not allow our democratic process to be upended by misinformation, scare tactics, or premature claims of victory.
Right now, it’s vital to remember that mass peaceful protests have been the most effective in preventing authoritarian takeovers. The enormous people power and multi-racial coalitions that Black-led organizations mobilized to defend Black lives and turn out voters shows how effective this tactic can be in creating massive cultural shifts.
Participating in democracy is an ongoing practice—not a one-day or once-in-four-years event. Through this time, we must stay awake, engaged, and united. And we must keep our eyes on the future we are building together where corporations are held to account and our government represents the will of the people.”