Now What?

Arguably, 2020 was a year both relentless and necessary, nations suffered, people suffered, humanity was hopeless yet the year closed with the historic election of Joe Biden and VP Kamala Harris. People across the world celebrated as if life had just begun as Joe Biden was sworn into his Presidency. Many may argue that Trump’s legacy leaves behind a scorched society, while Biden has become a symbol of optimism for the world, who for an entire year have had to live in a world that appeared to be falling apart. Already a month into the new year; a year many hoped would be the year of redemption, has anything changed?

The new year saw the USA usher into a new political era, the Biden era, a symbol of hope and unity. After Biden’s election the question for many people is if Biden can uplift an entire nation and the world from existing within our misery? Perhaps, that is an unfair question yet it appears to be the only way forward in what already seems to be a year that will continue our troubles. Even with a new President sitting comfortably- leading the land of the free there is still a quiet linger, a residue of the Trump era. As Trump was impeached at the end of 2020 for the 2nd time (making history) the question must be asked if Trump’s impeachment trial is worth it since it will continue to renew rancour and division within the country. As we attempt to leave 2020 behind, wouldn’t it be the wiser move to not incite division and pursue the gratifying emotions of being able to say the words ‘we did it’. Arguably, the case for impeachment may not be meaningless, yet it seems counter-intuitive to start a new political era wrestling with the previous one.

Despite this, many people may express they do not care for the atmosphere within America however, the economic, social and political spheres in America are like the wind, piercing through everyone’s mind guiding and leading the Western world. This is why during the months leading up to the election you and your friends or your parents and their friends may have engaged in impassioned conversations on the candidates; who you wanted to win, what you thought of the debates, up until the pinnacle moments, staying up late to hear the words ‘Trump…’ or ‘Biden…’ has won or-loss. Meanwhile keeping by your side a celebratory item or a consoling item depending on the results reported across the world.

The Inauguration ceremony was a moment, a grand and glamourous moment, yet my hope is that it was not just that, yes, Kamala Harris made history as the first female VP and the first VP of color. I referred earlier to Biden as a symbol of hope and unity. It may also be argued that he is a prop for hope and unity, as Biden supporters went out and bought Biden merchandise decorating his political manifestos in clothing, sunglasses, T-shirts and ‘we did it’ hats. As for Kamala Harris her ambiguous Black identity is a beautiful symbol of equality and diversity yet it is important to recognize that the average Black woman does not look like Kamala Harris. This raises the question on what these symbols of hope and diversity mean and are truly used for. Does seeing another White man in power keep people hopeful, can Kamala Harris be a force for Black women or will this new era fall flat, leaving Biden and Harris to be nothing other than props used to keep America an unfulfilled land.

Furthermore, I end this with the question above, now what?