As we hope everyone knows, last night the state of Alabama elected Doug Jones to the U.S. Senate. Jones, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama who prosecuted the Klan, beat Judge Roy Moore, former chief justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama, who was twice elected to and then ousted from that position for refusing to abide by laws that ran contrary to his extremely conservative politics. Moore was accused by several women of sexually assaulting them when they were underage. The election was close, but Jones is the winner.
When we talk about this today with our children, and we absolutely should, we must talk about the critical difference that Black voters made in this election. According to CNN polling, 30 percent of all voters were African American, and 96 percent of them voted for Jones. 98 percent of Black women voters went for Jones. Folks came out to the polls in numbers unseen since the Obama elections. And they got the job done, along with the white men and women who in some instances crossed party lines to give Jones the victory. It also helped that 22,000 people who couldn’t bring themselves to vote for a Democrat chose to write in another name. But make no mistake: Alabama’s Black voters took Jones to victory, and he knows it, as he was quick to thank them in his victory speech.
Tell your children that this surge in Black voting didn’t just happen overnight. The NAACP Legal Defense Fund has been tirelessly working for years to combat voter suppression in Alabama. Super PACS (Political Action Committees)from all over the U.S. poured money into the GOTV (Get Out the Vote) effort in Alabama. It all came together and it worked.
Pundits are now deep in discussions as to what this victory means for Alabama, for Democrats, for our nation. You can have those conversations with your children as well. But be sure to start by talking about the power and importance of voting. It matters!!!