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Press release/statement

Demos President K. Sabeel Rahman on Our Democracy after the Election

K. Sabeel Rahman

For what feels like the first time in years, we can pause for the briefest of moments and breathe.

Today, for what feels like the first time in years, we can pause for the briefest of moments and breathe.

Black and Brown Americans faced every obstacle possible deliberately put in their path in this election. But despite a global pandemic, an economic crisis, and racist voter suppression, including long lines and threats of domestic terror at the polls, they showed up. Once again, they proved that this – refusing to be denied – can change the world.

But we must have no illusion that our work now is done. In a few weeks, many families across the country will sit down at a Thanksgiving table with an empty seat. Many will not be able to convene at all. For others, after months of unemployment and no meaningful relief in sight, the mere thought of a holiday dinner simply is out of reach. The widespread despair we have felt for much of this year does not disappear with the prospect of a new president. 

At Demos, our top priority in this moment and ever after, is to speak truth to power in partnership with Black and Brown Americans nationwide. That means holding the health care system accountable after witnessing the devastatingly disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on people of color. It means that, after months of relying on the labor of essential workers, we fight for a just, equitable economic recovery that honors their contributions to our country. It means that we push for structural reforms to our electoral system, like the For the People Act, so that everyone can exercise their right to vote. 

We face foes on every side: white supremacy, corporate greed, courts primed to push against our movement toward a more equitable, more inclusive democracy. And yet we know that the power of Black and Brown Americans rising together and calling for change is greater than even our biggest challenges. As we embark on this next chapter in our nation’s history, our unending faith in that power will continue to fuel our work.