My social media feeds and timelines have never been this lit with go out and vote calls, especially from the African immigrants community since the 2008 elections, which brought in President Obama the first black president. Initially, I thought maybe the community has African candidates running. But, I came to find out that only one first generation African immigrant of Guinean origin is running for a seat in New York State Assembly. However, with little inquires, it became cleared that the go out to vote calls present the community way of speaking out for what is right and readiness to get more involved in the domestic politics of their adopted country. For many immigrants, it seems like today’s voting is beyond exercising one’s civil duty but rather a vivid reminder as to why America should love again.
To put it mildly, the current administration has exhibited its willingness to push for policies that directly or indirectly negatively impact thousands of immigrants while creating hostile environment. Arguably, many of my friends believe that the president recent threat to end birthright citizenship in the United States is not only unprecedented and racist it is a direct attack against core values of this country, which foster room for discrimination and hate against immigrant communities. To make matter worse, the administration inability to control the rise in xenophobic, racist, sexist and bigotry attacks against minority groups, especially the brown and black immigrants has energized many who are qualified to rise and exercise their fundamental and constitution right to vote. Immigrants understand that citizens are the highest decision makers in a truly democratic country like the United States. As a result, they have resolved to finding clever ways to get people out to vote for love against fear and hate that have been propagated during the past few months leading to the elections.
However, I cannot conclude that all the immigrants who voted today voted for the democratic candidates or against republican candidates or even if their votes made significant difference. Nonetheless, in the grand scheme of things, it is significant that the African immigrant communities in New York and around America are becoming actively involved in fighting for their interests. The notion that ‘we are visitors who can only be concerned about politics in our various African countries and have no interest in American politics is gradually fading off.’ America is our adopted home so it is time for us to add value to her political landscape as we have done in her educational and economical.