We Talked 2020 Election Results with Brown Americans — Here’s What They Said

Taxes, “legal” immigration, and the death of democracy — voters and non-voters alike are speculating how the election will change things in 2021 and beyond.

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Biden supporters at the State Fairgrounds entrance where Biden held a drive-in rally in Falcon Heights Minnesota (Lorie Shaull)

Michaela Stone Cross


November 5, 2020

White crowds are gathering in Detroit to demand that poll workers stop counting Black votes, and one Brown guy flew across the nation just to cast his vote in Pennsylvania. Brown millennials in swing states are begging aunties and uncles to support Joe Biden, and liberals are introspecting as the numbers prove that people of color don’t hate Trump as much as the media thought. Americans are stress-eating, stress-Tweeting, and stress-meme-ing as the future of the country hinges on a few million voters from swing states Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. While polls suggest that Brown people are overwhelmingly ridin’ with Biden, things are still divided: South Asians who voted blue talk about Black Lives Matter, immigration, and the death of democracy, while those who voted red talk taxes, China, and the economy.

“We’ve seen what it looks like to have an ‘outsider,’” one uncle — who doesn’t want to be named — tells me in a Philadelphia restaurant. “Four more years of stress. I live in a house of three women — it’s women who make the country strong: Maggie Thatcher, Indira Gandhi. And we have a man who…” He shakes his head, clearly referring to the grab-them-by-the-pussy incident. 

“I’m sitting in my room at MSU [Michigan State University] shaking with the worst stomach ache as we see whether or not Michigan will turn blue,” said Raenu Charles, a 21-year-old student and retail worker. She believes her family’s future — her grandmother’s health requires her to stay with family — depends on the election. “We’re terrified of what a Trump presidency and conservative Supreme Court could mean for immigration rights. If [my grandmother] Paati can’t get a green card, my parents will have to move back to India, leaving me and my sisters alone in the U.S.”

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