Nationwide celebrations occurred this Saturday as Joe Biden was elected the 46th President of the United States and Kamala Harris was elected as the first female Vice President. Feelings of relief, success and unity were emulated throughout these celebrations, and citizens felt comfort in the outcome of the election. Biden won in various swing states including Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada and our very own Wisconsin. Students of UW-Madison contributed greatly to the Biden-Harris success in Wisconsin. There were record voter turnout numbers from both Dane County, and Madison itself. Saturday, Nov. 7 will be remembered as a turning point in American history, and serves as a beacon of hope for people all over the world. These celebrations did not only unfold because of Biden’s success, but also because of President Trump’s failure. Celebrations will continue to unfold when Biden gets inaugurated, but for now I want to focus on the celebrations that occurred on Saturday, the day the American people were told Biden had prevailed.
One of the biggest celebrations took place in Washington D.C., the capital of the United States, and the home of the current president. Students from American University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, Howard University and many more gathered in the city to support Biden’s victory, and to further support the Black Lives Matter Movement, LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights and environmental protections. Kamala Harris being elected the first woman, Black and Asian Vice President was also a focal point of the celebration. Thousands of people gathered near The White House blasting music, dancing, blowing horns and cheering. The notion that people celebrated Trump’s defeat in front of his own home demonstrates the deep dissatisfaction that people felt toward him and his Presidency. The residents of Washington D.C. went to bed satisfied with the knowledge that they will soon have a new next-door neighbor that has integrity, believes in science and is willing to make a plan to tackle the pandemic, global warming, the economy, racial justice and women’s rights.
Biden’s election victory also sparked celebrations in President Trump’s hometown, New York City. New York was one of the first cities to be hit extremely hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Countless businesses have shut down and hospitals were overflowing with patients suffering from COVID-19; thousands lost their lives. Many residents blame the current president for the way the pandemic harshly affected their city, so hearing the announcement that Biden was victorious led to feelings of new-found hope. Celebrations occurred in Times Square, Columbus Circle, the Upper West Side, Greenwich Village, Brooklyn and various other parts of the city. According to The New York Times, Senator Chuck Schumer appeared at the Barclays center in Brooklyn to celebrate Biden’s victory. Just like the celebrations that occurred in Washington D.C., New York City residents were seen dancing, smiling, cheering, waving flags and simply overflowing with joy in the streets all day and all night. Some people were seen crying tears of relief. “The city that never sleeps” lived up to its name due to the sheer happiness residents felt after discovering Joe Biden’s victory.
Another city that erupted in celebration due to Biden’s success was Atlanta.It is important to recognize that Georgia has been a traditionally Republican state for the past three decades. Atlanta is also the home city of Martin Luther King Jr., a main leader of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s. His actions contributed to the abolition of the Jim Crow Laws, and helped inspire The Black Lives Matter Movement which calls to put an end to police brutality against Black Americans today. People who back the Black Lives Matter Movement tend to disapprove of Trump’s presidency which is why celebrations occurred in front of MLK’s old home in Sweet Auburn, a neighborhood in Atlanta. Feelings of nostalgia occurred as the BLM Movement took strides forward due to Trump’s defeat. According to PBS News, a planned protest at Freedom Park turned into a party where participants danced to the electric slide. Atlanta residents drove cars with signs suggesting their pride in Biden’s win, and like Washington D.C. and New York City, people stormed the streets cheering, and dancing in celebration.
Madison was another city that erupted with happiness due to Biden’s election. A rally was held at the capital from early Saturday morning to late Saturday night. Students of UW-Madison and other residents gathered to celebrate their victory. Gabi, a student at the rally stated, “surrounded by a multitude of people celebrating, smiling and dancing was a surreal commemoration of a historic moment and a time for me to reflect on how Biden’s leadership will guide the fight for the rights of minorities.” The aroma in the air aligned with Gabi’s statement. It was refreshing to witness the unity of people of all different backgrounds coming together to celebrate such a historic moment. At the rally, there was a pro-Biden “car parade,” an idea that sparked during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic which enables people to stay in their cars to celebrate in order to practice social distancing. They honked their horns and held up signs in support of Biden’s victory out of their windows. There was also a gathering in front of the Capital that included large speakers that blasted fun music for people to dance to. People were holding up Biden-Harris signs and wearing Biden-Harris stickers to show their support. One citizen held up a large Black Lives Matter flag and another held up a Gay Pride Flag, symbolizing the idea that Biden will create policies to ensure the safety of minority groups. America is looking forward to the hope that Biden brings.