Orangeburg (VG) The scene in one of the so-called AmericasHistorically black universitiesHistorically black universitiesHistorically Black Colleges and Universities – Institutions of higher education in the United States that were established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with the goal of providing education primarily to African Americans.» Standing ready for one of the most powerful forces in America.
“Thanks to your voices, I stand here today as the first woman and the first black vice president,” says Vice President Kamala Harris, to loud cheers.
– Joe Biden and I work for you, and Donald Trump does not. He only cares about himself.
– Trump adds fuel to the fire of hatred, racism, and xenophobia, Harris continues.
He talks about his fondness for dictators and says that he wants to become a dictator on the first day. I ask you to recognize the profound threat he poses to our democracy and freedom.
After the speech, I went out into the audience. Trillin Brown (19) gets a high-five from the vice president, and then feels thrilled:
– I will vote for Biden/Harris. Kamala is absolutely gorgeous, he happily tells VG.
In an election campaign characterized for the Democratic Party by questioning the progress of Joe Biden (81 years old), Kamala Harris (59 years old) seems like a breath of fresh air.
It's time for Joe to retire, says Ariana Rae, 21, who will still vote Democratic.
– I hope Biden wins the elections, but he transfers power to Kamala during his term. The 21-year-old says she is a great role model for all women of color.
-She just has to remember to keep her promises!
Ariana leads the university's drum line, which performed in Harris' honor and received a separate shout-out from the enthusiastic vice president.
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Many students at the university are proud of Harris, but equally skeptical of the Biden administration.
They are angry about American support for Israel's war in Gaza, an issue that is divisive on American campuses.
Biden and Harris want black and brown voters to support them, but they hide the genocide of black and brown people in Gaza. It will cost them dearly, believes first-time voter Martin Hare Jr (18).
He came to see Harris with his friends Alyssa Davis (18) and Rita Kelly (18).
Biden takes the votes of black voters for granted. “It's a little desperate to send Kamala Harris out here to give a speech and think that's going to fix everything,” Alyssa says.
Gordon Cooper (21 years old) voted for Biden last time, whether in the primary or presidential elections.
She believes Biden and Harris have done too little for Black voters in practice.
– They did not fulfill all the beautiful promises they made in the last election campaign. But I liked the message that Kamala Harris gave here today, it helped me decide who to vote for, Gordon says cryptically.
Dr. Sandra Glower, 59, who teaches at university and asked her sister-in-law Kayla Glower, 53, to take a photo of her next to a Kamala Harris poster, believes young voters are too demanding:
Biden and Harris have done more for black voters than any other government in my lifetime. She believes that young people should have more patience.
Five months before the election, it doesn't look promising for the Biden/Harris team anyway. Biden is clearly trailing Trump in many polls.
The worst part is that important swing states and important voter groups are letting Biden down. A very important voter group for the Biden campaign is black voters.
That's why South Carolina, which has a high percentage of African Americans, will hold its first Democratic primary on Saturday.
– You cannot become the Democratic nominee, and you cannot win a presidential election, without overwhelming support among voters of color, as Biden said when he convinced the party to start primaries in South Carolina.
Biden is unlikely to win the state in the presidential election itself in November, but after losing Iowa and New Hampshire in the 2020 primaries, it was South Carolina that last swung to his favor.
In addition, the state has symbolic value at the national level.
By starting the primaries here in South Carolina, Biden wants to send a message to black voters across the United States that he takes us seriously, explains John Thomas, a political science professor at the College of Charleston.
He believes that it is natural for the Democratic Party to begin its electoral process in a state whose population matches the voters.
Four in ten registered Democratic voters are nonwhite, compared to just 17% among Republicans.
-Symbolism will be appreciated. “But I'm not sure if it matters to the average black voter,” Thomas says.
He believes Biden has not done “almost enough” to deliver on his election promises to black voters, but he remains like “night and day” compared to Trump.
– How important is Kamala Harris?
Republicans use it as a means of intimidation. “If you vote for Biden, you're going to get this Black woman,” is their rhetoric. While Democrats use it to secure black voters.
– Many black people are proud to be part of the Biden team, but to be honest, Kamala has to work hard to show voters who she really is, concludes Professor Thomas.
Recently showed one Opinion poll Biden's support among black voters dropped from 87 percent in 2020 to 63 percent now.
More recently, support has clearly declined among young black voters in particular.
Professor Thomas believes black voters will not feel pressured to “save democracy from Trump”. He points out that Biden and Harris should win the votes.
Young voters and activists Marcus McDonald (27) and Maya Drake (19) agree.
– My grandfather says that if I don't go out and vote for Biden, I'm complicit if “the other guy” wins. “But I want to hold Biden accountable for his policies,” Marcus says.
Both are active in the Black Lives Matter movement, and feel that the Biden government has failed.
Marcus points out that the Biden government has done too little to stop controversial oil drilling, too little to stop banning books on black history, and too little to reform police and prisons.
He voted for Bernie Sanders, who belongs to the left wing of the Democrats, in the last primaries.
But in the 2020 presidential election, he reluctantly gave his vote to Biden.
Maya will be voting for the first time and, like many students in Orangeburg, is very upset by Biden's support for Israel.
– Biden will lose the support of many young voters due to not advancing a ceasefire in Gaza. It's unbearable.
– How important is Kamala Harris to you?
– Frankly, I see it as part of the same system.
In Charleston, South Carolina, is one of the most historic churches in the United States, Mother Emanuel African Methodist Church.
In this house of worship, a far-right white supremacist killed nine innocent people in 2015.
– In the same period that we witnessed our tragedy here, Joe Biden lost his son to cancer. Two days later, he came here as vice president to show us his support, says church historian Lee Bennett Jr.
It was Biden He recently returned to church He gave a campaign speech. Maya and Marcus think it's disrespectful to use the church in this way.
– This church has a history spanning hundreds of years in defending the rights of blacks. When we hear what Trump says, many of us don't sleep well at night. We need a win for Biden.
Read more election reports from VG:
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