I grew up about an hour north of Philadelphia in Hilltown, Pa., a rural, blue-collar community in Bucks County in the 1970s. Today we would describe it as a Trump stronghold. Then I was just a little Black girl in an all-white elementary school that reinforced the gospel of white supremacy quietly and completely.
Last Thursday, the anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection, the public school that I attended, Pennridge School District, directed its teachers to downplay one of the most important events in the history of American democracy: the attempted overthrow of a free and fair election by a racist white mob. In an email, an administrator counseled that teachers should stick to “business as usual.” Not surprising since the president of the Pennridge School Board attended the “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington on Jan. 6. While everything about this is triggering to me personally, there are deeper and wider implications as we move into the 2022 midterm elections.
Pennsylvania is one of the most important battleground states in the nation. Philadelphia, which is almost 45 percent Black, is the political and economic engine of the state. As we move towards the 2022 midterms, it will be Philadelphia – and its surrounding suburbs (like Bucks County) – that will determine the fate of the state. We saw it in 2020. Philadelphia literally made the difference between Pennsylvania going red or blue. As the only Black-owned talk station in the state, WURD was at the heart of rallying Philly’s Black community to get out to vote. We will be at it again this year, beating the drum, urging everyone – Black, Brown, White – to vote like their lives depend on it, because it actually does.
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