Last night, around 10:30 EST, a palpable (if not universal) sigh of relief rippled across the country. In a dramatic special election race to fill the Alabama senatorial seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Doug Jones became the first democrat in 25 years to win a senate seat in one of the reddest states in the country.
Doug Jones was a strong candidate—an attorney known for putting three Klu Klux Klan members behind bars after a 1963 church bombing in Birmingham that killed four young black girls.
But his path to victory was largely paved by the fact that his opponent, Roy Moore—supported robustly by President Trump and the Republican party in more recent weeks—currently faces multiple accusations of sexual misconduct, including allegations of child molestation when one of the women was as young as 14.
Virtually any other GOP candidate would have been considered a shoo-in, and yet Jones eked out a narrow win of just over 20,000 votes. To the surprise of pretty much no one, Moore is unwilling to accept “no” for an answer, and as of this writing, he is yet to concede, urging supporters instead to “wait on God.” WTF.
And while it’s a big win for the democrats in that it narrows the Senate margin to 49-51, making President Trump’s legislative agenda exponentially more difficult to execute, it’s a moment that warrants serious introspection on behalf of the left.
A rough demographic breakdown illustrates that a whopping 72 percent of white men and 63 percent of white women voted for Moore, while 93 percent of black men and 98 percent of black women voted for Jones.
“Fine. We’ll fix it.” – Black Women #ALSen #DougJones pic.twitter.com/bL599oxJ6S— Aᴋ (@aksala13) December 13, 2017
And while many well-intended thanks have been extended to the black women of Alabama, numerous Twitter users have pointed out that the trope of “black woman as nurturing savior” is also harmful and exhausting.
97% of Black women & 92% of Black men voted for Doug Jones.We’re never the problem or been the reason why America has ever been held back politically.Stop acting like y’all don’t know who needs to get it together in these polls.#AlabamaSenateElection— Ernest Owens (@MrErnestOwens) December 13, 2017
ICYMI: 97 percent of Black women voted for Jones while 65 percent of white women voted for Moore. We won’t always be there to clean up the mess.#Alabama #DougJones #BlackWomen— renee dupree (@rdp) December 13, 2017
Like I don’t think people get that Black women don’t turn out because of some maternal instinct to save everyone. We get usually hit first and worst by oppressive policies so we are saving ourselves. You just benefit.— Keidra @ Mastodon (@kdc) December 13, 2017
Black women ain’t tryna save y’all. We tryna save our own damn selves. What’s good for us happens to be good for everybody else. If you actually understood the “intersectionality” you claim, then you would already know that.— Black Mary (@PaigeUnabridged) December 13, 2017
It was an effort that was, refreshingly, not lost on Jones. In his victory speech, he explicitly thanks the minority communities that were responsible for the higher-than-expected voter turnout: “The African-American community, thank you. My friends—my friends in the Latino community, thank you. To all my Jewish friends, happy Hanukkah.”
The country, of course, waited for the inevitable President Trump tweet, which was appeared around 11 p.m. EST, and was unusually subdued, issuing a note of congratulations to Doug Jones.
But this morning, Trump was back in defensive “I told you so!” mode, saying, “The reason I originally endorsed Luther Strange (and his numbers went up mightily), is that I said Roy Moore will not be able to win the General Election. I was right! Roy worked hard but the deck was stacked against him!”
Riiiight. You knew he was going to lose all along, which is why you fully endorsed an alleged child molester. Makes sense.
Meanwhile, Trump was enmeshed yesterday in yet another self-inflicted firestorm when he issued a tweet yesterday that seemed to suggest democratic Senator Kristen Gillibrand offered to trade sexual favors for his political support.
Oh, and former Apprenticestar and White House aide Omarosa Manigault, one of the few high-profile black individuals in his administration, resigned from her post this morning.
Looks like somebody’s going to need a few extra Diet Cokes to soothe his frustrations this week.
*Update Wed Dec. 13 10:45 a.m. PT: This story originally published on Dec. 11 and has been updated to reflect the special election results.