Written by: Tori B. Powell
The president of American University’s NAACP chapter, Madison Dalton, describes herself as an optimist but says that she isn’t too optimistic about how either candidate in the upcoming presidential election will handle the most important issue to her: racism abolition.
“We have two racist white men – two sexual abusers – running to be president,” the political science major says. “You just have to be a realist with this.”
Throughout their 2020 campaigns, both Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden have had their approaches to racism in the country criticized. And Dalton isn’t the only one who sees this as an important issue. According to the Pew Research Center, more than half of registered voters say that race and ethnic inequality is a pretty big deal in the election for them too.
While the senior says that she doesn’t hope to see Trump win this November, she isn’t quite convinced that Biden, will “miraculously solve everything” either. She fears that if the former vice president is elected, Americans will stop fighting for civil rights with the same passion that they have been like in large protests against police brutality that the country has seen this summer.
“The normal that we were living in was dangerous for so many,” she says. “If Biden were to win, people would go back to how things were before.”
Despite her doubts, she still says that voting this year is imperative, noting the historic events of 2020 and the effects that they have on marginalized communities. But going to the polls is only half of the work according to Dalton. She says that social activism is equally as important in order to provoke meaningful change.
Part of her own civil rights action begins on her university’s campus where many racist scandals have occurred throughout the years.
The student says that she hasn’t been satisfied with AU’s responses, which is one of the many reasons for her involvement within the NAACP. The chapter aims to create inclusive and safe spaces for Black students at the school.
“The fact that AU has yet to specify and name that these are mainly attacks targeted towards Black women on campus speaks volumes,” she says.
Whether one’s activism is at a university, in a local community, or within the nation, Dalton advises all Americans to vote by any means possible this November and to advocate for an equitable country against racism.