Celebrations break out nationwide after Biden victory

Biden voters celebrate in Times Square after Biden victory.

Courtesy of The New York Times

Biden voters celebrate in Times Square after Biden victory.

Megan Gawronski, Staff Reporter

As the news spread throughout the country on Nov. 7 that Democratic candidate for president Joe Biden was projected to win the state of Pennsylvania, and thus, the election, mass celebrations broke out in cities across the nation. From Los Angeles to New York City, Chicago to Washington, D.C., people gathered en masse in the streets with champagne bottles, “Biden-Harris” signs and even trumpets to celebrate Biden’s victory and the end of the widely controversial Trump presidency. 

On Cleveland’s West Side, celebrations broke out as well: Crowds of people gathered in the streets to blast music and cheer for Biden’s victory, with cars honking their horns as they drove past other celebrators. In Cleveland, Biden had won 80% of the vote, so it comes as no surprise that many citizens were ecstatic when news of the projection broke.

For many people, especially Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), Muslims, immigrants and other groups who have felt threatened under Trump’s presidency, the news of Biden’s victory brings with it the hope that the glaring issues of racism, climate change, the treatment of immigrants at the Mexican border  and many others facing the country could be addressed more meaningfully. The appointment of Kamala Harris as the country’s first female and BIPOC vice president has also been a cause for celebration among many people, especially young people and BIPOC who are excited to see more diversity in the country’s leadership.

However, not everyone who took to the streets at the news of the election did so to celebrate. Some Trump supporters, unwilling to accept the results of the election due to the president’s claims of election fraud, have also gathered to protest with signs, flags and chants to refuse the election results. In some places, including Salem, Oregon, and Lansing, Michigan, physical confrontations have broken out between the two groups with people using pepper spray or throwing punches.

Celebrations have also led to concerns by some officials that COVID-19 cases will spike. While tens of thousands of people celebrate Biden’s victory and others protest it, cases are rising in every state and COVID-related hospitalizations are rising in 47. While it cannot be confirmed that such gatherings will lead to a rise in case counts, mass gatherings of any kind are a cause of concern at this moment, as they make social distancing measures difficult to maintain.

However, despite these problems, people are celebrating Biden’s election as a first step towards creating real change in the United States after four years of stagnation. Many of the people celebrating acknowledge that Biden’s election won’t automatically fix the problems which have persisted throughout the Trump administration—real change will require holding Biden accountable for his promises and continuing to call for reform, which is exactly what many young people are vowing to do. However, despite knowing there’s more work to be done, many people still see this as a step in the right direction, as a cause for celebration.