Portions of South Florida erupted in celebration Saturday over the election of Joe Biden as president, while supporters of President Donald Trump continued to wave his flags on street corners and insist the election was a sham.
In the Brickell section of Miami, cheers rose from the streets as celebrators banged pots and pans.
Thomas Kennedy, 29, said he left his home in the Little Havana section of Miami to buy a bottle of champagne to celebrate immediately after the election was called.
“We got him out!” he said of Trump. “The people spoke."
Kennedy is the Florida director for United We Dream, a youth-led group that fights for the rights of immigrants. Throughout the presidential campaign, he and his staff spent hours calling and texting voters in support of Biden and other Democratic candidates.
Kennedy said he believes the results prove that people are tired of Trump’s brand of leadership. “They are tired of the constant division, the immaturity, the racism,” he said.
He hopes that a Biden presidency will finally bring people together, but that could be a difficult task, judging from the reaction of people in others parts of South Florida.
At a La Carreta restaurant in the Westchester neighborhood of Miami, which hosted a pro-Trump rally on Thursday, a small gathering of about 20 Trump supporters waved flags at passing cars.
Some drivers honked in agreement with them, while others proudly displayed pro-Biden flags, including one that read “Cubanos con Biden.”
Richard Gonzalez, 47, stood among the Trump supporters holding a flag that read “Socialism Sucks.” He was not pleased about the Biden announcement.
“It was completely stolen,” he said of the election. He echoed Trump’s claims, debunked by most, that votes appeared “out of nowhere” after election day, taking states like Michigan and Wisconsin that Trump was leading early on.
Trump’s lead was built on votes from in-person balloting, but Biden pulled ahead as those state counted mail-in ballots, most cast by Democrats.
Gonzalez said he would “go along with" the results of Biden’s win. But he predicted that Biden’s intention to heal and unite the country will be an uphill battle.
“He’s not going to be able to do that,” he said. The way that Biden won the election will leave a sour taste in many people’s mouths, he said, and the country could become even more divided.
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