President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn into office on Wednesday, making Harris the nation’s first female, Black, and South Asian vice president. On social media, some expressed hope, and others emphasized their demands for the new administration.
In his inauguration speech, Biden called for "unity" and said, “Don't tell me things can't change."
The four years of Trump’s administration were defined by calls for racial and social justice on social media and in the streets, deep political division, and the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 400,000 American people.
“Together we shall write an American story of hope, not fear," Biden said in his inauguration speech. "Of unity, not division. Of light, not darkness."
On social media, some people expressed a sigh of relief, victory, and hope for the new president-elect.
From a celebratory cake iced with the words “Byedon” to a dog donning a pro-Biden bandana saying “Dogs for Biden Harris,” people online expressed hopes for the next administration.
Peole also acknowledged that Biden’s inauguration was not a simple day of celebration.
“Today doesn’t erase the four years of hatred, delusion and white supremacy that did violence to our bodies and communities,” wrote Cole Arthur Riley, the founder and writer of Black Liturgies, a project that curates written prayers by Black writers. “But I’m choosing joy where I can.”
Tasha Lee, a licensed professional counselor based in Houston, tweeted, “People know that Joe Biden isn’t some magical savior...But today, people get to be happy *just* because Trump is gone...Let folks have that.”
Biden signed 17 executive actions during his first day in office, which included rejoining the Paris climate agreement and World Health Organization, requiring face masks on federal property, and revoking the presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.
Politicians and organizations, including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD, echoed the phrase “let’s get to work” to indicate that this new era is empty without action.