Wednesday, October 22, 2008

It's On For Real

Sometimes it's so cool to be black.

It sucks to be black when you have to listen to four star generals minimized and dismissed because they happen to support a black man. It also sucks when you watch ESPN blatantly treat black athletes differently from white athletes and then pretend like nothing happened.

But, sometimes, it can be pretty sweet to have black skin.

Like, when you walk into an early voting area and talk with random black people about why they are voting early even though it means standing in the same long lines they would probably see at their regular polling places on election day. It's really cool to have those folks look you in the eye and say "It's just that important."

It's just that important.

I have been debating whether I should vote early. Part of me wants to get things over with, but another part of me wants the experience of casting a presidential ballot for a black man among a big crowd of black people.

Man, that's going to be a joyous event no matter what happens later that night. It's just something I want to soak up. I want to be a black man with other black people all around me suffused with hope and happiness.

It's rare to get that feeling.

Truthfully, it's not even about Obama or if he's so special. It's about what he represents, what his success to this point represents. Sure, he's not the black man I might want him to be, but he is undeniably a black man and over the past year or two, he's dealt with things that connect him to every other black person. That means something to me, it's even more important to me than his tax plan or healthcare policies.

I'm not saying that I have only supported Obama because he's black because I damn sure have voted against black people in the past. What I'm saying is that what this event represents cannot be really understood unless you've been black and dealt with the things black people deal with. That's why I want to cast that vote with other black people.

Man, I looked in people's eyes who were early voting and you could just sense their earnestness. You could feel their hope. It was like they knew that this moment might never come again, and they wanted to be certain they took advantage. I imagine it's what black Chicagoans felt when they voted for Harold Washington, or when black people in New Orleans voted for Dutch Morial. Only, it's multiplied by 1,000.

I don't have much more to say, just wanted to let y'all know I caught a special vibe today. I hope y'all catch that vibe as well.

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9 comments:

blackgirlinmaine said...

I must admit at times like this, I miss living in Chicago and hate being in Maine. Obviously we have no substantial Black community here though I will say what few of us here are charged. One of my girl's is rocking serious O-man bumperstickers on her car and will dare a person to give her grief.

This is indeed a moment in time to remember forever. I was still a kid when Harold Washington became mayor but I remember how energized my folks were, really the whole community.

Anonymous said...

The Lord has blessed me to reach the age of 55; before Obama's presidental run, I did not believe that I would ever see a black person as president of the US in my life time. Now, on 22 Oct 2008, I place my wife's and my mail in vote in the mail(Of Course we voted for President Obama). I was by myself at the mail box, but as I placed it in the box I became a little emotional. Yes WE CAN.

OG, The Original Glamazon said...

I feel you it’s been so exciting now that early voting has started or how we are sharing information and debunking e-mail ploys. It really is nice to be a part of the community right now, no matter the outcome. My absentee ballot is coming any day now!! I am so STOKED!

I hope your vacation was cool. I’m finally showing my face out of lurking shadows. *lol*

-OG

Big Man said...

Welcome back to the light OG.

Anonymous,

You better go down there and vote in person. I saw Rachel Maddow last night and I am officially not a fan of absentee voting or any other form of voting where you don't do it in person.

And for everybody else, don't let anybody give you a provincial ballot!

WNG said...

I'm taking election day (or HappyHappyJoyJoy Day as I like to call it) off so that I can volunteer. Even more than I'm looking forward to the whole thing being over I am looking forward not only to voting with a group of black people, but with a group of YOUNG black people and young people in general.
If Virginia can have a Black governor we can have a Black president.
As my bumper sticker says:
Got Hope?

Darth Whitey said...

I don't see why anyone bothers to pay attention to what Limbaugh says, feh.

I am nervous about this election. I don't care what the polls say, I fear a defeat. Lord help us all if Palin wins.

Dirty Red said...

Nothing more needs to be said.

Great post

sdg1844 said...

Amen! It's a beautiful thing to behold. There are many that brushed off the power of hope and symbolism. These things are just as important as substance when we talk about the totality of this campaign and this Man.

Imhotep said...

I already plan on a day off on Nov 5th.

When Barack wins, I'll view that as a seminal moment eclipsed only by when the enslaved learned about the emancipation proclaimation, a day that changed their existance forever.

Anony, I would not have mailed any ballots! This election now, can only be stolen, and these devils are fully capable, I will not give them the opportunity.

Raving Black Lunatic