Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Baracked that Bitch

Man, I finally got my class schedule and validation sticker.

Oops, my bad. Based on the lines I stood in this morning I thought I was back at Howard University trying to get registered at the "A" building and the Banneker building. Guess I was a little confused.

Do y'all know I stood in line for more than three hours? Seriously, I thought I had mistakenly gotten into a line for food stamps or disaster assistance. When I got to the polling place at 6:20 a.m., the line was wrapped around the corner and cars lined the streets. Inside the actual building, it was complete chaos with lines all over the place and nobody exactly sure where to go.

Like many of my fellow voters, I was more than a little pissed that the election folks hadn't planned for a big turnout. The whole operation was just lacking. I could have planned things better than that with only two hours notice, let alone two years.

But, this isn't a post for complaints. It's a post for being happy about finally getting a chance to cast that vote that many of us have wanted to cast our whole lives. Now some of y'all might be saying that you never dreamed of voting for a black president. That's a lie. Even if you didn't realize that you wanted to vote for a black dude, it was in your heart. Deep in the dark recesses of our collective hearts, all black people were waiting for this moment.

And it finally came.

Now, I would have preferred if the moment came with a 30 minute wait and free donuts, but I'll take what I can get. In fact, standing in line offered me a lot of time to people watch and come up with material for the blog.

The diversity of black people voting today was just amazing. You had your old people who couldn't really manage the long lines so they copped themselves a seat near the front and told you to hold their place. Then you had your folks in their 40s and 50s who were complaining about all the old ladies working as commissioners who could barely see. Also, lots of fine women vote. Lots of fine women indeed.

There also was quite a smattering of the "WTF" vote. Those are the people who look like voting is typically the last thing on their minds at 6:30 in the morning. Neck tats, sagging pants, back tats, forearm tats, head wraps and rollers; these were all in fairly high rotation at my polling location. I know that as a black person I should be more sensitive about stereotyping, but I must admit that I spent a lot of time wondering "Is this y'all's first time voting?"

And y'all know all these black folks were voting for Obama, right? First of all, I only saw like two or three white people in line the whole time I was there. And the only time I heard John McCain's name was when folks were wondering what his old ass was thinking when he tapped Sarah Palin as his running mate. It was like a big family reunion complete with the cousins nobody really knows and the one crazy uncle who entertains everybody with his funny stories.

Plus, waiting in line allowed me to develop some voting slang for those of y'all still waiting to cast your votes:

1. Line envy: This is the feeling you get when the line for your precinct is so long that it wraps around the gym six times, but the line for other folks is only 10 people deep. This feeling will cause you to wonder why you chose to live in such a heavily populated community when you could have easily moved into a neighborhood that had been hit harder by Hurricane Katrina and hadn't rebounded.

2. Voter remorse: Have you ever waited in line outside a polling place, waited in line inside a polling place, finally voted and then gone outside to find all the lines gone? I have and I now have voter's remorse. This feeling involved wishing you hadn't tried to beat the crowds by getting to your polling place early and instead had come during the middle of the day when everybody with a job was guaranteed to be at work. Yep, voter's remorse.

3. Line truth: Line truth is a collection of the random election rumors that you normally would ignore, but that sound plausible when you've been on your feet in a hot ass gym for two hours. You know, rumors that the reason why there aren't more voting machines is because "they" want us to all get upset, starting fighting and riot. Or the "truth" that John McCain actually wanted to pick Hillary Clinton as his running mate, and settled on Palin because she was just too fine to ignore. Finally, my favorite line truth was that Obama was running neck and neck with McCain in Louisiana and all it would take was a big turnout by black folks to push him over the top. I knew it was a lie, but it was a good lie.

Anyway, I hope those of y'all who voted today had enjoyable and memorable experiences.

And if you haven't voted yet, you better take your dumbass to the polls.


Share

12 comments:

Macon D said...

Thanks for sharing, including the voting slang. "Voter remorse" especially, since I got that too. Got there when it opened at six and had to wait an hour, and by that time new arrivals were waiting fifteen minutes.

Darth Whitey said...

I'm nervous as hell. I voted at 8:30, no line, heh. Bay area, Santa Clara county, we prolly have more polling places per capita than anybody.

I head ballots were all wet in chesapeake VA, isn't that like where a win in VA would come from?

the uppity negro said...

Okay...it's official, I feel I missed out on a part of history doing an absentee ballot. I don't have a "line" story that I can tell my grandkids. I have a picture of me dropping my ballot in the mailbox i put on fb and that's about it.

Anywho...

HAHAHA!! NOLA's finest was up early with the gold teeth and the do-rags and the neck tats! I love it.

I will say this--precincts not prepared for the crowds are clearly a U.S. problem. The voting infrastructure was never designed for 100% capacity, but rather 40-50% at best. And now this year, when finally in October most states realised that they were going to be minimally double what they normally see in a general election year, then people started scrambling. But you're right, I'm nervous to see what 5pm in this country is going to look like.

btw, I love the little old church ladies with the glasses on the bottom of their noses who can barely read and sound like they're only one generation removed from 1865.

That's what makes voting in the black community wonderful, lol.

the uppity negro said...

Okay...it's official, I feel I missed out on a part of history doing an absentee ballot. I don't have a "line" story that I can tell my grandkids. I have a picture of me dropping my ballot in the mailbox i put on fb and that's about it.

Anywho...

HAHAHA!! NOLA's finest was up early with the gold teeth and the do-rags and the neck tats! I love it.

I will say this--precincts not prepared for the crowds are clearly a U.S. problem. The voting infrastructure was never designed for 100% capacity, but rather 40-50% at best. And now this year, when finally in October most states realised that they were going to be minimally double what they normally see in a general election year, then people started scrambling. But you're right, I'm nervous to see what 5pm in this country is going to look like.

btw, I love the little old church ladies with the glasses on the bottom of their noses who can barely read and sound like they're only one generation removed from 1865.

That's what makes voting in the black community wonderful, lol.

Deacon Blue said...

Mrs. Blue has some online friends who waited well over four hours, so you weren't alone Big Man. In fact, you may have lucked out compared to some places.

Big Man said...

Yeah, I just did a drive around for my job checking on the waits at differnt polling places, and let's just say there are some curious differences between communities.

Very curious indeed.

I'm not saying it's a race thing, but I'm wondering a little bit.

Deacon Blue said...

it's gonna take a lot to deter black folks this time no matter how long they make 'em wait...even if it IS a race thing.

Darth Whitey said...

What's with the black panthers blocking the Philly polling place? Isn't that a dem stronghold? Idiots. I think they don't want Obama to win, then they'd have to tone down their bitching heh.

OG, The Original Glamazon said...

Yes I feel like Uppity I wish I could have stood in a line.

Voting absentee was so anti-climatic I forgot to take a picture of my ballot too. Oh well it still counted and I that's all that matters.

Well it’s almost time to start watching these result roll in. I got my drank in my cup and I will be actin’ up EITHER WAY IT GOES!! *lol*

-OG

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

Best post I've read today! Thanks so much for sharing this, and loved your slangs. Hee-hee, I'm giddy with anticipation!

Gye Greene said...

"Now, I would have preferred if the moment came with a 30 minute wait and free donuts, but I'll take what I can get."

:) Great line.


--GG

Darth Whitey said...

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Raving Black Lunatic