a blog for the moment
Over the past couple of days, I've been thinking about this blog. I've been wondering what I would say (if anything) after all the votes were counted and we knew the outcome. I was at a loss. As an Obama supporter, I did not want to get my hopes up and think about this moment too much. Everyone can agree that although the polls were in his favor, the odds were steadily against him.
On this past Sunday I was in Virginia. My father drove me back to the bus stop where I would leave to return here to New York/New Jersey. At a break in our conversation I asked him, "Dad, how much does this election mean to you?"
"Well Quincy, it means a lot. It means the world to me."
"Yeah, 'cause I remember living' through the civil rights movement and to see what's about to happen. It means a lot."
"Yeah. I can't believe it myself, man."
"I swear, if he wins I will feel like....like we've ARRIVED."
My father isn't one for showing sensitivity or letting you know he's vulnerable, but part of what made this experience special to me was being able to call him moments after Obama was named President Elect and being able to ask, "How do you feel, old man?"
"Good. I feel really good. I even wiped away little tears."
My father, mother, aunts, uncles, and many others who lived in their generation witnessed and experienced things that young adults and young voters in my generation could never dream of seeing with our own eyes; feeling with our own hearts. Regardless of race or gender, the people of past, yet very recent decades remember a time when Barack Obama would not even be elected into the Senate, let alone the presidency. Tonight is a night where we can all be proud to know that although the ignorance of yesterday is not completely abolished, we know that we are on the right track to change...REAL change.
Many of you think that this is a "black thing". Lets be honest. A lot of it is. As a black man in America, I encounter hardships that many of my peers of other races may not be able to identify with completely. That is not to say that they are unaware or they do not understand, but there is a certain feeling that comes over me when a room of white people turn their heads in my direction when one of "us" makes a mistake in the public eye. There is a certain feeling that overcomes you when you see young minority children cite Soulja Boy and 50 Cent as their role models and hero's, rather than the likes of Cornell West or Dr. Martin Luther King. It is the same feeling that paralyzes my pride when I see Flava Flav on television degrading women and when I see women like "New York" whore themselves out for negative attention. A change has come tonight.
Tonight the people of my generation have a shining example of what we are capable of; regardless of our race, age, or gender. There will be no more excuses and blaming "the white man" and other unmanageable circumstances for our short comings. On this day, the children of this generation and the next have a NEW breed of role model. They have tangible and visual proof that they can defeat the odds every time they fight against them with dignity, honor, and perseverance.
Today is our day...and that statement is NOT a "black thing". Today is a day when all Americans can and should be proud. We have all made a decision tonight. We decided that we would not tolerate intolerance. We would decided, this evening, that we will no longer let ignorance control our judgement or win over reason and fairness. We decided, on this day, that we would be the America that our forefathers meant for us to be.
Never has there been a more tangible example that no matter what the odds are, you can be anything in this world. Today and henceforth you cannot make excuses as to why you have not fulfilled your dreams. Today you have no reason to not dream at all. Today is a new day for all of us; not just for America, but for the world.
Thank you to my parents for being strong enough to make it through the times when President Barack Obama would never have been.
Thank you to the American people who voted with sound mind and without hatred, regardless of WHO you voted for.