Race wasn't a factor in how I voted. Even if Barack had been white, yellow or red - providing the same platform, with the same ideas - I would have voted for him simply because I believe in him.
Now that the election is over, I watched as people (my younger sisters and brothers) partied and danced up and down U Street in my hometown of DC. All I could think was - did you call your parents? your grandparents?? your great-grandparents (if you are blessed to still have them)??? Lest we forget
- all we had to do was VOTE!
I called my mother immediately and said "my president is BLACK" and she waited for the rest of my point. That was it. She laughed at the awkwardness of silence. So I said " I wanted to call you to say thank you. It was your generation that got hosed, beaten, spit on for entering a school and bombed. It was my grandmothers generation that went through the horrific lynching, KKK marches and wondering if she would see her husband walk through the door after a day of scouring the city for anyone who would hire a Negro. All I had to do ....was VOTE. It wasn't fair and nothing I can say will replace or erase and all I got to give is a thank you. But I'll give you all that I got...so Thank YOU...for enduring what you did so I could do my part." She said I should call my Grands and tell them. So I did. But I had to take a minute before dialing the number to gather my tears of joy at the sheer magnitude that
all I had to do - was VOTE!
I told my Grand (ma answered the phone) what I'd told my mother. She teared up a bit and said "thank you for noticing" and then she said "what else would we have done - we knew you were coming and you would need us." They did what they had to do - so I could do what I was priveleged to do. so I thanked them first and then (since I had done my part) went and partied! LOL...not just for Obama...but because...
All I had to do - was vote.
I say that to simply say this...to the grandparents, great grandparents and ancestors…Thank you. To the Kathy's of Colo., the Cilla's, the D's, the soRHOr Bev's and Lord knows the Mona's…Thank you. To my parents, the parents of my friends, my teachers and those who debate and challenged me - Thank you. You may not have been in the marches but you were always on the front lines just by the nature of the country and the color of your skin. I always say there are many ways to vote. Some of us voted Republican. Some of us voted Democrat. Some of us used the vote of silence and stood our ground saying that no candidate had earned our vote. Either way - because the generations before me stood on the front lines - in order to have the chance to see and say my president is BLACK!
all I had to do - was vote.
No "figure" of a high ideal will last forever. Which is why whenever we get to moaning and groaing about how "they killed all our leaders" I always say "yes they did - but they never would have lived forever anyway. Why let the way they died serve as the moment to break? The ideal is what will live. That was always the plan. So if they were truly a leader - than we as a people, once we get through with the moaning, have only two choices - birth one or be one. For that too was always the plan of the Angela Davis', Ruby Dee's, Dr. King's, Emmit Till's, and X's of the world."
I believe President-elect Obama is doing both - raising leaders and becoming one. Hats off to him. It's more than I could do and I thank those of us living and dead who endured the unforgivable moments of our past so that all I had to do was vote for the unforgettable moments of our future. Thank you. It's not enough. Never will be. Won't try and make it so. But thank you. I don't need an email slideshow, or a profound Toni Morrison moment to remind me. I have all of you - my uncles and aunts, my extended family and immediate family, my father, my mother and my teachers - who ALSO served on the front lines right here.
Thank you, thank you, thank you - and if your own kids didn't say it to you - I'll say it for them! LOL..hopefully they get around to it when they sober up! LOL..if you are a child of my generation, you may want to pass on this thank you and offer up some of your own to your parents, and extended family – because you owe them that much.
Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to share my thoughts with as many of you as I could. I won’t be here for the inauguration (I’ll be in Tokyo) so party hard for me – and scream loud - YES WE DID!
Until next we speak, I continue to pray for you,
who is dancing in sunshine with the ancestors, for you. For we are the ONLY reason they bothered to exist and press on