Thursday, November 6, 2008

A New Era

This still hasn't sunk in.

I went to work yesterday.... in honor of my grandfathers who would have been besides themselves.

About halfway through my day, the radio station that's played on the factory floor played Ray Charles "Georgia on my mind". I sang that song at my Grandpa Truman's funeral... he loved Ray Charles and had been born in Atlanta. So I knew I'd done the right thing. I could feel him smiling, talking shit in his flat midwest accent.

The three brown people on my job smiled broadly when I walked in, but gave no indication of the enormity of the day. But when the break bell rang, we huddled in the basement breakroom excitedly chattering about where we were and what we felt. Everyone else was very very quiet, though I heard the man who hired me was an Obama fan.

The Rock was unbelievably quiet. While New York is a blue state, the Rock is a very quietly Red enclave and they were none too pleased. When I was on the phone with my mom at midnight the night before, listening through the phone as Harlem erupted into horns blaring and people cheering, I marveled that the Rock was as quiet as Christmas Eve... not a creature was stirring.

Today, the Gollums slithered all over the web, spewing hate and unrest.... but like slugs caught on a bright sunny day, their time has come. They'll either have to crawl back where they came from, or turn crispy.

Because this change had to happen. It was long overdue. It had to happen for America, for the world. We had to let our Caucasian brothers and sisters release their collective guilt. We had to let our brown brothers and sisters overcome the legacy of slavery. We had to reach out to our Native brothers and sisters for help (even though Montana stayed Red, I noticed that Rosebud voted blue). We had to bond again with our Hispanic and Latino brothers and sisters. America needed to know the sum of her parts equaled change, and hope, and strength.

And we raised the bar for all those little brown babies, especially the ones in inner cities. More than anything, our little boys need to pull up their pants and tuck in their shirts and go to school. They need to see it's cool as hell to be smart, to be able to speak eloquently, to love one woman and have both of your children with her. There is no excuse, now. Our little brown boys can no longer chalk up their insolence and unwillingness to break from the pack to the fact that "they'll never let a Black man succeed". Cuz yes, you can succeed. You can do anything, be anything... even be President of the United States of America.

Yes, you can.

Now get out there and do it.

3 comments:

RoadGrl said...

I think that one of the things that made Obama's campaign so successful was that he never dwelt on any racial/ethnic bitterness, but always had a message of hope and moving forward, learning from the past but not still living in it.
That may be the most important message of all.
Things were subdued out here in the red zone, but there was jubilation in our house! (and not just because we have a fellow alum in the White House)

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

truly historic
now lets see what changes in america.
i just hope the red states
dont desire to return to the history pre 1960

Ros said...

At my high school yesterday, they played, "Ain't No Stoppin Us Now" over the PA system and everyone was dancing in the halls. Quite a few of my students are 18 and got to vote -- can you imagine your first time voting and you got to vote for Obama?!