Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Got

to my polling place at 6:45 a.m. to find a line of about thirty people, with a steady stream of folks coming up into the line behind me. It was a bit breezy, cool, with a light, drizzling rain. When one of the pollworkers, someone I know*, stepped out and saw the line, he did a true doubletake, let us know to turn off our cellphones, reminded us we had three minutes to vote, and proclaimed it a great day.

When I pressed the box to vote for Barack Obama, I thought to myself, ‘three minutes be damned’. I had to stand there for a moment, savoring this day. A day, I will be honest with you, I did not think I’d see in my lifetime.

If you had asked me a year and a half ago, I would have said I’d be voting for Hillary for President and likely Barack for Vice President. And that would have made for one hell of an emotional moment.

Because I figured I’d see a woman President in my lifetime. And a Black Vice President, probably two or three. If I did get the opportunity to vote for a Black President, it would likely come when I was much, much older.

So I took a moment to savor the feeling, the emotion, of being a southerner who entered Kindergarten with integration, who has seen the use of the ‘n’ word fall away in the last forty years (but not go away completely, as I am continually shocked to discover in this day and age), a southerner who was voting for a Black man not because he is Black, but because he is what I believe to be the best choice for this country that I love.

Driving home, I became very emotional, wishing my dear, late husband were still here to see this day.

I still find myself becoming emotional, teary. I’m at turns excited, nervous, and frankly, scared. Because if he is elected, you know the hard-core crazies will come out of the woodwork.

I’ve been watching reruns of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report for most of the day. One of the Daily Show ‘correspondents’ was doing a piece where he interviewed folks at both a Palin and an Obama rally. There was an older lady, with a light foreign accent being interviewed at the Palin rally who declared she was very scared of Obama being elected. She said, more or less, “America as it is today won’t exist if Obama is elected.”

One can only hope.

*It's a town of 3500, eventually you know everybody. I knew most of the folks in line too.

1 comment:

BlackenedBoy said...

Awesome post. I, too, felt wonderful about voting for Obama, and was aware of the significance of my Southern state giving its electoral votes to him.

I'm so glad he won.

I can't remember segregation (it ended a decade before even my father was born), but I know that for those with that background this election must mean all the more.