11/2/2012.....Here we are four years later. Mum looked at me today and said "I'm strong enough to go to the election polls myself now. I'll be casting my vote this time. You won't have to vote for me. You can vote for Mitt Romney if you want this year. I don't see why you would want to." Earlier this week I was barraged by folks wanting to know what my political plans were. When someone asked me "Are you better off now than you were four years ago ?" I had to admit that I was better. My improved existence isn't due to any political action..........Thankfully..........Time does indeed heal wounds...... Ashee, Amen.
A week ago she shared in a story how surreal it is to be born in the 1940's in the United States and to face against racial and gender discrimination and to quietly yet deeply fear raising two Black boys. She had seen America spit out and chew Black boys even in the best of circumstances. She wasn't allowed to enter certain restaurants, establishments, and walks of life due to her race and gender as she was growing up. She saw men and women scarred by America while saying the Pledge of Allegiance. As she pledged allegiance to a country who violated and abused her fellow Americans of African and Indian descent she placed her faith on the cross of Christ. She stood up for and held onto love towards men who walked away from responsibility and fought the devils in alcohol. drugs, crime, and perversion.
This is something that she spoke into me and my brother as we were lil'. "You could even be the President of the United States of America." While she was attempting to bolster her children with a wealth of the hope that embraces the "American dream "she truly didn't believe that it could happen for one of America's African children. My parents kept me in love with our African and Indian roots as much as they immersed us into almost all-white environments. She put up with polite smiles and back-stabbing church and professional peers who spoke of love and equality and practiced distance......And now she had a chance to vote for a Barak Obama.
Mom spoke of feeling like she was dreaming when she graduated from school and "they" made "them" all get into a bus to vote. She fearfully yet fearlessly got in the line expecting the usual police batons, citizen threats, or the whispered about bombs and was able to cast her vote for John F. Kennedy. She couldn't believe that she was able to do what so many had died trying to do. She couldn't believe that she was safe in participating in American society after being an American negro......And now she had a chance to vote for a Barak Obama.
We sat and she marveled while watching videos on the Internet involving people of all backgrounds demonstrate their support of Barack Obama in song, poetry, and speech. She marveled as one video showed bridges across the world with people holding signs endorsing Obama. Here I sat; her privileged Afro-revolutionary-thinking, Black-Republican-acting, Broke yet blessed elitist behaving, Suburban-raised yet hood-loving, Conservative-radio addicted son. She and others bled and suffered for me to be able to believe what I believe. As she marveled I marveled. She has seen America become closer to what America claimed it was. As southern rapper Young Jeezy says to Barack Obama in one his songs "Win, loose, or draw......You have changed the world for us." This is surreal to her.
Yesterday Barak Obama's grandmother died (11/03/2008 Roman Calendar) . Two days ago Mum was placed into the hospital fighting against pneumonia. She won't get a chance to vote and she's worried that her conservative son's vote may be one of the votes that defeats her realized dream in Obama's candidacy.
I awoke at 3:00 AM. I arrived at the polling place at 4:35 AM. The polls opened up at 6:00 AM. I cast my vote at 6:05 AM. My wifey arrived at 5:30 AM and cast her vote at 7:30 AM. I'll pick-up my Daddy around 10:00 AM to take him to the polls. This is surreal for him as well. Looking at the line behind me this morning was surreal. I shed a tear for Mum as I approached the voting booth. This is something she wasn't able to do today after praying, working, and bleeding for the opportunity. Mum, this one's for you.
Post-script - 11/02/2012
Whatever the outcome of the Presidental election - God Bless America. God bless Africa. God bless everybody.
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