The whole process took 2.5 hours, and honestly it didn’t feel too historic at first. I waited for hours next to an elderly woman who smelled like pee and had no regard for personal space. By the time I made it into the polling room, I was just relieved to get the hell away from her.
I got emotional once I saw Barack’s name on the little electronic machine. There it was in black and white. Barack Obama/Joe Biden – DEM. When history books write about the first African American presidential candidate, I can say I was there to vote for him. I took it upon myself to find early voting. I stood in line for hours to vote. I voted for the first Black President. I served my duty as an American and a citizen of Black America. I couldn’t help but feel emotional at this very historic moment.
After voting, I couldn’t help but think about the responsibility Obama will carry if he wins. He will not only have to be 20x greater than Bill Clinton just to be viewed as equal. He will be under close scrutiny. Barack will also carry with him an unspoken burden to be the Messiah for Black America. Only the most radical among us expect him to enact reparations for slavery, but we do expect something. We expect him to somehow right some of the wrongs that are seen in CNN Presents: Black in America. We expect him to not only run the free world, but act as a Black leader. We expect him to encourage us, to somehow make things better, to fund projects that will uplift our torn communities. Barack Obama holds the fragile ecosystem that is Black America in his hands.
God forbid, Obama looses. Black America will be crushed. It may be decades until we see another one of our citizens in that position. Morale in Black America will be lower than ever. I’ll be shocked if I don’t see riots. Fuck the reasons Republicans state for why Obama is unqualified. We know the truth. If Obama looses it is because he is Black.
While standing in line with the elderly church women, it became even more clear to me that loosing is not an option. They quoted Bible verses that clearly had nothing to do with this 2008 election. The verse said something about, “Those on top will go to the bottom.” Hell, if they like it – I love it. Black Americans view Obama as the man who holds the key to freedom. He is the gatekeeper to the America, White America has been enjoying for centuries. Once he is elected, Black America will slowly be able to fade and blend into one America. He represents all minorities. People are clinging to every ounce of hope or sign that victory is ours.
For the first time in decades, Black America is coming together. Like the instinct birds are born with that tells them to fly south for the winter, Black Americans sense it’s time to focus and fight for our freedom. The hoards of people waiting to vote in that community center gymnasium, all knew they had to be there. This election voting is not a choice just as breathing is not a choice. It is something that must be done to survive.
If you haven’t voted yet, vote on November 1st. If early voting is not an option vote on November 2nd with everyone else. If the lines are long, don’t leave. Bring your state identification, bring your voter card, bring whatever you need to prove your identity. Leave your Obama paraphernalia at home. Emotions are running high so do whatever it takes to stay peaceful. Don’t give them any reason to turn you away. Know that your right to vote was made sacred by your ancestors who fought for it. You are creating history. You represent Black America.
I am Miss Black America.