When I Need A Pick Me Up, by my friend Ryan King

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I Pledge Allegiance To The Flag...

(borrowed from Manhattan's Peak)

An article detailing a lot of reaction from around the country.
Yet here's what I wanted to quote here--

Surveying the scene, Mattie Bridgewater whispered from her seat, "I just can't believe it. Not in my lifetime."

Bridgewater said she went to the same elementary school as Emmett Till, the boy from Chicago whose murder in Mississippi was one of the catalysts of the civil rights movement. Both she and her 92-year-old mother voted for Obama.

"I'm sitting here in awe," she said. "This is a moment in history that I just thank my God I was allowed to live long enough to see. Now, when I tell my students they can be anything they want to be, that includes president of the United States."

Weep. Can't you just see the 92-yr old woman making her way to the voting machine? Behind her, in memory, plays the scenes of the March on Washington, the loosed dogs attacking black people in the streets, the burning churches and flaming crosses, the blocked school steps to hassle the little black girls as they entered the school in Little Rock--all events that played out in her lifetime. and she lived to cast her vote for the first black President of the United States.

A black President. THE black President.

And see as well, behind her, the spirits of all her friends who didn't make it this far, supporting her from the other side. She cast her vote for them too. Did she whisper "We made it, girls."

And fully, as Eliel asked in the comments, it's clear to me how the country itself prepared its citizens for this day through the media. Yes, through the idiot box.

The series "24" cast two black actors to be the President for how many seasons, Eliel? 3? The movie Deep Impact cast America's favorite black actor (Morgan Freeman) as the President. These images were accepted and helped people in the comfort of their homes and bedrooms that it should be possible. That nothing is wrong with the idea. That it's no aesthetic violation to have a brown-skinned President. Even Dave Chapelle made it okay to laugh at the idea that a black President could be a homeboy and funny as hell. Softened the concept for the country.

Also, Eliel has a fantastic post quoting his homeboy in media, that Coates guy. I urge a read. In essence, it's also about the white people of America who really did this. The white women marrying black men and raising black children. The white parents who supported these white daughters, such as Barack's grandmother, who passed away day before yesterday. And then there are the white casting directors. White scriptwriters, white directors, white white white white white.

This didn't happen alone. White people in power and influence were ready for this. White votes for Barack flooded the ballot boxes. White delegates and superdelegates. White news media picked the slant they wanted to give (Yes, I have to acknowledge this too. I hate that it's true, but the media is a total bitch most of the time). White Tina Fey and white Darrel Hammond sending up the Republicans in massive lampoon. White writers. White SNL producers. White viewers loving it.

I'm okay with this. I'm really, really okay with it.


The Neighbor said...

"A black President. THE black President."

The FIRST black President, my man.

Alan said...

My dude! It's just ever so slightly more cool that it's happening in the time of my life when I'm friends with you as well.

It's just fantastic.

Cyber D said...

Speaking for the pasty white-boys who voted for Obama. I am proud to be led by such a capable man. I know he is the best person to bring this country back from the brink of disaster.

Alan said...

Cyber D, it's awesome to read you saying that. I forgot the "leading" part. So many people, white and otherwise, acknowledging and electing a black man to be their LEADER.

Holy crap.

MY leader. ?!?!!

I've never felt willing to say the President was my "leader." Either I'm too proud, or trust too little, but I've never thought the President knew anything about me so how can I follow him? Not so with Barack Obama. Poor side of Chicago, hello?

Can you imagine him at 9 years old? A smart kid, surely. Surrounded by those who weren't like him. Dreaming. If someone said to him, "You could be the President of the United States one day," as all black kids are told in hope but not really in belief--I bet Barack said, "Yes, I can."

bulletholes said...

Alan, I always thought it would happen and always wondered why the hell it was taking so long...and now that its here, I have never been more proud to be an American.
Thats just all I can think.