Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Pride In Voting..
What a great feeling it was on November 4th to cast my vote. It never felt this good before. The feeling of pride snuck up and caught me by surprise. I stood in line for what was to me, a short thirty minute period. The sun was hot at first. The Cali weather still hasn't changed much from summer time; at least not during the first part of this day. Then as the voting line inched closer to that final few steps before giving your name and receiving your ballot, there was lots and lots of cool shade to hide underneath. Perhaps that was a sign of good things to come; the first sign... Another good sign of what this day would become was the unity expressed between myself and several black men that had voted before me. As they walked out individually, each one greeted me with quiet pride. It felt as though none of them wanted to celebrate in advance or perhaps intimidate by showing outwardly, the kind of unifying feeling we were all experiencing. Instead, we all gave each other smiles and head nods as if to say, we've got extra incentive for making our vote count like never before... Again, it felt good... I walked inside what is a senior citizen home, received my ballot and headed for the booth. I noticed a few eyes of assumption smiling upon me. Folks that quickly summed me up as an Obama supporter based on skin color, of course... BUT... I didn't mind. Part of that is the reason he gets my vote but also, in my heart of hearts, I have no doubt that he is the best candidate for the job and in watching his story played out many times on CNN and other channels, I also feel in some ways that his mission is greater than himself; sort of like he's the "chosen one" if you will... It's amazing what he's done in such a seemingly short time but at the same time, it all makes sense..
So, I casted my vote and stood there for a moment. Then I had to collect my thoughts and figure out how I would vote on the local issues as well... After I finished voting, I checked my ballot three times. With so many stories that you hear on the news, you end up leaving the booth feeling like you have to watch every move of those voting workers. Suspicion was on high and I noticed I wasn't the only one keeping an eye on things... Half the folks still standing around in the voting area had already voted. We just all wanted to make sure the ballots were put into the machine and really and truly counted.. whew... When I left the voting place, I felt so good and so proud of myself. I had parked pretty far away because of the parking situation being on a busy street, which meant I had to park around the corner in the neighborhood. An african american man yelled out to me from his car "hey brother, how long did it take?" I told him thirty minutes and he gave me the thumbs up. Then after I turned the corner, a latino man pulled up next to me after noticing that I still had my sample ballot booklet in my hand. He asked me where the voting place was and I directed him where to go. He thanked me and leaned his arm out the window to shake my hand; another cool showing of unity that I felt today... I felt completely like a walking example of pride... And then the rest of this day and night became one of anxiety, waiting and listening out for confirmation that HOPE came true and history or perhaps OUR-story was made...