“Ok boys, that’s enough Disney channel,” I said as I reached under the futon to find the remote. “It’s time to watch the election results.”
As we turned to ABC there was a map of the United States showing and all of the states were gray. The journalist announced the first two states one was for McCain, the other for Obama.
“Why does it say that Obama has 3 and McCain has 8?” my 8 year old asked.
“Oh, that’s for the electoral college,” I replied.
“What’s the electoral college Mama?” My 6 year old asked.
I thought about it for a minute and then explained. “Ok, you see how at your school you had an election and Obama won?”
“Well, there were hundreds of kids at your school who voted but your school only had one winner. The one person who your school chose is like the electoral college, your school has one vote. Your school voted for Obama. Now if all the elementary schools were allowed to pick the president and your school had one vote, then that’s like the electoral college. Your school represents all of you. So in our communities we are divided into groups. We all vote and then one person’s vote represents ALL of our votes. Each state has a certain number of electoral votes that represents how many people they have living in that state. So states with a lot of people have more electoral votes that’s why it’s important to win the BIG states like Ohio and Florida. You get it?”
My son peered at the television screen and frowned at the numbers being shown.
“I hate McCain!” he declared.
“Hold up! There’s no reason to hate McCain. You want Obama to win and that’s cool but you can love both of them and still prefer one over the other. McCain didn’t do anything to you.”
“You know why I want Obama to win Mama?” My 8 year old said.
“Cuz Obama talks about what he’s going to do for this country and all McCain talks about is how bad Obama is.”
“That’s a good point baby,” I told him.
I don’t know what happened after that. I must have fallen asleep. I kept hearing my phone ringing and when I went to answer it, Kenya was on the line. There was a lot of noise in her background and I pictured her out and about in the streets of New York somewhere.
“Girl!” she exclaimed. “I feel like crying but I also feel something else that I can’t put my finger on.”
“Where are you?” I asked.
“I’m taking my behind home!”
“Alright dawg” I said and yawned. I sat up and looked at the TV screen. Shit. I fell asleep. The banner on the television read OBAMA ELECTED.
Am I dreaming? Is this a parrallel universe? Am I alive right now?
I tugged at my boys who were both sleeping on either side of me. Tears began to stream and I couldn’t even speak. My 8 year old looked at me and frowned as he tried to hide beneath the covers. I kept crying and crying as I pointed to the television.
“Look,” I choked out. “Obama won. He won!”
My boys sat up, rubbing their eyes and stared at the television.
“What was the score?” My 8 year old asked and I laughed through my tears.
I didn’t know how to feel. I felt vindicated. I felt affirmed. I felt triumphant. I felt nervous. I felt like FUCK ALL THE MUTHAFUCKERS who ever looked at me stupid for having big dreams. FUCK EVERYONE who ever laughed at me and told me that what I wanted for my life was too much. FUCK ALL THEM HATIN ASS punk asses who looked at me as inisginificant because I’m just a little Black girl from the hood with two kids and no one to stand up for me or beside me.
I CAN STAND UP FOR MYSELF!
My sister rang my phone cheering. “My vote counted! I feel so good!”
We chatted as we watched McCain give his concession speech blaming himself for the loss. Then I had to go because Kim was on the line.
“I just saw Oprah!” she screamed into the phone. Kim is in Chicago at the stadium where Obama was so she was about to fall out when her idol took the stage.
“Get off the phone and take some pictures!” I told her.
Then Tonya called and I chatted with her as I made popcorn for my boys. Tonya was crying and amazed by how history has taken a turn. “Let me go girl,” she said as Obama took the stage.
My sister was on the phone with me again and before he came out we joked about what song he would make his entrance to. I guessed Here I go by Mystikal and she said he would come out to Ludacris’ song Obama is Here.
He didn’t come out to either song, he walked onstage to applause, proudly holding his daughter’s hand. When I saw them walk out as a family I pulled my sons closer and kissed their foreheads. Wow. A beautiful Black family. A FINE ass man and his fierce wife!
The part of his speech that impressed me most was when he promised to be honest about the struggles that we face and he promised to listen to us especially when we don’t agree on issues. As he said that I felt like, “Dang that’s the kind of husband that I want.” His words were so sincere and I believed him. I thought about the video I made over a year ago for youtube and the interview I had with him when I was in Houston. I actually spoke to him over the phone.
Wow. I don’t even know how to deal with this. You know how I feel about men. They ain’t shit. They always try to hurt you. They always lie to get what they want. For some reason, I don’t feel like that about him. That scares me.
After the speech I turned off the television and prayed over my sons, blessing them and thanking God that we lived to see ths day. For all of the negative Black history lessons that we have been taught, it’s so good to see some progression.
I feel like I can do and be anything and I reminded my boys that they can too.
Watch out world! If you thought I was bout it before, you ain’t seen nothing yet!
YES I CAN!