In the frenzy leading up to November 4, on most days, the best I could muster in reply to avid, rabid fans of Sen. Barack Obama who asked if I expected him to win was an, “I’m cautiously optimistic” answer. While that response sometimes went over like a lead balloon more than once, I was protecting my head and heart in case Sen. John McCain and that lady won.Read the whole thing!
Although I have never been bitten by police dogs or hosed down on public streets, those black history images have been seared into my consciousness. My psyche likely has been vicariously injured enough by black history that I subconsciously have morphed into a human version of that caterpillar-looking insect that rolls itself into a ball when you touch it. Since childhood, I’ve never known the name of that insect, but its instinct to self-protect when approached also symbolizes the life experience of many African Americans older than me who’ve sadly experienced the worst of what America has had to offer.
That analogy helps explain why I was unable – and unwilling – to totally convince myself that an African American man would be elected president. Like top-tier pro athletes who purportedly hate to lose more than they enjoy winning, the depth of my despair at an Obama loss would have registered more intensely and longer than the height of my euphoria at his victory.
That cathartic opening aside, I could not be more enthused and hopeful and re-energized that Americans elected Sen. Obama as the forty-fourth president. I want to think voters made informed decisions about the candidates’ position on the critical issues of the day, closely examined the experience and platform of each vice presidential candidate, and ultimately decided Sen. Obama was the best person for this job at this point in time—his race notwithstanding.
OK. Not so much.
1 day ago