Whoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!! I have no voice. I was screaming that all night. Yes! Victory! This is some crazy shit, yo. BONKERS!
I was sitting in my girl’s crib, surrounded by friends, new and old. We took a break from playing Taboo (the greatest game ever) as the results of key states started to roll in. All of a sudden, CNN threw up a bar on the bottom of the screen that said Barack Obama Elected President. The reactions were all some form of, “Wait, wha?” “No, really?” “Yes.” “We’re reading it.” “Turn the channel to FoxNews. They hate Obama. If they say it, it’s gotta be true!”
DAMN! I looked around and between opening more beers and screaming off of the balcony on South Street, I noticed folks taking their own moments to soak it all in. Quiet and pensive. Reflective and introspective. We got up and turned on the music, dancing around the apartment. Screaming at people on the street who hadn’t yet heard. At first, people didn’t believe us. I understood. Even though days before I had already claimed this victory for Obama, I was still stunned. I guess we had all been burned before, had victories snatched away from us before right when we had it in our grasp. We know “they” cheat. But this morning at 8am, it’s really real.
We took to the streets. To the same streets where people were going wild for the Philadelphia Phillies’ win. Not as many folks out for the election, but man it was a crazy sight. Cars rolled north and southbound on Broad Street with passengers hanging out of the windows, sunroofs and the trunk. Yes, the trunk. A bus was stopped and the bus driver got out, realizing he wouldn’t be driving through the crowd anytime soon. All kinds of people were outside screaming. WHOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Singing. Chanting “USA! USA! USA!” Yo, who chants USA? Never in my life have I done that. Well we’re a nation now, yall! Horns beeping. Girls running up and down the street. People hugging and hi-fiving. All in the rain, but that made no difference.
It spoke volumes how classy the crowd was and I hear that the same could be said for all over the country. People celebrated, but didn’t get violent or destructive. When President-Elect Obama gave his speech in Grant Park last night and congratulated the efforts of the McCain campaign, the crowd nodded and remained respectful. Unfortunately, you cannot say the same for McCain supporters who booed when John McCain congratulated Barack Obama. Hell, they’re still on the news this morning talking about counting ALL the votes and “we don’t know anything about him.” Oh word? GTFOOH!
I can’t speak. Not because I’m speechless, because I’m not. I can talk forever about this (and I likely will). I can’t speak because I was out with the people getting hype.
At one point, after Obama’s speech, a friend told me that she never even thought this would happen in her lifetime. I agreed. Not that I never thought it would happen, I never really saw it as an option. I didn’t give much thought to whether we’d have a Black president in a realistic sort of way. It always sounded like a longshot, a pipe dream, a feat beyond comprehension. And now look. I just turned 27 on Saturday. I’m a young person and this has happened. Shit, it could totally happen again and again before I’m old and grey.
Seeing the family come out on that stage was WONDERFUL. Michelle looked beautiful and I was tickled to no end to see the family embrace and kiss and smile. The First Family. And we’re going to get a puppy! Malia and Sasha are precious and watching them grow up on Pennsylvania Avenue will be great. This will be one of America’s most beloved families, that’s for sure.
Man, Obama didn’t just win, he CRUSHED John McCain. That speaks volumes as well. We sent a message. The youth can do it. The working class can do it. Women can do it. New voters can do it. African Americans can do it. We all can make a change. The Obama Campaign organized the hell out of this election. The attitude behind electing Obama was unprecedented, with people making you feel like the shit on shit’s shoe if you didn’t vote!
We definitely have a lot of work cut out for us ahead. Like Obama always says, it’s up to US to do the work and be the change we want to see in this country. So don’t rest now, yall. Oh, and while Obama is truly capable and sincere (I believe) in his abilities to lead this nation, let’s not place unrealistic burdens on his shoulders. He is a man and he is going to do his best. This country is in the shitter, however, and it’s going to take a little time to start feeling the tangible changes like money in our pockets and businesses back in our neighborhoods. Let’s have faith that the right person will do all he can to ensure progress and relief for a country hurt by 8 years of failed leadership.
Oh, and shout out to Joe Biden who is sure to be a great VP, complimenting Obama’s quiet strength with his fiery resolve. He’s also working on pushing the I-VAWA, an international version of the Violence Against Women Act. Now that he’s #2, I’m sure that legislation will get a boost.
We did it. WE did. WE got out there and made it happen. Congratulate yourself and your neighbor for that. Then put all of your support, prayers and confidence in Barack Obama. Which is not to say don’t hold him accountable for his failings, because in this job there will be missteps, but we will understand and we will cherish this historical moment for the REST OF OUR LIVES!