Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Proud to Be An American

So I didn't want to write this post until I spoke with my 89 year old grandfather to get his take on the outcome of this election. We have been talking alot more than usual due to the historical significance of this election season. But to hear what an 89 year old man from Augusta Georgia had to say about it made the experience complete for me. An 89 year old man that couldn't save his friend from being lynched when he was 15 years old so he watched helplessly. An 89 year old man that served his country in the US Navy and came home to be kicked off of the property of a diner, that he was not even attempting to eat in, while he was in uniform. To hear the pride in my grandfather's voice of what had taken place made me understand with more clarity what my generation had been a force in helping to do. We hear all the time of how many people endured so that we could enjoy this moment, however, to hear the pride and joy in my own grandfather's voice was the highlight for me! I asked him well how do you feel about it and he answered, "Well, I feel fine." His voice sounded calm and assured.

Because he has seen so much in the history of this country I felt what he thought today as well as the thoughts of many others who had lived to see the evolution of this country was much more insightful than my thoughts. One thing that my grandfather pointed out very strongly was that he was proud of America period. He kept reiterating the fact that people of ALL colors helped to make this possible because they were ready for change and they did not care WHAT COLOR it was. He exclaimed, "This aint no Black thing! This is about change and people's hunger to see it!" He also said that I should be proud of my generation and our technological mobility because without that Barack Obama would not have raised his record breaking amount of money. Also he would not have had the ability to get his grassroots efforts running so smoothly and successfully.

"His campaign was rooted in the internet. And you see that made all the difference. He created a message of change, and a following of many people, particularly young people, who believed in that change. And then he used that powerful tool to bring it all together, The Internet! He's a smart man and the brilliance in his campaign is going to transfer over to his presidency! You just wait n see!" my grandfather said very calmly but with much confidence.

The pride in my grandfather's voice beamed through the phone as he said, "I'm just glad I was around to see it. I knew it was going to happen I am just glad my body and my mind held out to witness it. Because GOD chose Obama to take America to this next step in history. He gave him the ability to make this happen. I didn't know who would be able to do it but it became clear to me early on that Obama was that man. And he did it!"

This election season has made me realize how little I have seen in my mere 24 years. However, I am proud as my grandfather said, to be apart of the generation who helped make the final push for this particular outcome. Many came before us to serve as catalysts and give us the opportunity and the ability to make this happen. Then the youth vote SHOWED OUT yesterday and held up their end of the deal and I am so PROUD! I saw so many young people of so many races yesterday who stood proud after voting and were so excited about doing their civic duty. Something just as touching to me was talking to a 56 year old woman at the polls who was so excited because for the first time she really felt like her vote may count for something REAL! Her 62 year old sister was with her voting for the very first time. She said this is the first time she really believed in a candidate enough to cast a vote.

My grandfather has shared so many experiences of the feats he has seen in not only race relations in this country, but the progress of humanity in general. I am looking forward to telling my kids and grandkids of what my generation helped to do on November 4, 2008. We helped to usher in the first African American President. A man named Barack Obama!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

WOW! I love this post. I had tears after the first paragraph! Lucky you for being able to experience the outcome of this election through the eyes of someone who has struggled, and i mean really struggled, in this country. Your grandfather makes me smile!

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