On Tuesday when the election results were in, Obama won. The earth didn’t move. No voices rang from the heavens singing “Glory Hallelujah” or “Holy Shit, Ya’ll Done Messed Up” The lame didn’t walk. The blind didn’t see. The seas didn’t part. The moon didn’t fall from the sky. There were no rioters or looters taking to the streets. Jesus didn’t show-up riding a storm cloud, wearing MC Hammer pants and singing, “Rapture-Time.”
The night America made history, time progressed as normal with the hours becoming almost forgettable except for the programming on television and my (still ongoing) argument with Mr. Smartypants over whether or not Sarah Palin has ever appeared in a Bud Light commercial.
There was not one single moment wherein I thought to myself – I will remember this forever.
Yes, I know this election was a milestone. We deserve a moment to celebrate it. Therefore, I have no problems confessing that I got misty-eyed when Obama arrived to claim his victory and marched his beautiful brown-eyed daughters across the stage: those daughters, who look very much like my own. I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t awestruck by the fact that, for the first time in our nation’s history, the family in the White House is representative of my family in terms of background and color.
However, the milestone doesn’t change anything. The world isn’t suddenly new and improved. Below the fold of Tuesday’s history, the other news remained: Automaker failure could hit 2.5 mln jobs, Dell asks workers to take unpaid vacation, Nortel could cut up to 5,000 jobs next week, Fannie Mae’s $6,000 golf outing, It will be hard to create jobs, New Prez to Inherit Economy From Hell, Russian Prez Slams U.S. in Annual Address, Afghans Say U.S. Strike Kills 23 Children.
At some point, the party will end and we’ll have accept that being the first black president will not necessarily make Obama a great President – or even a good one. I certainly am not confident that he has all of the answers or that the answers he does have are the right ones. All of this remains to be seen. Consequently, as I shut the lights off and went to bed on Tuesday night, I was just as apprehensive about the future of this country and wellbeing of my family as I had been the day before.
Then, the strangest damn thing happened.
In the wee-hours of Wednesday morning, around 1AM or so, a car zipped down the highway behind my house: they were shooting off fireworks, screaming something inaudible and I might not have noticed had the ruckus not roused Oscar de la Perrito, the cranky Bassett Hound, leaving him out of sorts in a “going ape-shit” kind of way. I assumed the noise was celebratory and stumbled off to calm down the dog.
But the next bangs were closer – and the words were quite clear: “OBAMA SUCKS. F*CK YOU NIGGERS AND YOUR NIGGER PRESIDENT!”
It wasn’t the firecrackers tossed in my driveway that caused me to cringe, but the words. It probably caused some of you to cringe seeing it typed out here… because no matter how many times you have seen or heard it and regardless of who pushes it forth – this word will never completely lose it’s power to shock and offend. Of course, these were just mouthy high school kids – little boys and not very bright ones at that since they had picked the minority family on a dead-end street, meaning they’d have to turn around the circle at the end of the subdivision and bring their narrow-butts right back by my house.
I was angry nonetheless. I was so angry that I grabbed my car keys and headed out the door, intending to set up my own a road block, take names, call Mamas and the police. If necessary, I’d involve the National Damn Gaurd, the ACLU and the DOJ. Also, suspecting that I knew one of the car’s occupants, I absolutely meant to cut a switch from a tree and whip his half-grown ass myself… because I’m sure his Daddy wouldn’t mind.
In the end, however, I didn’t do any of those things.
If I’d called the police to report white kids hurling firecrackers and insults my way – their flashing blue lights would have piqued the curiosity of the neighborhood and my children. People would have peered through curtains, stepped out onto their porches and shared my outrage. My children would’ve been terrified and in the end – what would this accomplish? Ultimately, acknowledging the incident would have drawn more attention to the behavior and therefore legitimized it. Why bother? These kids (or people like them) pose no threat to my family. This is my town, my neighborhood, my street, my driveway, my country and the country of my children. There are more people like us here than them – and by us, I don’t mean brown-skinned people, minority people, Obama people, those with nappy heads or idealistic left-leaning notions – but all of us.
See, America, while we disagree upon the route or direction this country should take, the bottom line is: where we are right now, which isn’t such a bad place, we’ve all gotten here together – this place where no one can easily silence, enslave or subject my children to injustice or inequality. No one can hinder them in their pursuit of happiness or success. And no one can tell them they can’t be President. Therefore, I’ve got to believe that whatever journey is before us – whether be to the Promised Land or whether Obama inadvertently leads us up the wrong mountain – we will proceed or alter course in the same way – together. And we will be okay. Perhaps better than okay.
So, I didn’t block the boys. I didn’t call the police. I didn’t call their Mamas. As the car rolled back down the roadway, I understood completely how powerless they were and did nothing… well, okay, fine, I might’ve yelled: “Free at Last. Free at Last. Praise God Almighty and Kiss my Ass!” I also wanted to moon them but figured they were driving too fast to appreciate the gesture.
No, I don’t imagine Martin Luther King Jr. wouldn’t be proud. Yes, it was immature and I did tacky up a beautiful moment – but hey, I’m imperfect and it was my moment. So there you have it, America. While you were sleeping, I had my moment: the one I will remember for the rest of my life.