Growing up I remember learning about the atrocities of slavery, what happened to the Native Americans, and the many harmful, and violent things that were done in the name of freedom or of Christ. I personally have often felt ashamed by much of this country, it’s a narrative I was born into but didn’t identify with at all.
Voting yesterday for me (as for everyone else) was different from all the other times I’ve “pulled the lever,” because I did it with the feeling that I was voting for the kind of America I want to identify with. Not only was I voting for a candidate I actually wanted to see president, but it was a candidate who stood for a fresh start in America’s history.
Today on NPR there have been all kinds of stories about first time voters, people who lived through the Civil Rights and even an interview with a 109 year woman whose father was a slave. For me, hearing these stories moved me to tears. Hearing the stories today made me really glad to actually be alive today to see America do what it did.
I hope we continue to dream about an America were we are all welcomed to participate and given a fair hearing at the table. I’m glad new voices are being heard in 2008, I hope it will signal a new day.
6 responses to “A Fresh Start And the American Election”
I think the question today is: why does America hate America?
Yes we can! All those stories of old voters make me cry too.
Chase – definitely. It’s a good question to ask the day before, as well as the day after the election. I’m not sure the answers would be that different, but the investigation would be worth it.
I was canvasing on election day. At one house, a young man was washing his car in the driveway. As he stood up, I saw his “I voted today” sticker. Remembering the first time I voted in a presidential election (for George McGovern), I said it must have been very exciting to vote in your first election. The expression on his face as he assured me it was made me realize how much this election meant and how much this country has changed. Here was a middle aged white woman encouraging a young black man to vote for the first black president of the United States.
@Ellen – thanks, I really like that story. It shows just how real, on a personal level, this all was.
@CW: Investigations are always worth it … to the Inner Light Detective Agency.