the next exchange:
RE: 8:03 PM - Its Official! 297 ELECTORAL VOTES!!!Wednesday, November 5, 2008 2:13 AM
That actually was Jesse Jackson, and Oprah, and EVERYONE.
Interesting. This was obviously a very poignant experience for a great many people, but did you notice how similar some our thoughts were in the the response I sent to you at the same time you sent yours to me? From the internet to Martin Luther all the way down to the use of the phrase “Needless to say…” (LOL) Or maybe that is just due to genetics…
But as I said, even Mom was caught up in it. She and I were watching it together over the phone. . .She said when she went to vote everyone was really happy and friendly and talking to one another… She was really happy tonight.
As I watched the commentary that followed I looked towards Heaven and said, “Hey Martin, are you getting all this up there?.. Check it out!” and remembered again the time I picked you up from the airport and on the way home you leapt out of the car to say hello to Don Hellwig? (I think…)
As I watched you dash down the street to embrace him in my rearview mirror, I had thought then that there was a time when a black man running at a white man from behind like that would have caused considerable alarm and ended much less gregariously. I had considered that Dr. King would have been pleased to see such a warm greeting like that, and how our emergence from such stupidity had only been very recent, and that it was in fact your generation that really began the change, and how grateful I was that Grandma n’ Grandad had raised YOU in such a way that the thought probably never even crossed your mind that it was anything but natural to be that way. Which in turn got me thinking how interesting it was that I, as a child, got so frustrated by people asking me all the time what I “was.”
And curiously enough, Chad is really annoyed with the whole thing, actually a bit angry. He feels that it shouldn’t matter if he’s the first whatever, but rather that he’s the right man for the job. And he’s irritated; feels that people are making such a big deal out of it. Thing of it is, is he not hearing the whole thing? Or is he just exasperated that other people aren’t? It’s hard, because it’s true. I felt the same way in the beginning of the campaign, but since I went to vote (he didn’t) I also felt some of that rather contagious feeling of, I dunno what… The shame of it is that it is an historic occasion, but at least the occasion is here which indicates that we are beginning to move away from the shame of it… Baby steps, I guess. But “yes, we can.”
I hope you don’t mind, (though if you do I guess its too late to do anyhting about it) I posted both emails online in a thread at CDfreaks inviting others to share their conversations as well. For some reason I felt that these were some sentiments that should be shared with the world…
Thanks for bringing me up the way you did. Perhaps our struggles of the recent times are symptomatic of “growing pains” for society; you know, “darkest before the dawn” kind of thing. Another comment struck me as wildly funny when one of the NBC people was talking about the amazing coming together of the mixed demographics and the power of the united effort paying off in a grandiose manner, saying that in contrast to what we’ve had, really all of what had to be done was to call to the whole of the populace and say, “COME ON!” instead of pandering to just a partisan segment and fighting for the pieces. “Actually, it’s really so simple…” As he said it out loud, almost wonderingly, it was like it had just occurred to him: I could almost hear the ‘click’ of light coming on and the unstated realization of how lame we have all been being anything BUT this way, when this is all we had to do.
I think this maybe should get posted too…
Wednesday, November 5, 2008 5:42 PM
Did I notice the similarities??? … I marveled at them. As I read the last couple of paragraphs a proud smile slowly emerged…
It’s genetics, I think, and, particularly, I also think, how the genes are nurtured. The thoughts you had as you watched, mirroring the thoughts I had as I watched, mirrored the thoughts mom (spoken) and dad (probably unspoken) probably would have had, which probably would have mirrored the thoughts their parents would have had as well. The “thank you” you gave to me (which also made me smile because it showed that I was able to give to you what was given to me) gets passed along, with mine added, on right back up the line - and I think each set of parents will smile like I did when it reaches them. We have been blessed to have been taught so well.
Interestingly, I think that Chad is correct in his feeling that basically it is a case of the right man for the job. If he really feels that way, and is truly able to skip all the other stuff, then he is a little ahead of his time in that regard - to answer your question I think that it is a case of being “exasperated that other people aren’t [seeing/hearing the same thing he does].” Much of America is just waking up to where we actually have gotten to, and, judging by the looks on the faces of the people at the park in Chicago yesterday, it kind of surprises them how much they seem to like it. The older black folks are experiencing realization (sublimely portrayed and represented by Jesse Jackson’s tears). They’ve had the picture in their minds for generations - the picture of finally being able to be just like other people, represented by “one of their own” being chosen. There is no anger in them - just joy and relief at seeing a cherished dream come true. The younger generation of blacks may have more of an “it’s about time” attitude, but I think both groups see a “black man as President.” It seemed to me that many of the faces of the older white people in the audience reflected something like - “this is the guy we need to be president now, and it happens that he’s black, but that’s okay because he’s energetic and intelligent and well-spoken, and a hell of a lot better than Bush.” For a lot of people, the ideal of “equality” became suddenly tangible. Did you hear Tom Brokaw’s comment? Maybe you can find it on the net (MSNBC or the CBS sites video clips.) I remember him when he was a newscaster in LA, and you could tell then that he was going to be somebody special in his field. He described what he saw in the scene, and it was a wonderful explanation of what in Buddhism is called “sympathetic joy.” Many of the younger faces in the crowd reflected what you described as “hero worship,” which was, I agree, a little unsettling. But few in all those thousands, I think, had the simple, unvarnished simple thought that “this is the right man for the job.”
The fact remains, though, that he is the first, and it is historic. And the history and the possibility for something positive for America after these last 8 years were the things that generated the “contagious feeling” that you caught when you went to vote. Commentators mentioned yesterday that many people voted just to be part of what was happening. One guy said that he didn’t think his vote as a number would matter one way or another, but he wanted his vote to be in the pool of what was going on. I don’t think it was a singular sentiment. But each vote did matter, and each vote will always matter. You can see that when you look at the details of the numbers in North Carolina and Missouri and Indiana.
Finally, you ask if I mind that you posted the emails…herewith another of our seemingly universal connections. I don’t mind at all. When I wrote to you, I copied the email and saved it to my desktop.The title??..“My Election Blog.”