I feel obviously out of place yet accepted and welcomed, all at once. Standing among throngs of obama supporters that have taken over the streets, screaming and laughing and crying as the results pour in. some bite their nails, looking around nervously, not believing that this could really be happening, but the mood overall is positive, optimistic.
Hope is in the air so thick I can taste it as they wait for the newscasters to announce who their next president will be
(Their president, not my president. Neither of them will ever be my president)
Still, the excitement is contagious, and at some points tears sting my eyes, and I'm not sure why. Because I'm moved by the beauty of this, people coming together like this, the love and the passion and the joy that's here, the feeling of triumph, of overcoming years of oppression, full circle from slavery to presidency? Or am I saddened by this false hope, by my fear of putting so much faith into one man, afraid that these wonderful people will in the end be devastated when no change really does occur?
They announce President-elect Barack Obama and the noise is deafening. Everybody is crying and sure enough I am too, everybody is shouting, "yes we can, yes we did!"
I am happy, overwhelmingly so, but I can't silence the thoughts in my head, thinking—we did what? Got this guy elected? Is this the end? Now we'll just wait around and wait to see if he lives up to our hopes?
Hope feels good though and it's not something I've felt this tangibly in a long long time, I want to cling to this feeling, even if it's misguided. I'm annoyed when my friend Lincoln (really!) pulls me aside, says to me soft so nobody else will here "this is bullshit nothing changes nothing ever fucking changes." I tell him with confidence he's wrong
But it wasn't Lincoln who freed the slaves and it's not Obama who will free us. Each of us needs to keep working for a better world, we can't ever stop, we can't ever rely on somebody else to take care of it for us.
We're not done yet.