Tuesday, November 4, 2008
On an Historic Occasion or Footnote
Who's that random white guy in the painting? It looks kind of old-timey - maybe he was a general or something. Doesn't look like a president . . .
That's Aaron Burr. He was the Vice President a long time ago. Seemed in line to be the President. But why do most people recognize that name? Because he got in a duel and shot Alexander Hamilton. Needless to say, he never was President.
Tomorrow morning, Barack Obama will either be a symbol of an historic landmark, or just an interesting side-note to tell kids in forty years, "I remember when a black man looked like he could become the PRESIDENT."
And that's why my tv is off. It's why I refuse to use the internet past this posting. Because I'm terrified. Tomorrow will either be the beginning of a new world for me - one in which the lack of faith I have in America (and white America, specifically) will be proven unworthy; or a depressing proof of what I currently believe - that this country is not for non-white folks, and that my vote will never count.
Those are the options - as extreme as they could get. Sure, I didn't want Bush to win the election last time, but it didn't alter my world. Kerry was just another white guy who did not represent me in any sort of way. He didn't give me any sense of hope. He just hadn't proven himself to be as much of an ass as the other guy. But this - this is different. I never believed I would see a person of color be the president of the United States in my lifetime, let alone this early in my lifetime.
I've written on this before, so there's no need to continue, but I have never consciously faced such a pivotal moment in history before. September 11 was huge, but I did not see it coming - there was no anticipation. We all stand on the edge of a precipice - looking at despair or a New Dawn - and there's nothing left to do but wait and see which one it is. And that's terrifying.
This is like Christmas Eve (for a little American Christian kid) wrapped in with the "last mile" of an inmate on death row: tomorrow morning awaits that shiny bike I've always wanted but thought I'd never get, or Santa's going to be waiting with a butcher's knife. Seriously, it's like that.
And so now I kill my internet, to attempt to fall into the blissfully unaware throes of musical creation, so I don't think about what tomorrow may bring . . .