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dancing on the tightrope

The tears are here.

I spent the last two years in thought, in anger, in fear, in prayer, in despair, in faith – with occasional glimmers of hope.  When the nomination was won, I wasn’t all that happy, cuz my girl didn’t win.  I wasn’t surprised – I wasn’t despondent – but I wasn’t crazed, like a lot of people were.

As time went by, I became more convinced that Obama would win.  I had lingering doubts, but I was pretty sure by the time November 4th came around.  I couldn’t help getting swept up in some of the Obamania – like the Yes We Can video, and the pictures from all over the world, of people who wanted Obama to be our next president.  I’d felt ambivalent about Barack for awhile – when I noticed that once the smoke cleared after his inspiring speeches, I never actually had any substance to hold on to.

His first speech that I watched – in 2004 – was incredible to me.  I thought, “Wow!  Who is heHe should totally run!”  That speech was truly inspirational, and gave me hope for the Party.  When he announced his candidacy, I thought – well, hey, that’s great – he’ll get a chance to learn the ropes.  I wasn’t thinking that he had a chance to win.  I wasn’t thinking that I wanted him to.  Part of me did – just for the historicity of it – but mostly, no.

I voted Green.  Because I wanted to.  I stood in the booth, choosing between two black candidates for the office of President (!), and even then, I wavered.  But I did what I’d already resolved to do, go with my heart and vote Green.  Living where I do, I had no illusion that we might end up a blue state.  Certainly not Green.  But I did my part to be heard – to be counted.  And I watched as the votes were tallied by poll estimates.

I hoped.

I stayed up incredibly late, considering I had to go to work the next day, and watched as history was made.  I saw other people cry, but I didn’t.  I was happy that McCain didn’t win.  I was happy that the Obamas would be moving into the White House.  I saw the handwriting on the wall – a friend of mine stated that the only positive thing about the election results was that they proved that racism is over in America.  This, on a grander scale, was what I’d been afraid of.

Nationwide, there has been an uptick in proclamations of a ‘post-racial era’ having been ushered in by our newly elected President.  Today, I watched Oprah speaking with Demi and Ashton about their part in the political process.  They (the Moore’s) have put together a video of famous people taking Obama’s pledge – Demi directed.  In the video, there’s a guy (I don’t know his name) who says that he pledges to think of himself as an ‘American’ and not an ‘African-American’.

Oprah said she loves that.

I don’t.

That’s when I started thinking about this whole thing.  This whole new era that has most certainly been ushered in by the historic events that will continue to take place through this presidency.  It’s a tightrope.

I’ve been afraid to hope, because

  • Promises from politicians haven’t ever meant much
  • Backlash is brutal
  • I wanna at least hold on to the progress that we’ve made up to this point
  • I know that this is gonna be hard. real hard.

So I kept being pragmatic.  At the price of sometimes being labeled a naysayer, or raining on parades.  But it’s true – this is NO time for complacency.

But at the end of Oprah today, David Foster, Will.I.Am, Faith Hill, Seal, Bono, and Mary J. Blige sang a new song.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Download and Watch America’s Song“, posted with vodpod

And I cried.

It is a tightrope that we’re on.  Hope is a thread.  It’s fragile.  It must be guarded.  It must be cultivated.  It requires something of you.  Of us.  If we’re all gonna be out here on the line together, we have a responsibility to keep our neighbor’s standing.  It affects us all.

Tonight, though?  I’m dancing on that tightrope.  In step with the rest of you.  Through the tears – I’m dancing.  May God keep us together.

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