Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Yes We Did

I began this blog as an outlet for my frustrations over 2004 and the general direction our country had taken since 2001. I wanted to use the power of literate music to draw people into visiting AAW while at the same time expose those same people to 'another side of the political story' that wasn't really being expressed anywhere other than the internet a few years ago. How successful I've been... who really knows. But I'm very proud of the people I've met through this blog.... those who believe as I do and especially those who do not. I've engaged in conversations with both sides. If anything I've done on this blog changed just one vote.... just one then the worth of the time and effort I've put forth here is something I'll hold dear til the end of my days.

As a life long liberal who spent his first 24 years in Alabama and first 27 years in the South, to see a black man elected President of the United States, a man I so respect and admire, well, its just beyond my capacity to articulate the feelings I have at the moment.

Tears were shed last night.... and to be honest, a few are rolling down my face as I type this. Whoops of joy were shouted at my ceiling, text messages and phone calls and emails were received from dear friends from across this globe. I hope to capture the magic of last night and preserve it in my heart so I can constantly touch and remember it and cling to it whenever the hours are darkest. I'm not sure how to do that because the territory I'm in seems so uncharted.

I do know one thing......

Yes. We. Can.

Obama's Acceptance Speech

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that’s on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She’s a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing – Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn’t vote for two reasons – because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she’s seen throughout her century in America – the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can’t, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when women’s voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that “We Shall Overcome.” Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves – if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time – to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth – that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:

Yes We Can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

Here is a picture sent to me by my buddy Rich who was in Times Square in NY last night:


Reactions Around The World (PHOTOS)

International Reaction To Obama's Presidential Election

Barack Obama is president-elect:

"The victory marked a stunning transformation in a country where just over a half-century ago racial segregation was the law of the land in many states. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), who was a leader during the civil rights movement, seemed close to tears as he discussed the implications of Obama's victory.

'We are a different people -- we are a better people,' Lewis said on MSNBC. 'We are prepared to lay down our dark past and look toward a bright future.'"

2008 turnout shatters all records - Andy Barr -

"More than 130 million people turned out to vote Tuesday, the most ever to vote in a presidential election.

With ballots still being counted in some precincts into Wednesday morning, an estimated 64 percent of the electorate turned out, making 2008 the highest percentage turnout in generations.

In 2004, 122.3 million voted in what was then the highest recorded turnout in the contest between President Bush and Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.)."



Lurleen McQueen said...

I am a 40-year old white female born and raised in Mississippi. I live in Florence, Mississippi in Rankin County (read RED, RED, RED). After entering my choices on the touch screen yesterday, I was taken to another screen to review my choices. The red vote button was blinking, but I paused to take a couple of deep breaths and savor this moment in time. My eyes welled with tears as I slowly reached up and touched the button to cast my vote. I don't think I've quit crying since. My roommate - who is a gay, white male - also born and raised in Mississippi - and I sat in bed last night and cried while watching the returns. I was also talking on the phone with my 69-year-old mother, who was a Republican while I was growing up, but who has spent the last three months organizing grassroots support for Obama in North Carolina. Although Obama didn't carry Mississippi, I know that a change as come and this is a moment I will treasure for the rest of my life. Thank you, J, for the time and energy you put into your blog and the catalyst for change that you have been. The sun has risen this morning on a hopeful, new day.

Townser said...

Oh, happy day! I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one with post-election day weepiness. I'm not sure whether it is happiness or disbelief. Whatever the reason, I'd like to believe that we as a nation have taken a huge step forward. Oh and, FUCK YEAH!!!!!

davyproctorboy said...

JHW---Thanks for your encouragement about Prop 8, but I, and every gay man I know, am despondent beyond words. It is amazing that a non-white man could be elected president. But he is opposed to gay marriage, and I would have to migrate to my native state to marry. Not wanted here in California. Have you see the photo running around the internet of the church/voting place in, I think, Merced with the big "yes on 8" sign right at the voting booth? Totally illegal, but churches are apparently above the law. No more tax exemptions for any churches/synagogues/mosques! They should be banned from being voting locales also. And Obama is a devout Christian. Hard for me to trust him because of that. I read recently of a white woman in the 60's from the north who married and moved to her husband's native South Carolina. The first time he drove her to the laundromat she saw a big "whites only" sign, and innocently said to her husband she didn't want to have to wash her whites there, then take her colors to another laundromat....

Anonymous said...

Nice nice nice header!!!!

Did ya notice Colorado went blue this time??? It's all that crap I hung on people's doors!

AAW said...

It is amazing, isn't Lurleen. I've been in a fog all day long. I'm still not sure it happened. Thank you for the kind words!

One giant leap, Townser. And is 2nd your 'Fuck Yeah'!

Prop h8te will not stand, Davy. Although, the fault rest squarely on the pitifully run 'No on 8' organization. They got their asses handed to them by the Mormons and they made no effort at all to tie in with the Obama campaign for the black voters in CA. A percentage change int he black vote against would have won the day. That 'whites only' joke made an appearance in a film a friend of mine co-produced, "We Were Soldiers".

Naomi, the idea was made but it was excellently executed by Ms. Jenn. She added the Obama pic in the middle and I love her dearly for it.

You CO folks are doin' it right these days. Kick ass!

Anonymous said...

JPW- Thanks for your dedication and hard work on this blog.
I've been in a fog all day, have amazed, choking up every little while.
This has been my wildest political hope materialized. I'm confident our man will make us all proud.

I keep thinking of "Gravity's Gone"
"I've been falling so long, it's like gravity's gone, and I'm just floatin'"
Now to countdown the days until the Fillmore.
Peter G

Anonymous said...

So happy today. And so glad to have found your blog, because sometimes it feels really lonely in red state land. Our county went blue, but our state didn't (like Alabama). I still have hope that change will come.

Jacqueline TresBella said...

Did you win? Who do you think he will pick as his cabinet members?
When will he announce that? My friend has a friend who has tickets to the inagural (spelled wrong) Maybe she'll get to go. That would be great!! I'm up too late and can't spell or see too well, working on ACCESS.

Your Sis

Jacqueline TresBella said...

I meant to say inagural ball, still spelled wrong, Sorry

AAW said...

Floatin' indeed, Peter! San Fran will be one hell of a celebration. Can't wait.

You ain't alone, binky! Lauderale in AL went red, red, red. Morons. We'll keep hammering on our red states, though and flip 'em like VA and NC.

Hey sis! Nope, didn't get picked, but still it was a great night. He's working on his cabinet now we'll start to know in the next week or so. And don't worry about the spelling. It runs in the family.