I’ve just coached the final playoff game for the best class of athletes we’ve had come into Lusher in about 4 years. We lost 6-0 in double overtime on a length of the field interception return for a touchdown. The defense, which I coach, has only allowed 13 points in the last 4 games and 2 overtimes; that’s a little over 3 points a game. But I’ve got my head banging against a steering wheel because I was the one who suggested to our offensive coach that their defense might not be suspecting a pass since we’ve run it down their throat all day. I didn’t think he would pass since we worked our way down to the one, but the resulting interception and touchdown leave me stinging because I know these guys had a legitimate chance of winning the championship in the next game. The entirety of the game I forget everything I’ve been agonizing over for the last ten months and in the fifteen minutes following the game I don’t even care who our next president is. Of course I come to my senses quickly thereafter when I realize I get most of these guys back for basketball, and track…and then 5 more years after this one. So let’s concentrate on what’s important for the next 8 years.
I’m sitting in my bed. I’ve come directly home after the game because I want to be with my family, anticipating an Obama win. It’s kind of like New Years except if New Years had never ever happened before and you only had your dreams as comparison. My mom tells me they’re going by her friend’s house for an election party. I agree to join them shortly. So far only Kentucky has been secured by McCain. And they are trying to get me on edge about Pennsylvania so that I watch some more of their MSNBC commercials. They can spare me the drama because I’m going to watch and savor every moment of black man for president I can. But of course I’m a little worried because this is literally the thing I most want in the world! And I have no control over making it happen. I have to sit and watch and hope that racist America isn’t as strong a presence as I have believed it is for the last 10 years. I’ve been down this road a time or two when my optimism turned against me and I felt abandoned and alone against the harsh oppression of “The Man.” Ok, I’m being a little dramatic with the oppression but not with the hopelessness. 8 years of Bush in office when everyone you congregate with can only agree on his ineptness is enough to make anyone think the world is conspiring against them. They finally get around to calling Pennsylvania for Obama, and 30 seconds of relief sink in then almost immediately out. How the hell do they know he’s going to win Pennsylvania if only 10 percent of the votes have been counted? I mean I guess these guys are smarter than me at this, but how can they know? I knew that the Lakers would get blown out in game 6 of the Finals, and I said it as confidently as I could to anyone who would listen. But I didn’t actually know that. I just used what I knew about basketball, determination, the human will and my own wishful thinking. I could have been wrong. Are these guys calling states based on the same criteria or do they have something more tangible?
I’ve arrived at my mom’s friend’s house and a whole bunch of people who feel secure of victory are already talking over the T.V. I’m less interested in their banter so I find a T.V. in another room where I can concentrate on my prayers. More polls are closings and more states will be called in a few seconds. There is truly nothing like the excitement of having a horse in this race.
McCain strikes first winning Kansas and their 6 precious electoral votes. Obama smacks McCain and the traitors in Kansas, who harbored the man’s family and didn’t vote for him, when he wins New York which electorally counts for roughly about 5 Kansas’s. Michigan and Minnesota, Wisconsin all fall consecutively and Obama is on a roll. MSNBC announces the first toss up as North Dakota goes to McCain. That coupled with Wyoming and McCain matches the 6 votes he just got from Kansas. At this rate he’ll just need 4 more elections to reach 270. They announce Arizona is too close to call yet, and a nice feeling comes over me. They’re still talking about Florida and North Carolina, and Virginia. I rarely to never have interest in these states but now I’m regretting all the time I’ve neglected them, and hoping they don’t take it too personally.
The talking heads are doing their commentary thing. Of course they’re Obama Partisan so I’m eating up everything their saying. They bring T.D. Jakes back on, who I can’t say I care too much for, concerning his opinion. But he has the floor so I’ll listen. He starts muttering all these things I don’t want to hear about how “It’s anybody’s game, we’ve underestimated McCain, It’s not going to be a landslide.” Etc. When he’s interrupted….
Sir, we have some news, we have some very important news. Ohio has gone…to Obama.
You were saying T.D. Jakes? My heart stops a little and I get a warm feeling that creases my torso. They flash the picture of a smiling Obama and a blue Ohio.
And my heart fills up because I didn’t even realize how much I had missed Obama. In the last few weeks of his campaign he had somewhat muted the so called rhetoric, to avoid scaring away some of American’s delicate sensibilities towards our tribally derived, call and response, chants of hope. The words that endeared me most to Obama were now being spoken to and through me to everyone. And I thought of all the people who felt so passionately for this man. And all the ideals I assumed, when I was young, that one should feel for the man we call president came pouring out in me and reflected on the face of Americans from the streets of San Francisco, to Grant Park down south to Atlanta back up to Harlem. And their approval was mirrored across the Atlantic to Africa, right through Europe to China and then back again to America. And though in my youth I would put myself in place of secret service agents and wonder what motivated a man to have a job that might mean dying for another man. And I never saw the face of a man I would die for in any of these men that might have needed protection. For that matter I couldn’t even say I understood the motivations of servicemen and women who defended a country at the mandate of men mandating for personal gain. But on this night I looked on through glassy eyes at the only man not related to me I would die for, because I would be doing it for MY country which I have never believed more strongly is a place worth dying for. And even though I cheer for America in the Olympics, and even though I have no desire to live abroad, and even though I would rather eat a steak than escargot, for the first time ever I was proud to be an American. As Barack finished his speech I stood in the living room with my parents and sister And we toasted each other like it was New Year’s Eve. A fresh start, a new day, a new country. It’s not the first time the world has changed before our eyes. We watched planes crash into buildings. We watched our city swamp and burn. But all of those events, all of those martyrs, all of those souls passing to heaven did not happen for nothing. They did not happen so rich men could get richer, gouging gas prices and selling us war helicopters. They died and we suffered through it so we can reach this day when all of mankind is better off because we have someone like us, who feels that Government is not here to exploit a people but to serve and protect a people. And on this day we can look into the eyes of a man who speaks from his heart the same sentiments we feel in ours. His heart and ours speaks “Yes we can!” And so even though as he stated we are not celebrating because we won an election, but merely the chance to put things right that we have let go astray. We have already won because somewhere there is a little boy who can toss aside a Vibe magazine and pick up a Newsweek to find his identity. We have already won because the world now remembers that integrity and service are the kind of things that make leaders, and those who strive to be leaders will strive for those qualities. Because the world is already a better place when Joe Biden’s white, blond haired, grand kids can stand on a stage and hold hands and hug Barack’s nappy haired black kids in front of the whole world and Martin Luther King can stop rolling in his grave waiting for it. We have already won because Barack Obama is president.
Michelle Obama/ Beau Biden 2020!!