Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I was born in Albany, Georgia. I was baptized at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Albany, Georgia. It's my (and Ray Charles') hometown. My mom emailed me this morning to tell me that Albany was on the front page of the New York Times.

Growing up, I saw some pretty terrible displays of racism in Albany. I heard people that I knew and, in some cases, relatives of mine say derogatory things about black people. And from a very young age, it made me mad. Livid, actually. I couldn't understand it and I remember coming back to Texas after a Georgia visit and telling my mom that I finally knew what the meanest people in the world were called. They were called "racists" and I told her that I didn't ever want to be friends with people who were like that.

Which is why this story about Albany from the front page of The New York Times has reduced me, yet again, to tears.

I'm not the only one though. My best friend Chrissy, who lives in London now, is pregnant with her first child. She voted for Obama, as she's still a US citizen. I got this from her this morning:

And I am still on an emotional high. I saw probably the sweetest thing I have ever seen in my life. At the newsagent near my office, I went in to get a bottle of OJ this morning and there was an African woman in there holding hands with her little boy - probably 3-4 years old. They were in front of the newspaper racks, and she was pointing at the front pages saying 'His daddy was from Africa like your daddy. You stay a good boy and grow up to be a good, honest man and you can become something special, too'. Amanda, I fucking lost it! I couldn't hold back the tears as I walked the rest of the way to work. This is a VERY big thing - more than just a figurehead for our government. It's setting a new standard for millions of people. Amazing, just totally amazing.

So I cried over that. I cried watching the speech last night. I cried seeing 'your buddy' Jesse Jackson crying. I cried at the fact I got a text message from you saying you were crying. And I'm about to start crying now just thinking about all this crying.

For a bit of comic relief (and maybe giving me a chance to stop crying tears of joy for like ten minutes), I relay this from my friend Adam (via Dave):

Favorite thing I've read so far from a random Twitterer:
"I'm totally shitfaced on hope right now, you guys. Someone hold my hair while I get my audacity on."

Truer words never spoken.

But then it's back to crying as I look at the text message that my mom sent me the moment they called the election for Obama:

"You can breathe now. I am proud of you and your generation. I love you and thank you for voting"

And finally, if you ever wondered what is the easiest way to become a former friend of mine, Myspace-wise, let me offer you a perfect example:

Welcome to The Socialist Republic Of America!
God help usall. Barack Hussean Obama was just elected President. Guard your wallet. We're about to have the biggest tax increase in the history of the USA. My prediction, the stock market will crash upon this news. I'm all about helping out the poor, I just think it should be done through the church, not the gov. I fully expect accusations of being a racist. Fire away.

Though our Myspace friendship was brief, I wish you all the luck with your hate-mongering, which presumably you will be able to sneak in between typing lessons and English 101. Happy trails, retard.

YES, WE CAN and indeed YES, WE DID.

The Mavs beat the Spurs, the Spurs are winless so far this season, I'm riding out my last three days of my two weeks notice at a job I hate before I head into a job I love and last night, Barack Obama was voted President of the United States of America.

Today, most assuredly, does not suck.


Mei Mei said...

haha, i love what adam said...

Tommy said...

...and I just about "lost it" reading about Chrissy losing it. Then again, it's been that kind of day (starting at midnight), and I totally lost it when he promised his kids a new puppy. I"Daddy's gonna be president, the world has we know it has shifted dramatically, AND it gets even more awesome!"

Miss Kate said...

I'm just a random lurker (who usually lurks via Reader and found you through some political googling) and I prefer lurking to commenting, but that NYT article is amazing. I love the 103 year-old lady!

I live in Minnesota, in an overwhelmingly white area, and it's difficult for me to grasp how huge this is. But it is stupendously huge.

I know lots of racists. The closet kind, the passive-aggressive kind that live in the woods of northern Minnesota. It makes me so sad for their minds and spirits that they cling so hard to their party, making snarky Facebook commentary, hard little hearts made of coal.

(I actually saw an acquaintance from high school's update who went on an Obama tirade. He is a minister. We are no longer "friends".)

Your mom sounds like a nice lady.

jesharris said...

amanda, I just got done today banning some bitter jerko (apparently not just an Obama hater, but also an FDR hater!) from my new blog. I used that opportunity to inform other potential haters not to bother posting comments, because they will not be published.

I'm sick of their online nastiness, and I don't owe it to trolls to give them a forum for their rants. Let them be civil, or let them get their own blog. I'm not enabling their sickness any more.

Tom said...

I've lived in five states, all in the Central Time Zone. Racism exists in the north, south and middle of our nation, but it takes many different forms.
I've seen them all, and they all disgust me.
Yesterday's events helped us take a large step beyond the legacy of hate and ignorance that Dr. King and other great leaders worked to erase.

Philip said...

Hate-mongering, Amanda? Really? You don't think that's just a little extreme? Sounds like he was just offering his take on it. Yes we CAN marginalize and discredit those with dissenting opinions! Way to get this new era of bi-partisanship off on the right foot. Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

I don't think an 'era of bi-partisanship' is the big overall message; I think it's realizing that we're all one people - not two parties - and should be working together positively to make our lives a little bit better. Being 'clever' by throwing down little funnies where you use misspell Obama's scary-to-the-beltway middle name does nothing but make you look like you've missed the joke bus by a few months, Ace.

I, too, consider those tactics slight, but very real, versions of hate mongering. I am not saying that a person is a total moron for voting Rep., if their reasons were legitimate, but your use of blanket fearmongering terms are anything to go by, you actually have no clue what you are talking about. This might be a good time to crack open a newspaper or book and read up on current events, and not repeat slightly racist humdingers for the sake of sounding like a 'radical'.

James said...

Obama's election was definitely a good thing, on many levels, but why would you cry? Have you ever 'oppressed' a black person? Doubt it. 'White guilt' anyone?

d. hartsell said...

Hey 'Tom'
And in your broad travels of middle america did you ever encounter racism that was directed at white people? In your extensive touring did you include the 'poor section of town' in your schedule?
Have any of you suburban brats ever left the shopping mall and experienced real life? Lets not forget that black people can be racist too.
Did you babies think it was ok when reginald denny was dragged from his truck and beaten half to death? Was that 'appropriate payback'? That was racism. No hate crime charge there i'm sure. Ok, so thats an extreme example. What about when 'gary the punk' was beaten half to death in 'deep ellum, dallas', by a gang of black men for being a 'skinhead'. (He wasnt a skinhead and had a full head of dyed hair) You can bet that was racism - no hate crime charge there, either.
Remember the esteemed jesse jackson's 'hymietown' comment? Slip of the lip? Professor griff from public enemy's anti-jew sentiments?
Anti - jew, anti-black, anti-mexican, anti-white - whatever - they ALL exist, are ALL deplorable, and are much more prevalent than you think.

Just not in your 'white part of town'.

And dont respond by saying youre black, because we know youre not, 'Tom'..