Two days removed from the historic election, I am still trying to find the words to describe how I feel. The joy and elation (now ebbing), and giving way to nervousness and uncertainty. Not for the country, not for the man, but for us. As I rode the bus yesterday I heard the cheers and chants of the young kids not old enough to vote. In the morning they were jubilant and full of promise, by mid afternoon they had degenerated into mindlessness and foolishness. The happy Obama chants had become the stoned stupid cries of high kids on the back off the bus. It was disheartening because I know it was not isolated to the bus I was riding.I had heard the stories during the day of the celebrations throughout the streets of Oakland and the idiocy that marred the event.
Most saw it as fun and games I saw a deeper, darker, sign. I hope that/and I’m sure that it will, move a certain segment of the non-white youth of America to strive ever harder. Yet I fear it will inspire some of these bad-ass kids (of which I was one), to engage in even more brash asshole-ish-ness. I wanted to think only of the positive. I wanted to believe how Obama’s election and subsequent presidency will bring equality through inspiration. I close my eyes and try to think about the Morrissey song, “America is Not the World”. Where he says; that as long as we don’t have a president that’s black, a woman, or gay then we have nothing to say (to him). I try to keep Stings “Welcome to a Brand New Day” out of my head, to no avail. I think about the super-secret Dave Chapelle show Anitra and I got into on Saturday night. Where Dave said, “What do you think (Obama) would do if elected; get up on stage and scream-IT’S PAYBACK!!!” Apparently that is what some of the wild kids on the bus seem to believe. They laugh and yell insults to white people that aren’t even there. They boast and brag yet isn’t even old enough to vote and more than likely wouldn’t even if they were.
The African American community has often been divided between two sides; those who strive to rise up and those who wallow in the muck. There have been others who have worded it differently but you get my drift. The hope has always been that an MLK like figure would emerge and set things right. Yet even with the emergence of Barack Obama I have yet to see the change. If anything his election may embolden the latter. This of course is a common fear of a certain segment of the white population, perhaps to more extremes than that but more or less.It is however founded in some reality. On election night two people were hit by a car in front of the liquor store acting foolish in the streets. A co-worker told me of people in her neighborhood firing of automatic weapons into the air with no regard for where the bullets landed. I don’t want to think about this I want to focus on how this will inspire the kids who are ten and under who will come to maturity under an Obama administration.
I am aware that it will not be all roses and once the honeymoon period is over we will have to get into tackling some real hard times. There must be an enormous weight on his shoulders knowing that so much is riding on his first term. The hopes and dreams of an entire race have been placed on his shoulders. If he fucks up he doesn’t just fuck it up for himself or for the country, but for every brown face in the free world. Sounds extreme and it is. That’s why I fought and screamed so much for this. This is bigger than one man, bigger than one nation. If you watched the news you saw the excitement across the globe. This event uplifts all non-white people in the world. For once the most powerful nation on the planet is being helmed by a figure who looks like the rest of us not just a few of us. The power of symbolism is strong. You can change the world with pictures more than you can with a single word. Words are spoken in various languages across the globe I can’t understand most of them, but if I saw a picture of a black Queen of England or President of France, any traditionally white super-power I would be moved. This is an event that has no equal that is what Obama’s detractors either did not understand or not care for. It is the symbolism which was most important to me.
As a practitioner of Chaos Magick I believe highly in the importance of symbols and sigils. I read truth in the graffiti on the walls on my way to work like some people read the newspaper. I understand that the significance of this event will not be felt truly for another generation or two. The monumental victory that was won on November 4th 2008 was over 200 years in the making and the struggle for equality of all races, and genders and sexual orientations’ has made a progressive leap forward. The change will not overtake us overnight and there will be many more bumps along the road. Power does not concede anything without a fight and we have a long fight still ahead of us, but this is a giant win for the forces of true freedom. I was talking with a man earlier today who were some years older than me and he said that now he feels he can finally salute the flag. I understand his sentiment. Others have expressed to me there relief and renewed or emerging faith in the country as a whole. We will see if it is momentary or everlasting.