Tuesday was a magical day for me even before any of the polls closed because I got to vote for the first time with my husband. The voting part was thrilling for me and I squeed a little bit when I marked who I wanted to be president. And the weekend before Kamel and I had laid in bed discussing and debating each California proposition, writing down how we would vote on little lists we kept on our phones. The whole process energized me. But that is a story I’m leaving for Kamel – a story you will hear complete with the many screen shots of the TV – on Saturday.
Today though, because I am writing this on Wednesday even though you will read about this on Thursday, something else happened. I woke up and I lalala went about my day. There was a certain quiet where I didn’t have to hear about new polls or new disappointing human behavior, I didn’t feel the need (for a moment) to bang on pots and pans and let the social outrage fuel me. I had been gripping the edges of my seat and gritting my teeth for so long that I was in a kind of daze when I finally was able to let go for a minute. And I went through the whole day like this. Lalalala. Until I was on my way home, reading the internet on the train, and I came across this amazing amazing article by David Simon. And please please please please take a few moments and read it because it awoke in me something besides outrage. I didn’t even know what to call it because when it comes to politics I couldn’t remember what else their could be. Here is 1 paragraph from his piece. I would tattoo this shit on my body if it wasn’t so awkwardly long.
Hard times are still to come for all of us. Rear guard actions will be fought at every political crossroad. But make no mistake: Change is a motherfucker when you run from it. And right now, the conservative movement in America is fleeing from dramatic change that is certain and immutable. A man of color is president for the second time, and this happened despite a struggling economic climate and a national spirit of general discontent. He has been returned to office over the specific objections of the mass of white men. He has instead been re-elected by women, by people of color, by homosexuals, by people of varying religions or no religion whatsoever. Behold the New Jerusalem. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a white man, of course. There’s nothing wrong with being anything. That’s the point.
When I got to my stop Kamel was waiting for me as usual and he was all a twitter about wanting to tell me about his republican radio shows he listens to every day. How they have it all wrong and how they keep saying Romney wasn’t conservative ENOUGH and how next time they just need to keep hammering the major points of conservatism because that’s the ticket! That’s what was missing! And I got so excited about this conversation that I whipped out my phone and read Kamel the paragraph above because the world is changing. It has changed. It’s moving forward with or without you. And here is where Kamel said something that shot an arrow right into the center of how the article by David Simon had made me feel:
“Hope and change isn’t what happened back in 2008,” he said, “hope and change is what happened yesterday.” This was the change, the shift. Gay marriage is becoming more and more legal with every election cycle, women are breaking down major political barriers, and people of color are finally being seen as a formidable force – not just for pandering but as people who matter.
It’s not about hating the people who don’t agree with me and it’s not about pointing fingers, it’s about continually standing up for what I believe is right, and acknowledging when the ways we used to think, the ways we used to do things, just aren’t the ways anymore.