November 4th, 2008


We Spoke of Honor, and Now Respect

I just got off the phone with my grandma. She says she's been going downhill since mom died, so please hold her in your prayers. She may have suffered a small stroke, and she's having trouble remembering things. (She's 87 years old, but it got worse real fast.)

Recent things, anyway. She's still got the great stories.

"We all went and voted yesterday," Grandma tells me. "Did you?"

"Yep, I went and did early voting last week. There are a lot more people excited about the election this time, and that's great! Just think, either way you vote, you're doing something historic."

"Well I don't know about you," Grandma said in a strong I'm gonna talk politics, but not argue about it voice, "but I voted for Obama. I've loved him since the minute I heard his first speech. He's smart, and he seems genuine, you know. I've never voted Republican once in my life, but I really do like Obama."

"Good for you, Grandma! Me too. But around here, a lot of the older folks are, well, kind of redneck. You hear comments like 'We're democrat, but we don't want a black man in the White House.' We just shouldn't be hearing those kind of things anymore! Don't they care about the good of the country?"

"Well Manda," and her voice was shaky, but there was so much strength in, "I've never thought it mattered. I'll tell you...when I was working building the airplanes, back for the War you know, I had to take the bus to work. And you know how they did buses back then. There was this little old lady, and she had'ta have been seventy, but she was sitting, well, back with the darkies like it was, and I guess some of em had left at their stops. The front was all filled with white people, so I went and took an empty seat. And that bus, well they all just looked at me. And the old lady said, 'Here, I'll switch back there so you can come up here.' I just said, 'No, it's no harder for me to sit back here. Less than it would be for you to have to get up and move.' Cause I was only sixteen or seventeen, you know? She was so old...but all the white people, well they just looked at me like the wanted to run right through me. Run right through me. And her a little old lady. Such things shouldn't matter."

I'm so, so honored to carry on the stories of my heritage. I hope our country keeps on changing for the better, and that our children will be amazed by stories of that one time it was such a big deal to have a black president.

If you haven't, please go vote.