Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Dancing in the Streets

There is dancing in the streets in New York City.

At one in the morning there was yelling and cheering.

Horns were honking.

I cannot remember feeling this inspired or elated. This must be how people felt when Regan was elected.

As devastated as New Yorkers were on this day four years ago, their happiness today is greater still.

The physical sensation I felt when Olberman made the call last night, a tingling all up and down my body, a feeling of complete euphoria, took me totally by surprise.

This is not another presidential win. This is FDR or Regan. This is the return from the wilderness. It is political salvation.

The greatest expression I can think of of how big this is here in NYC, to me and mine, is the fact that I could not find a newspaper this morning. I checked at my bodega and all the news stands around work. They were all gone--all of them. The Times, the Post, the Daily News, Newsday, even the Sun. Every daily had been snatched up at six am the minute they hit the stand, according to one vendor I talked to. It's not all a bunch of guys trying to cash in on a collectible on EBAY. It's that people want a souvenir of what might be the most monumental day of their lives.

So, yeah, I'm happy. Not totally though. Prop 8 in California, designed to overturn the state's Gay Marriage law, won. That makes me sick to my stomach. There is no excuse for that kind of bigotry. The people who supported Prop 8 said they were protecting traditional marriage. From what? People who love each other? My friend Joycee's mom, a dear dear woman, married her long term partner a month after the Supreme Court legalized it this past spring. They are not a threat to anybody. It is infuriating, the way conservative Christians try to force their beliefs down everybody else's throats. It only proves once again that Gays are the new Jews: second class citizens whom it is perfectly ok to discriminate against. I am so sorry at this moment that I finaly changed my registration to NYC this year. For shame, California! Shame on you!!!

I am really sorry for my mom (who will probably read this). She seems quite distraught over the election--about as distraught as I was in 2004, which was devastating. I so wanted her to understand that this may well be the finest moment in the last 100 years of American history. As a black man said on MSNBC last night "from now on when I tell my children they can grow up to be president I'll be telling the truth." This is the validation of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Voting Rights Act. It is certainly the greatest moment of my life time. I don't think I've felt this good about anything political since the Berlin Wall came down. No, not even then. Only my personal achievements, like graduation, rank with this, but those were personal, just for me: this is our nation. It is the world. It is everybody. I wish mom could see and feel that.

I'm also sorry for my girlfriend's Aunt Shirley. On Monday Night Aunt Shirley was named Keith Olberman's "Worst Person in the World" for refusing to give Halloween candy to the children of Obama supporters. Some fifteen minutes. I don't think she is having a very good way (but we are laughing our asses off).


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