Tuesday, November 04, 2008

This One's For You

I cannot imagine how difficult it must be for Barack Obama to have lost his rock, his Grandma "Toot" hours before possibly becoming President. It was comforting, however, to hear that she was able to cast her vote for him before passing away. I really cannot fathom how even the most ardent Republican supporter could begrudge him his need to suspend his campaign to go see her, or how any human could turn this enormously personal, painful trial into an ugly political talking point. But they have [see minute 0:00 to 1:00 of this video].

And it didn't stop with this heartless bastard. Friday, I heard Rush Limbaugh, who suspected something sinister and secretive lay underneath Obama's emergency flight to Hawaii from the very beginning, say the following [Go to minute 4:45], basically that the ill grandmother story was all a ruse, concocted so that he could go back and have his birth records sealed. (You see, he's stuck on this debunked myth that Obama is not an American citizen.)

Let me tell Mr. Limbaugh something about real American grandparents and how much they mean to so many of us real Americans. I am fortunate to have 3 of my grandparents still on this Earth with me, not just because they are the most loving and amazing humans I know, but because I am blessed to see them witness this day. Born in rural Louisiana before electricity, TV, indoor plumbing, and having the right to vote, today they all cast a ballot in favor of another black person for President of the United States.

My father's mother, who turned 85 two days ago, after not being allowed to go to the front of the early voting line in her wheelchair, simply went back today to cast her vote. My mother's 83 and 89 year-old parents arrived at their polling place at 5:55AM to patiently wait, a cane and a walker between the two of them, for an hour to cast their votes. I also never heard my grandfather utter one syllable of regret about having to fight in World War II only to return to a country where he had to stand in the back of the bus and drink from dirty water fountains. His wife, who could have passed for white, did not hesitate to correct white people who told her she didn't have to wait in the colored waiting rooms. She was black she would tell them. My other grandmother never complained about working as a housekeeper for white families until the age of 75, well after she began suffering the pain of osteoarthritis. And during all this, these great Americans nurtured and supported and helped raised their grandchildren and great-grandchildren after raising 19 children (between the four of them) and sending those children on to college and law school and graduate school even though they themselves had little money and not a one attended school beyond the 8th grade.

Because of them, I have never been so happy to stand in line to vote. Without them, I would never have been so happy -- period. So today is for you Toot. Today is for you Ernest (rest in peace) and Audrey. Today is no one's but yours, Eddie and Marina.


Karen said...

Well said.

Clifton said...

Man......They deserved the chance. I wish my grandpa and my grandmother would have lived long enough for this.