amarie24: (Default)
[personal profile] amarie24

And it's something kinda beautiful.

This Friday was the last day of early voting and Mommy and I went that evening after she got off of work. It was cool and beautiful that evening, though I wish it was fucking freezing cold as it should be in early November. I told Mommy three times that I missed her ever since she’s been on her orientation in day shift with her new job uptown instead of her regular nightshift, when we can see and hang out with each other during the earlier hours of the day. (She’s working at the same hospital, but she’s since moved to easier, better job! So far, everyone’s so nice, friendly, and helpful! Her new boss even gave her a gift bag! Weee!!!)

So it’s a gorgeous, relaxing drive on the way to the polling site. And I’m more than glad that it was relaxing because I was quietly stressing about Trump-inspired illegal, violent “poll watchers”. Fraudsters that try to tell us that this is not the correct polling place. More fraudsters that demand to see our ID and then try to tell us that our ID isn’t good enough. White policemen thinking that this is just yet another field day of open season on us black and brown folks.

And when we finally parked in the parking lot (it was pretty crowded, what with people trying to get into the doors in the last few hours of the last day), my anxiety ramped up when I saw two white male policemen around the building. But they left us and all the rest of the people alone. There were no fraudulent “poll watchers”; on the contrary, there was a very, very, very nice white lady right outside the front double doors kindly waving us in. There was a lot of other people of color, in particular other black people and that, too, eased my fears.

By the time Mommy and I were waiting in the wrap-around line outside the ballot room (is that what it’s called?), my fears were completely eased. I took out my Cyrano de Bergerac book and started on Act Four. (Yes, Amarie is always starving for intellectual/entertaining stimulation that I read standing up in line. Yes. ‘Tis true.) A very nice black man behind me noticed me reading Cyrano and remarked that it’s a great play and he can remember reading and enjoying it in high school. I told him that I hope to watch the 80s movie “Roxxane”, which is based on the original play. He didn’t look like he knew what I was talking about with the movie, but he still nodded and smiled anyway.

And when I finally got to my ballot, I chose Hilary Clinton for president. I continued on and drenched my fucking state in as much blue as I could. I just went blue, blue, blue, blue, blue. Hell, I was surprised that we had two or three incumbent Democrats to re-elect at all.

I got my sticker that you see in my selfie, Mommy and I got in the car, and we left to go to the grocery store before finally heading home.

So what was beautiful today? What did I realize today?

Well see, eight years ago to this day, I was a 17-year-old in high school and, thus, was just one year too young to vote for Barack Obama. Though I was young, I still remember that my high school turned off everything and anything to watch the momentous occasion of America’s first black president being sworn into office. It was a pretty incredible moment. I remember that, at the end of that school day on the bus, a lot of other black kids happily chanted, “Obama, Obama, Obama!!”

Pretty incredible. Pretty beautiful.

Fast forward to four years later, and Obama was up for re-election and, being 21-years-old, I was perfectly old enough to vote for his re-election. I remember that that Tuesday was, of course, a school day and so I got my ass up bright and early around 5:20 to go ahead and cast my ballot for Obama in the morning. This way, I could head straight on home after school and my job as a work study student and not have to stand in the long, long, long-ass after-work line.

It was Obama vs. The Mittens and I helped Obama win in a landslide that night.

Fast forward yet another four years later and, though I no longer have a car of my own, I am 25-years-old, and again perfectly old enough to vote for a brand new president.

This is only the second time in my life that I have voted for a president.

The first time I voted for a black man for president.

The second time I voted for a white woman for president.

I can say that, as of now, I have never, ever voted for a white man for president. And I did not vote for a white man because there was the true, tangible option to vote for a person that was either not white or not a man.

I can say this is true in my lifetime.

I can say that I have this story to tell.

And just think about eight years ago, I was one year too young to vote. But I bet you that another eight years from now, I’ll still be old enough to vote and I may very well not have to vote for a white man for the third time in the row.

There’s something beautiful in there. Really, really beautiful.

Yeah, I think there’s something magical about the number eight.

Date: 2016-11-05 08:59 pm (UTC)
silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)
From: [personal profile] silveradept
My thanks to you for your civic action. And my relief that it was not a gauntlet to run.

Date: 2016-11-05 11:52 pm (UTC)
redsixwing: Red-winged angel staring at a distant star. (Default)
From: [personal profile] redsixwing
That is magical. \o/

Thank you, friend.

Date: 2016-11-06 09:42 am (UTC)
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
From: [personal profile] pebblerocker
I turned 18 in an election year and I was very interested in voting because of it. It's good that you were politically engaged before you were old enough to vote, and stayed motivated even though it was years before you were eligible. I sometimes wonder if the relative timing of someone's 18th birthday and first election has any effect on how interested they are in the process.

So relieved to know that you were safe and other people at your polling place were able to vote without intimidation. The stories I'm hearing are really, really scary and all of the voter ID laws would be very, very much illegal here.

Date: 2016-11-07 05:59 am (UTC)
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
From: [personal profile] pebblerocker
I suppose I'm basing my theory on the fact that I'm politically engaged, and my sister isn't and she's 4 years younger, therefore missing out on our three-year cycle and not getting to vote until she was 20, and my brother is interested and he's 15 years younger than me and first voted in the last election when he was 18. Of course there are a lot of people who don't care no matter what their age... and people who have very strong political opinions, but base them all on what they read in the right-wing major newspapers and how well it dovetails with their deep-down loathing of brown people, instead of on real facts. (I hate being related to such people.)

We have some sorts of civilisation here, yes. Like one voting system for everyone in the country and simple rules on eligibility. Like polling places in every school and community hall, within walking distance for the great majority of people in urban areas, and an easy system for people to vote at booths outside their local electorate if they need to. But our current government is hungrily eyeing how good their peers have it in America, and they're looking and learning what Republicans can get away with and planning strategies to make it possible to do the same here.

And the New Zealand Police Commissioner is envious of US police's kill count and is agitating for our police to carry firearms routinely. Numbers of officers killed on duty have stayed flat for decades while the population increases and the number of police increases, showing that police are safer than ever before... but he's always talking about how scared the police are that an officer will be hurt, and he wants to put guns in their hands to make sure that any time an officer feels uncomfortable, it's a member of the public who's going to die.

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