This has been the longest, most stressful election campaign I can remember. I'm soo glad it's finally over. I have been consumed by all of the faux rhetoric surrounding my candidate and bowled over by the bright people I know that have fallen for it at some point during the last year and a half.
I'll admit, I do have an advantage. I have been exposed to the concealed, sometimes unaware racism that the Obama campaign has brought out in mainstream America.
I have been labeled 'inexperienced' for jobs that I could do, and have done, in my sleep.
I have been called for 3 in person interviews for one job to 'prove myself' to the hiring manager.
I have been questioned and challenged on jobs, in a way that my white friends have never experienced.
I have been 'friends' with white people and then get the side eye when something untoward goes down at work. After having lunch together every day, when something is stolen, why are they looking at me like, 'I thought she was different, but how well do I really know her?'
So, when Obama was hit with all of these same tactics. I saw that it was a diversion. I knew that the issue was his blackness or self identified blackness that was unsettling to the mainstream. He didn't fit into the easily identifable categories of black success. He wasn't a star athlete, he couldn't sing or dance and he was actually kind of nerdy. "What kind of black man is this?" they thought. So, they set out to test him. Some of you fell for the okie doke in the beginning and decided to back Hillary early on.
I remember getting into debates with people that thought she was more 'experienced' by virtue of sleeping with a two-term president. Some people actually reasoned that if she were in office, it would be like Bill having a third term. They didn't believe me when I said that she is nothing like her husband. I liked Bill, but never subscribed to that 'First Black President' bullshit. Straight insult.
Then Iowa happened, and folks were jumping on the Obama Express. I wasn't mad at them. It just takes some people longer to see what's been staring them in the face all along. LOL
Now, after almost two years of campaigning, I'm seeing articles about how biased the press is, favoring Obama at every turn. Mainstream America has an acute case of victim-itis. I don't remember a time in my life when I've seen so many prominent, affluent white people considering themselves victims. I mean really. I'm amazed. I've read more articles and seen more television personalities *cough* Hasselbeck *cough* that are crying about fairness than I ever have in my life.
I'm just glad that today is the grand finale. I just spent a total of 10 minutes casting my vote for Obama. I knew he'd get to this point and I hope he wins.
But, even if he doesn't, the way he's run his campaign has changed the landscape forever. And I'm proud of that.