History has arrived

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I am headed to my poll location now to work.   Share your thoughts with me as history is being made.

After several hours at the polls, I wanted to share some of my thoughts.

The Grandmother of Barack Obama, Madelyn Dunham, has gone home to see the King.

This is a bittersweet moment for all of those, myself included, who prayed and asked the Lord to allow Mother Dunham to see her grandson elected President. Unfortunately, it wasn’t in God’s plan.

Barack’s tears touched me.

APTOPIX Obama 2008

They took me back to the death of my grandfather.

I don’t know what it is like to lose a grandmother and don’t want to know. My maternal grandmother is my heart. She is the matriarch of our family. My grandmother is sweet potato pie and peach cobbler. She is quiet dignity and unconditional love. She is collard greens and cornbread. She is my rock, my anchor, my role model. I cannot imagine life without her love, her prayers, or her presence.

Fifteen years ago, Grandma discovered that her husband of 35 years had slipped away quietly in his sleep after a long illness. She called the sheriff to pronounce the body and the funeral home. While waiting for momma and me to arrive, grandma had a massive heart attack. She was right in the middle of it as we arrived. She rocked back and forth on the foot of the bed as she prayed softly. We called her name and rubbed her back. Mama continued rocking back and forth and praying softly. She finally fell out as they lifted her onto the gurney and transported her to the hospital. It never dawned on me that she was having a heart attack. The whole thing felt like a bad dream that I couldn’t wake up from.

We waited helplessly for several hours with other family as they worked to stabilize her in intensive care. When they finally let us in to see her, she was hooked up to a respirator and there seemed to be tubes coming from everywhere. I lost it and quickly dissolved into tears. Grandma gestured for a pen and scribbled a note that read: God told me it is not my time. Stop crying.

That didn’t reassure me.

I spent the next five days on my face, fasting and praying. Nearly a week after being on the brink of death, Mama walked out of that hospital and buried her husband with the characteristic dignity and resolve she’s always displayed. She never had another heart related incident. God spoke to my grandmother clearly and told her it was not her time. There was nothing more to fear. God said it. He did it.

For those of you who believe that we cannot predict an Obama win because you are superstitious, there is nothing to fear because this is his time and nothing will change that. I look forward to April 27, 2009 when the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, writes to my grandmother and wishes her a happy 80th birthday.

Y’all be good and go vote. Do it for all the grandmothers who couldn’t be with us and whose sacrifices made this moment in history possible.

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Going through the motions

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The candidates are just going through the motions now because this thing is over and done.  I’ll tell you like the revival preacher told me at my home church in July.  “Obama’s gonna win.  You can shout now.”  The electoral college map as represented below is clear.    A landslide is brewing and nothing will likely mitigate the damage to the Republican Party.

Senators McCain and Obama are starting to engage fully now without laying too heavy a negative glove on each other.  The economy is front and center and it does nothing but help Obama.  The longer they discuss it, the more he strengthens his hand.    A half-hour in an we still are talking about the economy.  McCain isn’t doing anything to change the game.  His mild criticisms are neither pointed nor compelling.

Why I am pro-choice

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Several years ago, I was asked to do a project for a Women’s history class and interview a woman of a certain age in the family. I interviewed my great Aunt Mattie Alberta. My aunt was her mother’s namesake and she told me my great-grandmother’s story. According to the census of 1930, my great-grandmother was my grandfather’s second wife. Born in Mississippi in 1907 to a family of 15, she met and married my great-grandfather, a Baptist minister, sometime in the late twenties and to their union were born three children: Uncle Isiah in 1927, Lula, my grandmother in 1929, and my Aunt Mattie in 1930. About 1933 my great-grandmother Alberta became pregnant again.

The economic injustice of the Jim Crow south was intensified by the near total economic collapse brought on by the depression. Times were tough for blackfolks anyhow, but the misery of the depression made some of us long for the degradation of slavery because at least they could be assured of being fed. It was into this climate of desperation, penury and fear that my great-grandmother faced the prospect of having a fourth mouth to feed.

When a woman is intent on ending a pregnancy to preserve the family that she already has, there is nothing that she won’t do.  My great-grandmother searched high and low for an abortifacient that would work and settled on a method, which is lost in the mists of time, that took her life. Her death left a hole in the family that could never be filled. My great-grandfather re-married twice. The woman who raised my grandmother and her siblings was a cold, emotionally distant woman who expected her grown children still at home to pay room and board before each eventually married. My great-grandfather was a strict disciplinarian who had trouble understanding the difference between necessary discipline and child abuse.

Several years ago, my Auntie gave grandma this old black and white photo. My great-grandmother, who my grandma closely resembles, is holding an infant, my aunt, while her toddlers stand to her sides. Grandma cried as she told us how much she missed her mother. Her loss is felt even now. Because of limited career choices available to their generation, my grandmother and her sister became nurses and I know that her mother’s death made grandma firmly and unalterably pro-choice. Out of respect for her and the memory of my great-grandmother, I am too.

It did my heart good to see that the National Organization for Women endorsed Barack Obama and Joe Biden today. They said in part, “Sen. Obama is a co-sponsor of the Prevention First Act, to strengthen access to contraception and reproductive health care, and prevent unwanted pregnancies. He strongly supports Roe v. Wade and will oppose any efforts to overturn it. …Sen. Obama opposed the nominations of George Bush’s extreme right-wing nominees to the Supreme Court, who have consistently ruled against women’s rights.”

“For more than a decade, Barack Obama has said “yes” to women’s rights, while John McCain has consistently said “no” – NO to pay equity, NO to contraceptive access and reproductive rights, NO to appointing Supreme Court judges who will uphold women’s rights and civil rights, NO to funding shelters and other anti-violence programs, and NO to supporting working moms and dads with policies that support work/life balance.”

Barack Obama is not perfect and is far too accommodating and corporate for my taste. However, he is the only candidate in the race who shares most of my values that is capable of winning. Anybody who claimed to be for Hillary Clinton that doesn’t support Barack Obama is lying when they claim to be feminists. Feminists support the rights of women–all women, to be free of patriarchy, racism, violence and economic discrimination. Supporting John McCain and his right-wing fembot is antithetical to the philosphy of feminism.

Hiding behind John McCain and Sarah Palin or Cynthia McKinney changes nothing. Sarah Palin is not a feminist, no matter what she claims, and she doesn’t support preserving the reproductive rights of women. Cynthia McKinney, on the other hand, is a good feminist, but she has absolutely no chance to win.

The choice for feminists is clear. Anybody who says anything different and insists on bludgeoning Barack Obama as the scapegoat for the slings and arrows of sexism is really more interested in preserving white supremacy than they are in defending Hillary Clinton from sexist patriarchy.

Colin Powell, undecided voter

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Former Generalissimo and Secretary of State Colin Powell told a George Washington University audience that he is undecided in this year’s presidential contest and is still weighing his options.   The idea of a black president, according to Powell, would be, “electrifying…but at the same time [I have to] make a judgement here on which would be best for America.”

Powell’s statement lays bare the delicious contradiction implicit in departing from the Republican Party.  Caught between racial pride and a lifetime of devoted service as the white power structure’s militaristic enforcer and their prestigeous blackface foreign minstrel, he cannot support Barack Obama without calling into question everything he has been about for the last 35 years.

In the end, the imperial crusade he helped to launch in Iraq with erroneous intelligence and blatant falsehoods and the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Hati, will be his legacy.   He needs to own that failure.

Colin Powell Lied, 100,000 Died - Demonstration Toronto - Wednesday, March 15, 2006 - 059 by photopia / HiMY SYeD.

Endorsing Barack Obama will not turn the page on his lifetime of betrayal.   If he decides to go with Obama, it won’t be a personal decison.  It will be a surreptitious effort of the imperial establishment to control Obama for Powell’s beloved plantation puppet masters.  Colin Powell is no longer one of us.  He is an enemy of the black community and if Barack Obama accepts his endorsement, he may become our enemy as well.

Is “Celebrity” the new right-wing buzz word for Liberal?

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Coming from the same fools who brought us Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwartzenegger, and Charleton Heston, the fixation on Barack Obama’s “Celebrity”  by the McCain camp seems rather odd.   Comparing the former President of the Harvard Law Review to female celebrities who’ve never stepped a manicured foot onto anybody’s college campus is too cute by half.  Moreover, questioning Barack Obama’s leadership ability while showing him speaking to the largest adoring crowd of the campaign to date, also seems rather non-sensical.    If this is all they’ve got, they don’t have much at all.   I find this laughable and a pathetic attempt to turn an Obama positive into a negative.   It’s standard fare in the Republican play book, but I think they’ll find the Obama team more nimble than Kerry’s sadsack strategists.