It did not occur to me until two days ago how much anxiety I have around this election. It, like most of my anxiety, stems back from my childhood. One of my earliest memories is of me waking up the Wednesday after Election Day, the first day of the Reagan presidency. I was probably 4 or 5. My mother was rushing around to get me dressed to take me to day care. She said something while she was dressing me that I promise you I can remember until this day: Hurry up, so I can get you there while you can still go.
I was terrified. I didn’t understand that she meant the vouchers that allowed me to attend day care would be snatched under this presidency. All I heard was that I would no longer be able to go to this happy place, with pleasant smells, singing, coloring, and pleasant familiar faces that I’d become used to. A few months later it came to pass. My mom lost her child care vouchers. I spent most of my days in front of a television (mostly PBS thank God) with my Nana who had to quit her job, that was also an asset to the family, in order to take care of me while my mom worked longer hours at what was then New Jersey Bell where she’d worked since she was sixteen. I said all that to say my mom was anything but a leech to the system. she went out and got it daily and appreciated the support she did get when she got it.
A year or so later came crack, drug wars, joblessness, further urban decay, and the destruction of anything resembling stable mental health care system. Enter the menacing issue of homelessness then plop me, small child with a vivid imagination, in the middle and it’s not hard to see why I believed Reagan was Satan incarnate. Somebody had a good time during the Reagan era. but it damn sure wasn’t the people I grew up with.
Mitt Romney strikes that kind of fear in me. There’s is such a disconnect between him and people of color and poor people that it should seem obvious that he shouldn’t be leading this multicultural nation, but alas this only seems obvious to people of color. I don’t know if there is a point to this except to say that I’m frightened. I’m not even sure how justified it is, but I am. I’ll await the results like everyone around the country and world today. Despite the results, I know we’ll survive. What that survival looks like, is another matter all together.