Election Anxiety or Today is the Last Day Before Tomorrow.

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.

Rosie.

Vote, and shut the fuck up. Please.

ImageOn the eve of this evening’s final Presidential debate, it has become painfully obvious to me that I’m over it.  All over it.  Social networking battles to the death containing little or no semblance of truth, the ending of friendships over comment strings all serves to do what exactly?  Send you to bed pissed off, or worse, out into the world pissed off looking for a release.  Here’s a little bit of insight that hit me the other day. Voting is a very self-centered thing. Our current democratic system plays on every fear, real or imagined, that we have THEN asks our paranoid, self-obsessed crazy asses to go out and select someone to lead the entire nation.  We go, and we vote our own needs and rarely the needs of others.  If you say that’s not true then you’re lying to someone you should never lie to … you.

I know I’m not going to vote in a way that may necessarily benefit a rich corporation more than it’s going to benefit my poor black artist ass.  Why would I? It’d be self-defeating.  Are there solutions that would be mutually beneficial to all American citizens?  Hell, probably.  But, that’s not what I’m here to write about.  I mainly just want to say that the odds of anyone’s minds being changed by endless online banter and diatribes, t-shirts, bumper stickers, etc. are slim to fuckin’ none. So hush.  Go do something more productive, like volunteering and being as selfless as you are with your vote.

Me?  I’m plotting my campaign for 2016. Since world domination is clearly just one rageful tweet away. Governing an entire country can’t be that damn hard.

Rosie.

A is for African-American, B is for Black … hell yes it matters.

Given the history of race relations in this country I find it 100% absurd that black Americans are often silently requested to mute their pride in America’s first black president.  At the same time we’re also asked to ignore the fact that every president before him was white and male.  God bless America and it’s bottomless self-denial. God bless America’s blissful ignorance that allows people to ignore the air of bitterness, resentment, and out right hatred have supposedly has nothing to do with the color of our president’s skin.

I refuse to hold my tongue a second longer.  The fact that Barack Obama is our president and black at the same time does my heart good. Something that was deemed a mission impossible that quite frankly I’d given up hope of ever seeing happen, happened in 2008.  I was proud of our country’s ability to galvanize behind someone that more closely represented what we’re supposed to be as a nation, and it’s tragic that some don’t see it that way.

As much as I disliked George Bush, I never hated him.  I never wished ill on him. Did I question his decision making skills?  Yes. Did I or anyone I knew for that matter create racist bumper stickers lobbying against his re-election … No.

Well, wait. I’d have to be in a position of power or a member of a dominating majority, thus enabling me to withhold certain rights and privileges from another group to in fact be “racist”. So umm no, couldn’t have done that effectively if I’d tried … moving on.
 

There is a dialogue about race that bubbles under the surface of this country that longs to be had. That erupts in groups like the Tea Party that call for a return to the America of our “Forefathers” who may I remind,  grew this country on the backs of slaves.  It’s the continued perpetuation of falsehoods about President Obama’s nationality and what religion he practices. Really? Like any of that nullifies that he’s probably one of the most intelligent presidents this country has had and that his story and that of his wife are walking interpretations of the “American Dream”.

The story of blacks in America is a story among many thousands of stories about people who endure adversity around the world. It begins and ends with race for black people in America. Period. To deny the story of  race in America would be like Jews denying the holocaust. We would never dream of asking Jews to forget the atrocities of the holocaust, so why then does it seem within reason to ask that blacks in America forget, deny or (my favorite) “get over racism” when it penetrates every facet of our lives? You don’t see it?  Then there’s a great chance you’re not black.

My race is not ALL that I am,  but it has played a major role in making me who I am. Why am I playing the race card? Because it is the card I was dealt, and dammit  we have to play the hand we are dealt.  Barack and Michelle Obama played the  hell out of theirs and they inspire me to achieve despite any circumstances that are in my way.  That lesson applies across race, creed, sexual preference, physical ability, you name it … it applies.  Republican or Democrat you can’t deny that.

Barack Obama’s success can be our success as a country. We as a nation have to “call a spade a spade” when it comes to the underlying rage displayed by so many at the mere mention of the Obama name. We’re better than this. We must allow ourselves the opportunity to see the significance of who Barack Obama is and what his story means outside of our feelings one way or the other about his politics.  And after that damn speech Willie Clinton laid down, I don’t know about you, but I am FIRED UP and READY TO GO!!! I’m ready to believe, like a five year old in the tooth fairy, that this country can be a nation united.

Rosie.

My President. My Inspiration.