Ghosts in the Trees

I won’t lie.

In the begininng, I was pretty sure I’d vote for Hilary.

I’ve always liked Hilary. Despite her early career penchant for tap dancing better than Savion, I think she’s smart. Effective. A nice balance between brass balled and emotionally sound. Fair. Not so liberal that she makes no sense, not so conservative that there’s no way I could relate. And Lord knows I didn’t wanna be one of those black folks who voted for a guy just cuz he was black. What would that accomplish? What if he wasn’t right for the job?

And then I started listening to him speak.

Barack Obama is eloquent. He’s moving. And more importantly, he’s passionately invigorated about the change he speaks of. He believes not only in the concept of change, but in the possibility that the changes that he speaks about with such conviction CAN come to be. He has a set plan. No, he doesn’t have the same amount of experience as the other candidates running but maybe that’s what we need; someone who is not all that familiar with the antiquated and outdated ways this country is run. Someone who can come in with fresh ideas and perspective, someone who is literally the change he speaks of. How can you not get behind a candidate like that?

I only have one, very serious, very fundamental problem with voting for Obama.

And it’s not even his fault.
And while it is completely rational, it’s not at all fair.

With the exception of the four years I spent at Howard, I have lived in the south all my life. Especially having spent the last almost 2 years in Texas, I am more than well versed in the blatant racism that still steeps in the citizens of this country. I was barely in Texas a couple months before the night a pickup truck full of white boys brandishing a Confederate flag decided to follow me home with it’s lights off, obscenities and racial epithets pouring from the windows. Hardly seven years ago I believe it was, a black man was lynched barely 2 hours away from my front door. I think you recall 10 years ago when a man was tied to a pickup and dragged to his death.

10 years. As in 1998.

Don’t let anyone tell you that racism is dead.

I fear for the daughters of a man who is brave enough to want to lead our country despite the inherrent danger automatically entrenched in such a task. I fear for a wife, another Coretta, an archtype of a grieving widow to be scrutinized and pitied. A family who would forever become the face of a tragedy, a picture run a million times in publications all over the world. A blurb in a history book that has yet to be written.

That scares me.

And I know, logically speaking, that my not voting for him is not a big enough force to keep this from happening if it is meant to be. I also know, objectively, that this is unfair. It is not a good enough reason to keep a man from what could more than likely be his destiny. He is the right candidate to lead our nation. I believe that firmly in my heart, in a way that I am convicted about only the most fundamental things.

But still, it scares me. I am scared for a nation that may not be as progressive as I, that maybe, as I type, is stewing in hatred in the small towns of Texas or Georgia or Mississippi. That is maybe plotting the demise of a senator, a presidential hopeful, but more importantly, a father and an husband. A son and a friend.

I worry for the children left behind in the wake of tragedy, as that is my way to worry about the innocent. I worry even moreso about those children who suffer their tragedy publicly, share their grief with a world that isn’t always ready for a mirror to be turned to their deepest, darkest places. Have the Kennedy children ever led normal lives? Any of the King children? Have not their lives been defined by the early childhood violence they were forced to experience at the hands of the world, forced to deal with in the spotlight?

Come November, I will cast my vote for Obama of course. Because I believe in him in a way that I cannot remember having faith in any candidate that has influenced my generation.

But still, despite my elation at the progress that has been made, I will know fear. Fear of the unknown. Of those so radically opposed to change, those who believe staunchly in superiority discerned by race. I fear those who would rather kill a child’s father than see a nigger run a nation.

18 thoughts on “Ghosts in the Trees

  1. Woow.Awesome La.That made my heart twinge with the thought of what his family will go through.But..He will be President *listen to me thinking Im damn Sylvia Brown*So they will be highly protectedOrWhat if its within the White HouseTHAT scares me.Im thinking too hard.Great post LaTEAM OBAMA!!


  2. I’m in the Hillary camp, but it’s almost like I’m waiting for Barack to actually say something. He’s very good about making people feel good, but he’s not so good at explaining his policy. I need to hear his policy. Of the policy I’ve heard, I don’t like his universal health care plan and I don’t like this troop withdrawal time line and I don’t like his willingness to go and meet with dictators.


  3. Interesting notion.I concour with the theory and notion that since racism still exists, it will inevitably be ne of the challenges Senator Obama would face were he to become the nominee nevermind winning the presidency.Obama himself conceded that fear on the part of African-American woman that he might be killed, was a reason why he had to work even harder to galvanize the African American vote, especially in laces like South Carolina.


  4. Aw, wife… I feel you. But for some reason, I’m not even remotely worried about something happening to him. I don’t know why exactly, but I sorta think that’s going to be the least of his problems.But I’m glad you’re choosing to vote for him anyway. The people who say they won’t vote b/c he’s gonna get killed pisssssss me off!


  5. yea, so i’ve been lurking on your blog for a minute. not sure how i found you, i think through queen to be. as an alum of the “other” hu she’s the first person i knew from howard. but i had to say, please make the trip to the polls prior to november. on march 5th texas (i’m dallas born and raised) will host its democratic primary and i REALLY need barack to be on the ballot this fall. PLEAASSE?secondly, i get the feeling that senator obama & his wife (as he said, “michelle doesn’t play!” (i LOVE her)) had MANY a convo about the clear & present danger of this journey prior to his announcing candidacy. he is well aware of the risk he is taking. as a result, i think he received secret service protection earlier than any other candidate in history. for that reason alone, i’m not trippin’ on it as much…all i can say is, when he wins no car rides through downtown dallas. jfk was tragedy enough for this town.sorry for bloggin in your comment box, can’t help myself sometimes.


  6. preach bitch!!my mom won’t vote for him for the same reason. she is so glad colin powell never ran for that one point. its actually the sentiment of a LOT of af. amer…i’m still rocking the obama vote


  7. You bring up some great and sobering points. This country is still just as full of hypocrisy and ignorance as when lynchings were common place and the hoses were turned on protesters in Alabama 40-some years ago.However, we’ve got to stop being afraid if we’re ever going to get the change we seek and demand. And it starts with voting for Barack in November.


  8. La– If you scroll down on my blog, I posted a link to Michelle Obama’s speech about fear. If you have minute, check it out. I think I posted it around MLK Day.


  9. Very valid points…I didnt know anything about him either when he first started, and I’m really impressed by him now. And this is coming from a jaded cynical man who beleives that the 2 party political system is inherently flawed. We don’t need another martyr, we do need someone who can lead us. Anything happens to Obama, and it will really be a tough(er) time for race relations in this country. Okay,done ranting now!


  10. I’m feeling Obama a lot too. I’m not really enthusiastic about politics, because, really, the majority of it in our nation disgusts me… but I think you’re right. it’s time for a fresh face in office and time to make change in US politics and not have it run just as “business as usual,” which is what we would get if Hilary were in office (IDK what she say, The Clintons and The Bush’s are in cahoots). but I also agree that this drastic of a change may not be accepted by all and that, maybe… no definitely there are some still so blinded by complexion that they would try to do unto Barack as has been done to the preceding peacemakers in our country. And you know what… those folk are the ones that are sitting in the offices of the white house, pentagon and that other house right now.The Star (politicking is for smart folk… vote republican to let your nation lead you)


  11. Damn it, I was gonna write something eloquent about my support for Obama, but shoot you said everything I was thinking. I mean, think of the history we are apart of when not only might we elect the first black pres not only in our lifetime, but in our youth, and one who won’t fuck up and make naysayers go, “see?! Told you!”Also, November? What about super Tuesday?!


  12. I’m glad you eloquently stated your opinion on the whole “Obama will get assassinated if voted in office” usually when I hear that out of ppl’s mouths they have no other logical point or reasoning behind it. I feel for Obama and the future he has to endure but I wouldn’t take for granted this chance he has to make a change and make a world of a difference to generations of people of color to come. Like Bill Clinton ignorantly said ‘It’s not a fairy tale anymore, Obama has a chance” loosely quoted of course lol.


  13. True words sista souljah, but the reason that would keep you from voting for him is the very reason why you should. He knows and is willing to place his own life on the line for what he believes..Something this country needed 8 years ago…


  14. Umm…. Yeah, so anyway. Very well put. And I completely agree. Every time I see him, I feel inspired, and I cannot remember feeling that way ever about a politician. I think I’m begining to understand just a little bit when older people talk about how proud they are of accomplished younger Blacks. I HEART OBAMA!!!!


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