Monday, November 3, 2008

Obama is running so our children can fly.

This afternoon, I drove down Dr. King Drive, turned and took Powelton and Walnut out to West Philly, and knocked on doors for the third and last time this campaign.

I initially signed up to canvass because I was so infuriated by the McCain campaign's choice of Sarah Palin that I could not stand to sit by once she was in the race. I am excited about Obama and I voted for him in the primary, but I have always felt fairly cynical about elections because I'm pretty far to the left and it's always a fight between the center and the right. I'd much rather have the center in power than the right, but it's just hard to move out of my comfort zone and walk my feet tired to help people who, election after election, don't come out in support of my civil rights.

When the McCain camp shifted into buffoonery, though, it felt personal. I felt insulted, and I wanted to get even. So. I signed up. I joined the campaign.

Here's the thing: I clicked the wrong email, the one that said to come to Pennsylvania and volunteer for Obama. That meant I signed up as though I were an out-of-stater, and that turned out to be a great stroke of luck, because I didn't wind up at the campaign office on the main drag of my integrated, hippie-populated neighborhood, but instead was assigned to knock on doors in a part of the city ten miles away, in a neighborhood where seeing a white face on the street makes you wonder what brings them there.

Knocking on those doors changed my sense of what I was doing. Seeing the Obama signs up in house after house in a Black neighborhood, well. I'm a white girl, but I grew up in Southeast DC, on stories of Dr. King and Rosa Parks.

This was on the wall in the canvass office today:

Rosa sat so Martin would walk.

Martin walked so Obama could run.

Obama is running so our children can fly.

May they fly, may they all find the wings to fly.

9 comments:

Arwen said...

Oh. oh. Snif.

The Goldfish said...

'm pretty far to the left and it's always a fight between the center and the right

I'm relieved to hear an American say it - watching from across the pond, we get the impression that even our Conservative party would be considered socialist over there.

We've had so much coverage of the US election over here that I feel almost short-changed for not having a vote. I hope it all turns out for the best tomorrow. It's going to effect us all.

kathy a. said...

wow.

Co said...

That's a great poem. And go you for canvassing.

Phantom Scribbler said...

Have you seen some of the pictures of little Black kids at Obama rallies, like at Yes We Can (hold babies)? The hope on those kids' faces makes me cry every. damn. time.

Tall Kate said...

That totally made me cry.

And S., I know I keep saying this, but you ROCK for taking time from your life to do this canvassing!

God, let's pull this one out.

elswhere said...

oh, that made me cry too.

Lo said...

I am just crying all day today. I have been for days. Those pictures of black children at rallies make me cry, too. My students and the hope in their eyes makes me cry. God, I hope we don't let them down.

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