One Voice Can Change the World a.k.a. My Grandmother Loves Barack Obama
It’s election day. I voted last week via absentee ballot. It was too late to register in Washington, so I got an absentee ballot from Louisiana. I was a little sad I couldn’t vote for legalization of marijuana and gay marriage in Washington, but Louisiana’s ballots go the job done, and for the second time I voted for Barack Obama. I think a person should be proud of who they voted for. And seriously people, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.
I spent some time this morning listening to the Iowa campaign speeches from Obama and his lovely and eloquent (and ridiculously well dressed) wife Michelle. I find it hard to separate my feelings during those speeches from the feelings I had while listening to and teaching Martin Luther King Jr.’s moving speeches in my classroom in New Orleans. MLK’s voice still has the power to move classrooms full of detached and angry children to believe in change. I find myself so moved, having confidence that things will always get better. Whatever the situation. For us, for my public school students, for my future children. I am moved by Obama’s last campaign speech, hearing the pause in his voice from overwhelming emotion.
I remember standing in my grandmother’s kitchen one morning just a couple years ago. It must have been a holiday. Suddenly I hear from around the corner, Obama! Obama! Obama! My grandmother, for whatever reason, started chanting Obama’s name, her fists pumping in the air, walking into the kitchen. She giggled. I love that man! My grandmother, the woman who taught pre-school children with developmental issues until almost 84 years old, the woman who raised 5 children in the midwest who easily remember segregated swimming pools and drinking fountains. The woman who wouldn’t move out of her 2-story house into a more manageable apartment until after November 6th, voting day, because she didn’t want there to be any way her vote for Obama wouldn’t count. Even in Kansas. She still has faith.