Monday, October 13

What it means for some II

Coates gets a note:
My father (85 year old African-American and, in fact, a "public intellectual" who helped coin the phrase "African-American" 40 years ago, a phrase we now take for granted on our census forms) and his wife (77 old European-American, the term they both hope will replace "white" someday, and life-long civil rights activist and academic) voted this morning in Atlanta, GA.

My stepmother emailed me this morning to tell me about their experience, early voting, getting "fragile elderly" treatment from the poll-workers, wishing she could kick up her septuagenarian heels after casting her vote.

I sat in my office, reading her email, and wept. Then, I went down the hall to my colleague's office, sat down, and wept. After seven decades of constant struggle, my father walked into that booth and knew that his life's work was now done. My stepmother can think of every person who secretly and not-so-secretly thought of her as some kind of race traitor, smile and think "I told you so!"

Obama will win, I'm sure he will. But today, my parents did. I am so deeply, deeply grateful.

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