(Just so you can move along if you don’t want to hear it.)
With both sides of the Presidential fence offering history-making candidates, I was determined to vote only the issues. I passionately believe that casting a vote for a person because of gender or race is just as wrong as voting against a person because of gender or race.
But now that I’ve voted and the logical decision-making is behind me and I’m semi-watching CNN coverage, I find myself rather emotional—I cast my vote for President of the United States for a black man.
The history of racial injustice in this country has offered many photos—many more horrific than this one—but from the time I first saw this photo, it has stayed with me. It literally makes my throat tighten. Why this one? I’m not sure. Perhaps it’s because white people beat each other. White people will shoot white people and hang each other, and commit all manner of atrocities on one another. But I’ve never seen a white man turn a fire hose on another white man. I’m not sure that makes any sense, but that photo settled into my mind when I was very young and emotion trumped logic.
Tomorrow a black man might be President-Elect of the United States of America.
So, while racism still festers in this country, I’m very proud of every American who voted for Barack Obama today, not because he’s black or in spite of it, but because he’s the best man for the job.