hope

I Didn’t Vote

Jose 21 Comments

Obama's Hope, by Chris Milk

I rebelled.

I didn’t vote.

Well, let me be clear.

I didn’t vote for a Christian, a politician, a populist, or any major candidate.

I didn’t vote because Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and any other social spaces made me.

I didn’t vote because your profile pic, your text message, your constant blogs, and e-mails made me.

I didn’t vote because any particular candidates’ face was literally all over the place on Halloween, in the newsstands, on my television screen, or on some spiffy list.

I didn’t vote for “change;” that’s heavily dependent on who we’re looking at.

I didn’t vote for a Democrat or Republican, or a Black person or White person or male or female.

I didn’t vote on strategy either, because if I wanted to go with the strategy method, I could have chosen any number of campaigns or interested groups of voters, but I didn’t.

I didn’t even vote because I’m a teacher, and as much as I’ve griped about education and how I don’t like either candidates’ way of approaching us.

I didn’t vote because everyone else did it. I’m not usually one to just fall in line with those who generally share the same social interests with me.

I did it because I have a little boy in my math class who likes Barack, but thinks (and perhaps knows) that people want to kill him, so he shouldn’t even try because he’s going to get shot.

I did it because I have a young girl who, fiery and outspoken as she is, thinks John McCain himself wants to kill Barack and doesn’t believe that good people can come from either party.

I did it because I see the seeds are planted so students CAN be progressive and political at such an early age without discretion and without fear.

I did it because there’s someone else to look up to, away from the Soulja Boys of the world who give shout-outs to slavemasters or the Yung Bergs of the world differentiating between dark and light butts. They won’t follow those fools; they’ll follow Barack.

I did it because there’s nothing wrong with making a well-rounded family, loving one’s wife, and hugging your kids in public cool.

I did it because as much as the bitter man in me says we deserved Bush for 8 years since we didn’t fight hard enough against the maniac, the idealist believes that we didn’t, and shouldn’t, and this is the recompense.

I did it because, as I looked at and around the classroom, I was almost in (very quiet) tears knowing that these students would never be here if people didn’t literally fight to get into these establishments. Those fights help shift the national ideology, and made peace and progress in this country possible. From the schoolhouse to the White House, and we have the perfect man to bridge that gap.

I did it because, when my unborn children look up at me a few years from now and ask me what I did on this day, I can tell them,

“I voted for you to be whatever the hell you want to be.”

I didn’t vote for Barack the politician. I voted for Barack the man. And with him, I voted for his legacy.

jose, who will either be celebrating or mourning tomorrow. godspeed …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Comments 21

  1. Whynot88

    Between this and that youtube I just watched, I’m in tears. Off to blow my nose, wash my face, and go to an election-watching party

  2. msladydeborah

    Jose,

    There is a little boy in my Head Start class who is 3 years old. This child is a true Barack follower. He really doesn’t know what the POTUS does or why it is important.

    But his role model at this point in his life is Barack. Not a rapper or an athlete. But a man who has captured his attention and imgination.

    Who knows what impact this moment is going to have on the future generations of Americans?

  3. Luz

    I never thought I would ever live to see this moment. When I voted today, I knew I was voting for a man who represents many of “us” today. It is not just about color and race but about the possibility of young people understanding that they can make a difference. I don’t think we can even begin to imagine what this represents to so many and the impact it will have in our nation.

    Whatever the results will be at the end of this ride, the one thing we can be certain of is that we will not forget this day.

    You captured many different sentiments so eloquently. Thank you.

  4. CathrynMarie

    I love this, although I disagree with the closing line – “I didn’t vote for Barack the politician” I feel a lot of people forget that he IS indeed a politician and are probably expecting too much of him as a man.

    But I did greatly enjoy the opening :) nice pic, btw

    CathrynMaries last blog post..Artist To Watch: Kevin Ross

  5. Post
    Author
    Jose

    Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments. I’d offer you all a tissue, but if Obama wins, I might need them all.

    msladydeborah, I have no idea what kind of effect this will have on future generations, but this can only mean progress, and immense progress.

    Luz, I thought I’d at least have to wait till my children were old enough to vote. We’ll see what this looks like soon.

    JP, you’re tellin’ me.

    CathrynMarie, I gotta say that, despite whatever skeletons he has in his closet, I really think that Obama’s image, and what he puts out there for the rest of us is an excellent example for young boys in the hood to follow. I know he’s not Jesus. He was born on the planet Krypton, wasn’t he?

    Tracy, the world is watching, and I’m glad you’re one of ‘em.

  6. Pingback: Honouring their commitment to change

  7. clyde

    i’m a grown ass man and i may be a few days late.
    but i shed some tears to this post….
    and although i disagree with his education policy
    and his view on same sex marriages
    i think his election is monumental on how little kids
    see themselves and their future

    clydes last blog post..A Dream Came True..

  8. Pingback: How and why I voted « JD2718

  9. Pingback: African American Perspectives Week at UMX | The Forever After by Jose Vilson | The Unapologetic Mexican

Leave a Reply