I Didn’t Vote

Jose Vilson Jose

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 …