I liked what Maya Angelou said in part because I have come to appreciate her voice in recent years:
"I never thought I'd see a black president in the White House in my lifetime. I didn't even dare dream it. I feel like a child approaching Christmas, you can't believe election day is finally here. It's been so long since we've had people – Asian and black, white and Spanish-speaking – come together and say YES. Some did during the civil rights struggle but not as many as today. What it means if Mr Obama is voted in, is that my country has agreed to grow up, and move beyond the childish idea that human beings are different."Tony Morrison was, perhaps, the most thoughtful of those quoted:
"This election is critical, vital to more than just people in the United States. It's going to make a big, big difference which way it goes. The worst thing is not Senator Obama losing, it's who wins. I am encouraged by the polls and by him but I have lived long enough to know that elections have been systematically stolen. Luckily, I think everybody knows that and is sending about 5,000 lawyers to the polls.You can read the full report here.
I don't believe in the Bradley Effect – there were a lot of reasons he lost. And this time is different. First of all the country is different. Secondly he's different. And thirdly a lot of white people are different. Several weeks ago I read about the Reverse Bradley Effect, where whites down in the south say they are voting Republican because of their neighbours!
I think the situation is dire, I cannot think of a large issue where things are going right, and Senator Obama will have an extremely difficult time. But there are two things that one should remember. The first is a cliché, but he himself has said it, 'It's not about me, it's about other people'. He cannot do it on his own, he needs the force of those who voted for him. The second thing – and one of the reasons I really respect him – is that he surrounds himself with really smart people, and not just smart people that say what he wants to hear. He likes the dialogue, the questioning, the one who tells him the truth as opposed to the one who strokes ego.
I think the promise with Senator Obama is that we return to an idea known as "the common good" and we have not had that in eight years. I mean, you can't get sick in America, you will be bankrupt. This administration has been very clear in its assumption that privatisation is best. There are jails where you have to pay room and board, you get into debt and when you get out you have to pay it back. And some people who do not have means to borrow go out and steal again. I know that the Democrats are more inclined to take the right position and not regard taxes on the extremely rich as some sort of insult to them.
What am I going to do on election night? I have three choices: I can go to some friends; I was invited to go on a TV show; but I think under the bed may yet prove the safest place to be."
Dream on is my thinking. The American nightmare is far from over ... with or without Obama.
Maya Angelou Picture Credit
Toni Morrison Picture Credit