Although it seems heaven sent, we ARE ready for a black president
I couldn’t really grasp the sheer enormity of last night’s election results, because for one thing, I was drunk. But as I walked through the chilly, damp DC night, breathing the air cleansed by the rain, I sobered up. And by the time I got home, I was just beginning to realize, but not yet understand (and perhaps it will take me a very long time) what had just happened.
I can’t claim to understand what this means for African Americans, but as a minority US citizen, I am goddamn fucking proud of this country right about now. And while listening to my iPod on shuffle this morning at work, this particular 2Pac song comes up, and as soon as I heard the first drum beats and the piano riff, I suddenly just “got it,” seen the light so to speak.
And before you know it, I suddenly found myself choking up, eyes moist, nose sniffly, and vision blurring. I know, a very delayed reaction, seeing how people wept with joy in the streets last night. But somehow, listening to this song, at this particular moment in human history, suddenly made sense—-a moment of epiphany.
In a way, the circle is complete, because I heard “Changes” in 1998 at a time when my grasp of English was just getting somewhat proficient, and this is the first “popular” song I heard on the radio that really blew my fucking mind. I may not agree with all of 2Pac’s politics, and I may not even think he has a coherent and/or normatively correct ideology, but I will always, always, ALWAYS be grateful to 2Pac for instilling the first seeds of my social consciousness. And to think, a scant 10 years after the song was released, we’ve elected the first African American president in overwhelming numbers—-wow, my 13 year old self would not have been able to conceive of what that might mean. Could 2Pac? Could anyone?
Thus, for the first time that I can remember, for as long as I have been following politics (which is to say, as long as I have been able to think), I am genuinely, sincerely, and unironically happy with an outcome of the political process. This is the first time I’ve been able to willingly let myself participate emotionally, because every other time, I treat the process with a critical, skeptical indifference and/or disdain; either that or a kind of flip, ironic, post-modernist amusement.
Of course, those sentiments will return with time, as no human being is perfect. But for now, I am genuinely touched.