Sunday, August 31, 2008
Even though I'm a little late with this post I'm still putting it as I wrote it last Thursday. I'm at the RNC in Minneapolis now and will try to stay up to date.
My grandfather is 90 years old. He has told me how he remembers when as a black man he could not vote in this country. Since he's 90 I take his call even when I am super busy. He of course decided to call a few minutes before Obama accepted the nomination and ecstatic is hardly doing justice to how good he sounded. He sounded so proud. Not just for Obama but for me. "Boy that must be something else. I never thought I would live to see the day. I sure wish I could be there." I felt guilty after making sure that he and my grandmother were okay and telling him I would call him the next day(I'll do it tomorrow. Really). To which he responded: "I won't keep you. I just wanted to be sure you were there."
He sounded proud just for the fact I had made the journey to Denver. Almost as if I was making a pilgrimage. Like the candidate, I get to be one of those that stands on the shoulders of those that struggled during the civil rights movement. And while he never marched, he is one of those people who worked long hours doing jobs I could never imagine or endured abuses that I would never tolerate just to be sure my parents and by extension I got better opportunities. My grandfather never finished high school but is the smartest person I know. Because of him and my grandmother I get to take what I do for granted. I get to take how I live, where I live, where I go, and the fact that I can vote for granted. We've come a long way as a nation. From maginalizing a people to nominating the first African-American candidate for president.
Looking out on the crowd and seeing the number of people overwhelmed by emotion, laughing, dancing, and crying was stunning.The Last time I checked in here I said that the environment here is infectious. I was trying to fight off the infection and be the good objective journalist I'm supposed to be, but with my grandfather's words ringing in my ears I find I'm still dizzy in the mile high city.
Posted by Keith Bedford at 8:54 PM