My mother plans to vote first. Then she'll swing through and pick up Aunt Bea to take her to the polls. Both are fervent Barack Obama fans.
My parents' generation was raised during the Great Depression and a time of rampant discrimination and Jim Crow laws in North Carolina. They came up having to ride in the back of the bus, having to go to the Black school, having to take off almost half of the school year to harvest the tobacco and cotton, having to sit in the balcony at the movie theaters, not being able to rent a decent hotel room, and not being able to look a white person in the eye!
They also came up at a time when they could not exercise their right to vote: my mother's father was a landowner of more than 100 acres of prime Carolina tobacco farmland from the early 1930's. But being a landowner did not trump his being a Black man in the segregated South. My grandfather's parents had been slaves in the Ahoskie, North Carolina area, but that did not deter him from getting an education and raising 11 children on his own land.
So my mother and her sister and her brother will go to the polls today to exercise the rights that had been so long denied to them. They will go to the polls to exercise the rights that so many of their contemporaries died for. And they will cast their vote for a man whose presidency will change the paradigm of how America upholds its promise of equal rights for all. They will all vote for Barack Obama!
Maryland - Clinton: 36% Obama: 61% (Precincts: 81%) Virginia - Clinton: 35% Obama: 64% (Precincts: 99%) Washington, DC - Clinton: 24% Obama: 75% (Precincts: 98%)
(live updates with election returns - last update: 02/13/08 1:40AM)