I Could Be Disappointed, But …
I could be disappointed that over the past months Rockaway has been inactive for this historical election. I could be disappointed no elected official did any kind of organizing to empower the residents of Rockaway to be a part of the campaign. I could be disappointed, but having nothing here to work on, I answer the call to go to PA to knock on doors and make
phone calls. In going to PA, I was able to stand in a pouringrain storm for 30 minutes to hear and see Obama in the flesh. What an experience! So, I'm not disappointed!
I could be disappointed that no campaign buttons, etc. were made available for this community. Such pride in being able to wear the election button of the first African- American man to run for President was not to be for this community. I could be disappointed, but my good friend Paul Schubert made sure I had my pick of campaign buttons. So I'm not disappointed!
I could be disappointed that no "Watch Night" party was thrown in Rockaway to await election results. I could be disappointed, but Congressman Charles Rangel had a party to end all parties at the Adam Clayton Powell office building at 125 Street, pouring out into all the streets of Harlem. There was a big screen for the party goers to see the results; broadcasting CNN, MSNBC and BET keeping us abreast of the numbers. A stage where the likes of Charles Rangel, David Dinkins, David Patterson, Keith Wright, Anthony Weiner, just to name a few, kept us pumped up with their speeches. Seniors and the disabled had comfortable chairs to sit on. We were entertained by Mr. Cheeks, Dougie Fresh and DL Hughly, Jeremy Pivvin among others; my group was interviewed by the BBC. All matters of press were there from all over the world. Vanloads of people came from other communities. I could be disappointed that nothing went on in Rockaway, but I'm not! I had the time of my life as we danced (the electric slide) in the streets of Harlem to "Ain't No Stoppin Us Now," and "Signed, Sealed, Delivered - I'm Yours."
I could be disappointed that no mention was made in our local weekly newspaper of the long lines here in Rockaway to vote. This was history! So many young first-time voters proudly standing and waiting to cast their votes. I could be disappointed, but for the pride and hope I saw in the faces of these young people.
And finally, I could be very disappointed that my community paper did not cover the country electing Barack Obama. I could be disappointed that this historical election was alluded to in some silly editorial caricature on some obscure page. I could be disappointed but when I can look at the newspapers around the world making this front page news - how really small and insignificant our local weekly paper seems to be.
I could be disappointed, but instead I'm enlightened! I'm engaged!