22 Things About the Election that I am both Excited and Scared About
1. I am excited that the American people may be more mature, wise, and reflective than I would have guessed them ever capable of being. I am scared that they may not be.
2. I am excited that Obama's victory could be a cathartic moment for our country as America moves one step closer to confronting, and maybe if we are really lucky, of conquering the demons that plague its racial subconscious. I am afraid those demons may be semi-permanent fixtures in our politics and culture.
3. I am excited about Obama winning. I am scared that if he loses, what that defeat says about America, our future, and the prospects for a truly shared and democratic political culture.
4. I am excited that Barack could be what America hopes and dreams him to be. I am scared that if Obama is just a man, if he is not superhuman, if he is merely just a good president, that this won't be good enough.
5. I am excited that these last few months have been witness to conversations about race, class, and gender (even if they were often "coded") that hint at a need and want for a real conversation about this country's future and what is/was an often ugly and shared history. I am scared that these first steps will be final steps and that our much needed national conversation won't continue.
6. I am excited that White Americans are displaying a bit more responsibility, courage, and wisdom as citizens than I would have ever thought them capable. I am scared that I am about to be disappointed.
7. I am excited that we are at the cusp of a great moment in our history. I am scared that we are investing too much in that one moment.
8. I am excited that the house that race built may be teetering just a wee bit more than it did a year, a decade, or certainly a century ago. I am scared that it will never fall down.
9. I am excited that a Black person will be president. I am scared that he won't be free to simply be mediocre.
10. I am excited that the president of the United States may happen to be a Black man. I am scared that many will view Obama as a Black man who is president.
11. I am excited that a centrist may occupy the White House. I am scared that the wolves are already waiting at the door to attack him for not being "radical" enough.
12. I am excited that the Right-wing in this country has been dealt a devastating blow. I am scared that the Right will somehow find a way to profit from this moment.
13. I am excited that we may see history happen tomorrow. I am scared that we may instead witness history tomorrow.
14. I am excited about the future, our undiscovered country. I am scared that the force of history, of inertia, and of bad habits--a moribund nostalgia--will keep America from stepping into the future.
15. I am excited about being blown forward by the winds of change tomorrow. I am scared that there are too many whom will instead decide to stand against the winds of change tomorrow.
16. I am excited that an unapologetically Black man may be president. I am scared that Obama, as "white" as he is, may still be too "Black" to be president.
17. I am excited that many of us seem ready to move forward as a society, as a country, and as a community in order to salvage and resuscitate America's influence and image in the world. I am scared that so many are going to have to be dragged into the future.
18. I am excited that we may be able to scratch one more item off of our list of "Black Firsts." I am scared that list of Black Firsts is still too long.
19. I am excited that America will make the correct choice tomorrow. I am scared that America will make the wrong choice tomorrow.
20. I am excited about a Post-Racial future. I am scared about what a Post-Racial future may hold.
21. I am excited about what an Obama victory means for the Black Freedom Struggle. I am a scared about what an Obama victory may mean for Black politics.
22. I am excited about what it means to be an American tomorrow. I am scared about what it means to be an American tomorrow...and for every day thereafter if America stands against history and decides to not move forward with it.
What are your thoughts? What are you excited about? What are you scared about? How will you spend tomorrow?