Around this time about two years ago I was so hopeful.
Hillary Clinton was the Presidential opponent against Donald Trump and in my mind, even though she wasn't the pristine image that everyone hoped she'd be, I thought for sure that there was no way that Mr. Trump would end up as the leader of our free world. Alas, I was completely wrong. The feminine energy was at an all time high the night of November 8, 2016 as the votes were tallied. It seemed to take forever, so I decided to take a nap. When I awoke it was all over and there were tears and quiet despair. My mind wouldn't allow me to properly process exactly what had happened as I stared at my television. The news had reported that Hilary had conceded. I watched the live footage of the almost empty Javits Center. The people that remained, were actually crying and Hillary was nowhere in sight. My heart sunk. "America...what the fuck", being my only cohesive thought as I continued to wait for the confirmation. I received it as soon as, Mike Pence and his wife stood before my eyes on the podium with speech. I watched all the footage thereafter thinking that the votes would be recalled and it would have all been a terrible mistake, but it wasn't. Unfortunately, we'd soon be saying
F A R E W E L L to our beloved, President Barack Obama. At least we had two terms of comfort and I was fortunate enough to see an upstanding black president in my lifetime.
Well, after that, I made up my mind to only watch the news for the weather. At times I would catch our sitting President on the tube making a complete buffoon out of himself and our country and much like my divorce, I felt like it was a wave that would just have to be ridden out. No matter how he acts out, it seems that no one is that unsettled by his bad behavior. Eventually the tide will have to change. That is certainly inevitable. You know what happened? Lots of pivotal things were dismantled; the key things that we all know about, such as immigration and health care being the first on the chopping block. Whether up or down, life continued.
In each of our own respective worlds we made the best of all the mess. I guess it was this way long before Obama, but did anyone really pay attention until then? I'm sure they did, because A M E R I C A N H I S T O R Y. However, I, Jasma John did not vote at all until 2008. I'm kind of ashamed to say that. I honestly didn't think that my voice counted for much at all. Even when MTV was telling us to Rock the Vote back in 1990, I was only 12, but I thought it more playful than important. What could a little black girl do to change anything that was already in motion long before her? However, as I got older, there were more things to fight for. The main one being my son and his rights.
In 2008 my child was 4 years old and very impressionable. President Obama was the puzzle piece that America needed as a whole. It was the leader that he needed to start out with. In my opinion anyway. For the first time in forever, young people were more confident (no matter their race) to just be themselves, propelling forward and upward. There seemed to be almost no fear in anyone I knew. People were responsibly doing things that had only been done by a select group of Americans. In and out of a recession, my friends were all educating themselves in different ways, buying real estate, starting practices, starting businesses; being bigger and better versions of the generations before them. Statistically our former president may not have done much according to many, but he came with a feeling. One of confidence in yourself. Everyone seemed more globally bound. There was still division, but not like before. Anything was possible now.
That changed in 2016 and I lost most hope in America during the past two years. I've lost acquaintances over individual beliefs that never had the opportunity to rear their ugly heads until racial division in our country was brought back to the surface. It is an irritation that I would like to settle even though I know it may never go away completely. I'm one of the hopeless romantics of P E A C E for all. I hate division of any kind. I believe that if we all focus on being individually great, we can be extraordinary as one. We don't even have to completely agree with each other, but there has to be a wonderful level of respect. It requires much work through frustration.
My son, McKyle started high school this past September. I had so much anxiety of him thriving in a new environment with mostly older kids. I was so surprised to find out that my child had not only joined the Student Council in his school, but was running for Vice President. I sat amazed as he showed me his flyer.
I marveled at it, smiled and told him, "It's perfect papa". He smiled in return.
W O W!
Somewhere along the way, through division, my ex-husband had I had stood united enough to create and build a human who wanted to change a tiny space, starting from one high school in this enormous world as a freshman. I would have never done that at his age. However, he is a child that is very strong minded. He also comes from a background of community activism. I tried my best not to force my views on him, while letting him know exactly what my views are. His entire family is that way. By the fourth grade he had practiced his way into IMPACT Repertory Theatre and worked hard by reciting poetry, singing, dancing and being active in and out of his community for a little over two years.
He stopped to pursue sports. He's gone to public schools in Staten Island and in Harlem, then Charter and now high school in the city. We all grow him daily. Look around...our children are everywhere and they are watching us. Our legacy should be strong.
Now, here we are.
The day to V O T E has arrived again!
Now, I KNOW for sure that every little vote counts. Each and every single one of us, individually. YES YOU! I urge everyone to take the time out and go vote today. You want change? Then vote for us all. When you don't, things stay the same or grow worse. Vote for us as a country. Put your pride aside and pick the officials that we all know have our best interests at heart. It's time for us to build it up, not further break it all down. It's time to bring the confidence and love back to our way of life before it's beyond repair.
I believe in you people.
J A S