Two years ago, I waxed poetic about what voting for Hillary Clinton meant to me. It was a pretty piece–an emotional one–where I recounted my grandmother’s influence on my early political education. I thought that was the story. Me, being the citizen my deceased grandmother wanted me to be.
Then the world cracked wide open.
Dramatic? Maybe. But as a black woman born in the 1980s, I took my hard-won civil rights for granted. I thought my grandmother’s generation, who migrated and marched, and my mother’s generation, who survived urban riots and saw their heroes murdered, handled all that. My generation elected Barack Hussein Obama as President of the United States and proceeded to nap through two crucial midterm elections because many of us thought we made it.
Boy, was I stupid.
Stupid. STUPID. STUPID.
Who knows where we’ll be tomorrow morning? But I can’t be cynical. I can’t be detached. Safe as they are, those tactics feel cowardly. If the results are a crushing blow to the hope I have today, so be it. I will roll up my sleeves and be of service to the next stage of the fight. I will be the citizen my late grandmother raised.
Today, though? Today I have to believe in something. Something bigger than me, unknown, and outside my control. It’s terrifying. But it’s necessary.
I can’t bear the alternative.
Please. Everyone reading this. VOTE. If you need help understanding your ballot, here are a couple resources for you.