My choice...

Today was the first day of early voting and I was the 16th person at my location to scan my ballot. With great relief, that is behind me. Now I just have to worry about everyone else making their choice and doing their part.

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I didn’t have to wait long, but while I stood there, I counted back to see how many times I have voted for president. 

In 1988 I was still seventeen, and had to wait four more years.

In 1992, I was still living at home and we lived across from our voting precinct. We all walked over to vote. 

In 1996, I was STILL living at home, engaged to be married and we all walked across the street to vote again. 

In 2000, I lived in Florida and had registered to vote when I got my Florida license. I voted on Election Day after I got off work. 

In 2004, I lived here in North Carolina. I was coming out of Big Lots where some voter registration tables were set up. Someone asked me if I was registered to vote. “Um actually no”, I said. That year I was big pregnant by October and wanted to take advantage of early voting. I had assumed that early voting was for people who couldn't stand for long periods of time, or for pregnant women who had to pee every five minutes. I thought it best to get it over with. 

In 2008, I jumped out of bed. I was excited. I wanted to vote on Election Day, be a part of history in the making and I didn’t care how long I was going to stand in line to do just that. I was voting for a man who would possibly be the first African American President of the United States and that meant everything to me. In 2008 I voted for Barack Obama because he was a smart African American man. He was personable, and I felt comfortable in his ability to run the country. Not only that, the man was good looking!

I stayed up late on Election night. It was beautiful and I cried a lot. I felt “free” in a way I can’t explain. I remained pretty emotional the next day and felt the same way again on Inauguration Day. 

I don’t even want to discuss how I have felt the last four years, or talk about how the ugliness has been a vise on my heart when listening to the recaps during the pre-election season. I don’t discuss politics, but I wear my emotions on my sleeve. It has hurt me to witness a greater divide in “the people”, that I could never have imagined would still remain so in 2012.  I don't feel "free" anymore.

Here’s the thing... I'll speak freely here. I am on Team Obama. I am voting for him again because it’s my choice - and that’s all I have to say about that.

Here's a photo of TWO good looking black men. As Christopher said back in 2007, "That's Grindaddy the rock Obama."

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Kenya G. Johnson

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