America? I Thought I Knew You…

Demonstration Held Outside US Embassy Against Qur'an Burning Threats
LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 11: An American flag burns outside the American Embassy, during a protest in Grosvenor Square, on September 11, 2010 in London, England. US Controversial pastor, Terry Jones has sparked protests across the world after planning to stage an International Burn a Koran Day on 9/11, the anniversary of the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York. Mr Jones has since postponed the event after sparking international condemnation and protests around the world. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

When the news revealed that in Philadelphia at 7:30 pm lines to vote were wrapped around the block. Thoughts lingered envisioning lines of Americans all over the country running out of time, senior citizens with physical limitations preventing them from waiting. Thoughts of how many Americans on Election Day left the line because they had to go to work or cook dinner or had obligations that kept them from standing in line for hours to vote.

Immediately dismissed ideas of the election being sabotage from within with internal voter suppression tactics. After, my polling station nestled away in the mostly white township of suburban Philadelphia had no wait at all. My district workers were cracking jokes, excited to be apart of the process, eager to make history. Community friends and neighbors gathered in in the parking lot carrying on lighthearted conversations about the weather, trials of parenting, and local politics. Jonathan Hall, a slim 20-something district volunteer said, “I’m glad its over,” when asked how he felt about the election. At this time, we exchanged laughs over mindless banter completely unaware that 30 minutes away there were lines 3 to 4 hours long to do the most American of all American things.

The vibe and peoples sentiment was great at my polling station.  In the words of excited voter Janice O’Malley, “It was great day for America!” Many of us Americans believed in the system that has failed us countless times before. After all, this is also the system that women and other minorities have fought against to win their’ freedoms. Then it happened. My country, the country that I love reveled itself to not love me back. I am a black woman. Racism, sexism, and classism have always been apart of my life. I’ve endured racist teachers whom refuse to teach me, sexist bosses whom refused to take me seriously, and prejudice people that judge my socio-economic status. However, I have never been more ashamed to be an American than I am today.

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