“I came, I stood, I voted.”

Tiffani Haynes

Election Day Coverage

Word Count: 619


            The urgency and pressing need for a change in the White House has never been so clear, at least not in my 21 years of living.

            I’ve lived through my fair share of events, Y2K and September 11th alone were huge, and yet nothing has affected me more than watching presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama run the most successful campaign any Black man has done in his attempt at the White House.

            It wasn’t merely the fact that Obama was Black, after all Jesse Jackson was Black and never stood a chance. It was the poise, intelligence and simplicity in which Obama carried himself that I began to love. He represented what my young eyes had never seen in politics, honesty. Now, I’m not naïve enough to believe that everything that comes out of his mouth is 100% honesty, after all it’s politics, no one who’s 100% honest makes it anywhere, an honest but true fact. It is his overall air of honesty that I appreciate. His ability to use simple terms to explain complex problems. No eloquent terms to grandly describe what he would attempt to do for America. No staggering statistics to discredit his opponent. Just facts.

            Yet aside from his political standpoint and views, I also loved that Obama had a wife he openly expressed love for, a stable family and a solid career before his run for president. The Obamas represent a powerful Black family with ease. A family operating under Christian beliefs with unity. Black power and Black love at its most successful level. I loved it.

            It is because of my belief in his idea for change, his political views, his family and his competence as a leader that I couldn’t wait to vote.

            I got up at 4:30 a.m. after volunteering with a midnight canvassing for the Obama office until 1: 30 a.m. Operating on less than three hours of sleep I eagerly got up and was excited to go vote. I picked up my friend Craig and we went. We arrived right before the polls opened at six and stood in the long line to vote.

            With umbrellas up and surrounded by people,  I never felt more proud to be a Black American. Not only Black because Obama is Black but American because of our democracy and our progress. The playing field will never truly be equal and racism will never truly end but America has grown by leaps and bounds. The thought of a Black man running for president was only a figment of our civil rights leaders’ minds, merely a dream that no one knew at the time could actually come to fruition.

            In some strange way I felt like I was a part of the civil rights movement, a full circle movement. It began long ago with people dying so that I could do exactly what I was doing now, stand in line with other young Black college kids and vote. Many of the people fighting for my right to vote were no older than I am now.

            As I handed over my voter registration I felt proud, which sounds simple but is the only way to describe my emotions. As they said, “Tiffani Haynes, here to vote,” I beamed inside. That’s right, I was here to vote. To change history. To become apart of history.

            I filled in the bubble that said Barack Obama/Joe Biden as full as I could get it. I didn’t want a single chance my vote was missed. It was silly but those were my thoughts. I slipped my ballot into the machine to be counted and was handed my “I Voted” sticker.

            That’s right. I had voted. Tiffani Haynes, here to vote