I’m still sort of speechless, giddy and having trouble with complete sentences so you’ll have to wait for analysis and outlook from me. Our largest donor during our fundraising drive for Obama sent me a beautiful note yesterday. Anj gave almost ten times the amount of our average donation which was $37. Anj’s letter is striking to me for its candor and it is indeed candor and an openess to new perspectives that will help drive progress in how we get along with each other in this country. I think black people need to hear and understand the white reaction at a deeper level than just the “yay isn’t history nifty!” angle that we’re getting on TV right now.  It’s sort of interesting to note that though we founded JJP to be written by black people for black people, it turns out that we have a diverse audience with a wide variety of folks eager to “eavesdrop” on what black people are thinking. I’d like more reaction letters from people of multiple ethnicities (including African-American!) since I do believe this is a victory for all Americans so send em in to jjpolitics at gmail dot com and maybe I’ll choose a few that seem representative. Meanwhile, please continue the dialogue with Angela she has started with us in the comments.

Hey Jill —

I did see your shoutout to me on JJP. But I had no words to reply, today I can say that money is the best investment I have ever made in my sons future. So, thank you for providing the opportunity to invest in President-Elect Barack Obama’s campaign through your website.

I am a registered independent, with three teenage sons, my oldest cast his first vote for Senator Barack Obama yesterday, and as they often tell me when I talk about why this country needs Barack Obama as president – “Mom, you are so white.” I am so white, grew up in a small town in Kansas, and have spent the rest of my life amazed at how big the world is, and how beautiful the people who live in it are. For the last three years or so, I have been trying to unpack how white privilege has informed my life; ‘eavesdropping’ on your webpage and the comments have helped in that unpacking, and in so many other ways. I’ve left a few comments as Anj, but usually I am just not sure how to put my heart into words.

Making calls for Obama during the New Jersey primary, I talked to a middle-aged African-American man who told me he would not vote for Obama because he did not think he stood a chance, that America would not elect a black President. I told him I wouldn’t be making calls and spending my time unless I  had a good sense that maybe it was time. Maybe America was ready.

And then I listened some more. Made more calls, listened some more. In between the calls, I have to tell you that I cried. Sometimes the fear and worry were almost tangible, sometimes the excitement kept me up late at night, sometimes the hope…often the hope made my world bigger. But the tears flowed freely, and part of that was realizing how little I understand of what it meant to be a black in this country. And how much I did understand how much we needed Senator Obama’s leadership. And the first time I watched Michelle Obama speak, I knew there was a potential First Lady I could respect. A marriage that was real. A woman who seemed gracious and honest and true. And look, the thought of those two girls in the White House brings tears to my eyes again.

Because of a complication from thyroid cancer surgery, I had to quit making phone calls. But, in my own way, I still tried to hold space for this campaign and this election. Talked to my conservative family, felt like I was, in a way, coming out of the closet, persuaded friends in Oklahoma and Colorado to vote for Senator Obama and wrote a lot of e-mails. In the time of this election, I have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, had surgery, radioactive iodine and radiation treatments, and my latest tumor marker test came back cancer free. I feel a parallel with what this election means to us as a country – the cancer is never really gone, but each day I get a bit stronger and I can do a bit more.  That is my hope for this country too. Day by day, each day a bit more…

I’m not really a hero, although I appreciate your kind words. It was easy for me, within the bubble of white privilege to believe that America was ready for this moment. A hero, to me, is someone who dared to hope outside of that bubble. Who might bear the scars on their soul and still dared to hope anyway.

It’s a good day for the USA.

Peace, Angela/Anj

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