Brooklyn Stand Up

Its a tuesday morning on a November fourth and the skies are gray over Flatbush, Brooklyn. The community is stirred up unusually early because today is a day of a presidential election full of anxiety. Lines wrap around Public School 92. Blocks are filled and sidewalks are crowded. I shuffle my feet slowly for around forty five minutes until I part dusty black drapes and step inside an archaic voting machine. I cast my ballot for Barack Obama and Joe Biden. I run my hand down voting for anyone with the word “Democrat” next to their name. I’ve put up with too much in the past eight years. I don’t know who these people are but I am bitter, and hoping for something better.


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The day tires down and I’m staring at my television back at my apartment in Flatbush. NBC switches to local news. Obama has just won Ohio and Florida is too close to call. I am in disbelief. It was in Ohio after all where I protested George Bush’s invasion of Iraq. I have been wearing the tee shirt from the art school I attended there. I wore it often while protesting. It stays on me the entire day under my jacket. The local news says there is an important announcement and then there are fireworks on my t.v. and I’m shaking my girlfriends leg saying: “Baby, baby! are you awake for this? Do you see this?”


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There is shouting in the halls of my building. I can hear shouting from the street. People walk into the hallways and began slamming their doors repeatedly. People are grabbing anything… anything to make noise. The streets roar. Old ladies scream “We Did It! Oh My God We Did It!” from the floor above. Friends tell me there were gun shots over Bedstuy. I’ll tell you those gunshots echoed over Crown Heights and came my way. The television reads “Barack Obama 44th President.” A tat tat ta rings out from the hall. It sounds like someone is shooting in my lobby. Tat tat ta again from the street. I’ll tell you I never understand why people fire guns in celebration but I heard three guns fire over Flatbush that night. An emotion sweeps over my community. Fear is not even possible to feel now. The gun shots go unnoticed. I tell Brooklyn its okay. We forgive your ignorance. We’ve got more important things on our mind. Tonight is a night of celebration. Tonight is like a night I have never seen.


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When I finally come to my senses I feel like I have just woken up from a dream. This has got to be a dream. All of the ignorance under the reign of Bush is coming to an end. All of the violations of civil rights and the constitution is coming to an end. All of the harassment ensued while protesting Bush’s war feels like it is vanishing. I feel dignified again. America feels dignified again. I have never been more proud to be an American. Quote me on that. Soon I know a new mural will be added to PS 92 in Brooklyn. We need this…


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Filed under art, New York Streets

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