Wednesday, November 5, 2008

So We Begin


Liz Logan said...

Amy I am really upset right now and for some reason this seems like the right place to share my grief. But first I need to backtrack...

I just spent the day with hundreds of African American business people, at the Dekalb County 10th Annual Small Business Conference. It was wonderful, on so many levels. I felt so welcomed and at home. Everyone was in a great mood. So different from where I live, lily white, with wall to wall McCain signs. The night of the election, When Obama started to give his acceptance speech, I opened my front door and yelled "YAY!" as loud as I could. But just once.

One of our keynote speakers, a local Congressman, said "Isn't it a great day to be an American?" YES! we all cheered. The feeling of hope, of possibility, of optimism was palpable, and on top of it I won a very big door prize. :D

I went out to dinner with a (white) friend, also an Obama supporter, and we talked about the tough times ahead, but with much gratitude that at least we will have Obama in the Presidential role.

I came home exhausted, but my day is not done, I have a conference call with folks in CA who aren't meeting until 8:00pm (11:00 my time).

As I was unwinding, the phone rang. As I was looking to see who it was, an automated voice came on, saying that was a text-to-land-line message. I had never gotten one before. I did not recognize the number, but it was an Atlanta area code.

The message was a racist "joke" about Obama. I was absolutely stunned. I was also very angry. And a little bit scared.

I looked up the reverse directory, but it is (naturally) an unlisted cell phone number.

I needed to do something with my anger, so I fired off an email to the AJC (newspaper) describing what happened (including the number). As soon as I did, I had the horrifying thought--what if it was from somebody I know?

I can't bear to call it. Maybe Tom will, I don't know. But as my anger is dissipating, I am feeling wounded, in my heart. I am tearing up again, but this time it is with grief. Okay, I am just plain crying.

Why??? I know that is a meaningless question, yet I am asking it anyway... and also How? How are we going to heal this country?

Part of me thinks I should not share this with you, or share this here, yet another part says don't be silly, Amy has lived with issues of race and racism her whole life.

But my sister, my friend, it is a lonely night in Georgia, and I need to reach out to some folks who I know will understand.

Dammit, I have to pull myself together for this conference all. Potential clients and all that. I need to tap into the luv that we shared at the conference today.

Thanks for listening. I feel better having written it. Please delete if this is too much of a bummer.


Liz Logan said...

Thank you Amy for your lovely email. It was just what I needed. I am feeling a lot more centered and grounded today. You are right, its a process, but we ARE making progress.