My Daughter Marlee and I spent yesterday giving people rides to the polls.
It was mostly old black ladies who didn't bat an eye at this strange white guy helping them in and out of the car. Everyone gushed with gratitude and beamed with pride. Two of the ladies commented on how strange the neighborhood looked, they hadn't left the house in years. this election was a lot bigger deal to them than could be imagined.
No one in the long lines complained at all, most smiled, as I wheeled a lady in a wheelchair past them to the front of the line.
I followed one address down a trash strewn street, up to a corner being patrolled by the usual crowd of young men in hoodies and white tees. As I pulled up, one of the guys in cornrows and saggy pants, punches a buddy in the shoulder, throws up a deuce to the others, and hops in my car. He smiled, shook my hand, and said, "I haven't done this in a long time. Could you kinda show me how the voting machine works?"
I let a poll worker walk him through the machine. I wanted the people to see me acting without political bias.
When I gave the guy a ride home he had no problem letting me drop him off right at the crowded corner, as opposed to "around the corner" like an embarrassed teenager, ashamed of daddy's rusty car.
It was the type of day all these people expect to sit around, years from now, and recount where they were. Just like the Hugstable grand parents telling tales of marching with "the King."
I don't expect things to change over night. I will not be surprised if they never do change in a lasting way. But yesterday people were hopeful and no one assumed I was the enemy. Yesterday this city had brotherly love. No matter what happens in the next four years, it was worth it for what I got to experience yesterday.