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THE OBAMA PROJECT: What Does The Election of Barack Obama Mean To You?
Posted Jan 04, 2009 at 4:53 PM
Patricia J. Williams, New York, New York
Twas the eve of the future and all through the world
An electoral battle anxiously swirled.
The votes were all marked with unusual care
And still there were cases of ballot despair—
Whole graveyards were voting, or Elvis was there.
Polls said the numbers were awfully tight.
Too close to call, a tie, then not quite.
From Georgia to Texas to Oregon too,
Red on one side, the other in blue,
Every constituency was poised to sue.
McCain had curled up for just one more nap,
Biden was prudently shutting his trap.
In Alaska, the Palins were snug in their beds,
While visions of rapture danced in their heads.
But Barack Obama pressed on through the night,
Calling for change, and to do what is right.
When November 4th dawned, he had fought the good fight.
The people came out in state after state,
They lined up at daybreak, they voted till late.
They voted in hoards and voted some more,
They voted in numbers unseen heretofore.
“Begone Dubya! and Cheney! and Condi, you vixen!
Out, Chertoff! Off, Rove! Stop the bombin’ and blitzin’!
To the edge of the gangplank, the waterboards call!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
Despite being black or his name being funny,
Despite fears he was secretly Muslim—a Sunni?–
The results that came in left nothing to spin:
Obama had managed to win, baby, win.
Destruction averted, the world’s back in line.
There’s much to be done, but we’ll all be fine.
The Klieg lights shining in Grant Park that night
Gave the luster of day to the faces so bright.
So relieved of their fears, so glistening with tears,
A heartfelt goodbye to the last eight dreadful years.
Patricia J. Williams is James L. Dohr Professor of Law, Columbia University Law School. She has published widely in the areas of race, gender, and law, film, culture, legal theory and history. She is a columnist for The Nation and the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious MacArthur fellowship.