Thursday, November 6, 2008

Election Night...Robbed Again!

8 years ago, Al Gore's bid for the Presidency ended when his request for a recount in Florida went all the way to the Supreme Court and was unjustifiably shot down. Many say Gore was robbed of the election. Last night, Barack Obama became the first African American man in history to be elected President of the United States. In the ensuing celebrations, I was robbed at gun point. I think it speaks volumes about the importance of this election when I say that of the two nights, I'll take the 2008 robbery any day of the week.

I think it was pretty clear from the start that Obama was heavily favored in this election. Given the past 8 years, the democrats probably could have ran Chelsea Clinton or dragged Jimmy Carter up there again and won. The polls leading up to election day showed Obama clearly in the lead, and a telling sign was how the polls actually widened the day before the race, when they usually tighten up. So, it came to no great surprise to anyone when Barack Obama won in a landslide. More important for me however, was this article.

"Turnout among 18- to 29-year-olds increased by 6 percent over 2004, said the youth-registration movement Rock the Vote, using McDonald's data. That's 4 million more young voters than in 2004."

McDonald's does polling data now? Can't wait til they replace the 99 billion served with 4 Million new Voters Voted.

But anyways, that's a good thing. We'll see if Obama can keep the youth into politics over his presidency.

But anyways, onto the ensuing celebrations. Immediately after Harry Kalas...I mean CNN announced the win, I ran out into the streets to see who was out. The celebratory gunshots probably should have been my first warning. But who cares, to city hall! Walking down Broad Street, you could tell there was something a bit different in the air than when the Phillies won, and I'm not just talking gun smoke. Instead of thousands of drunk college kids making their way down, this was jubilant locals with tears coming down their eyes.

This was people in hummer's with 18-inch rims leaning out the windows with Obama signs, smiling and waving to everyone in sight. This was black, white, hispanic, and everything else. It may not have been as large as the Phillies win, but it sure felt more significant. For a moment, I didn't feel like a college kid, a white kid, or even a Philadelphian. I was one of the 63 million Americans Barack Obama had won over with his pledge for change and hope, and one of billions of people around the world who could see a brighter day for America.

That was, until about Girard and Broad, where my friend and I were approached by a young man who displayed a gun and demanded our wallets. After hesitating for a second and actually pulling the wallet away from his outstretched hand like a mean older brother pretending to give his little brother a piece of candy, I relinquished the wallet and watched him run off. Really?? What's Obama's policy on intercity crime?

Go figure, but this makes it obvious that Obama's election, both with its possibilities of combating crime through ending poverty, and breaking down racial barriers in the United States, has a long way to go. Or maybe he was just a McCain supporter releasing his frustrations by robbing Obama supporters. Somehow, I doubt it.

But press on we did to Center City, because I wasn't about to let being robbed at gunpoint spoil my night. Thankfully, the asshole didn't bother to check to see if I had a $300 dollar camera in my pocket, which, I did. What a n00b. Here are some video scenes from center city:





After this, my night really began to spiral downwards. I faced a long walk back up Broad Street, and for some reason a number of people along the way thought my name was "Whitey," or even a full name, "Fuck You Whitey." I had to double check to make sure I wasn't holding a McCain sign. Nope, Obama. Oh well, maybe in another four years.

From there I went to the police station, and for the second time in a month ended up at central investigation on about 20th and Vine, where I filled out a report and looked at mugshots for about 2 hours. In the meantime, three other Temple students came in, all had been robbed by... dun dun dun..a man matching my guys description at Broad and Girard. I'm no criminal justice major, but they probably should have thought about sending a unit over there.

So I finally got to bed at about 4 am. I laid there; tired, hungry, and walletless. I fell asleep with a smile on my face. Barack Obama will be our new President.

2 comments:

BoomerBlogger said...

WOW...oh what a night...I was celebrating at Toscani's in Wyo, dancing with cardboard Barack, as you got ripped off! But remember
...wallets and stuff can be replaced, sons can't! Hey, why didn't you whip out that camera and take a photo of him as he ran off! : O

Nice blog, Kyle! Keep it good, keep it clean...it might wind up in your resume someday! : D

a dedicated reader said...

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