With joy, I give you Langston Hughes.

I, Too, Sing America

by Langston Hughes

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”

They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed–

I, too, am America.


Yes, Langston – you are.


We’re doing something right.

I wasn’t really sure how much attention my daughter has been paying to the upcoming presidential election.  I know that my husband and I talk about it,  that we talk to her about it,  that whenever we here something particularly important or inane we take a moment to explain what it means to here, and why we think what we think about it.

But she is only eight,  and things like stuffed animals and getting to go visit Grandpop  are a lot higher on her daily conversation list then politics.

So I was caught off guard when my daughter turned to me  while I was listening to a panel discussion on race on NPR  and asked me,  “Mom,   what color is Obama?”

Momentarily stunned,  I sit here trying to organize my thoughts about how to talk about race and presidential politics.    While I wait,  the Bee gets impatient,  and asks again.

“Come on, Mom —  is he red or blue?”

Political Angst.

I try to avoid talking about politics here – I like a quite peaceful knitting blog, and politics is one of those topics that makes people crazy. But I am in a hell of a bind right now.

As voter, what is more important? To vote for the candidate you truly believe is most qualified to lead, whom you think would do the best job? Or to vote for the candidate you truly believe most likely to win, in order to ensure that the party you favor wins the Presidency?

For this first time since I came of age, I sat out a primary election because I couldn’t figure this out. I know that I’ll vote along my party line come November, so I suppose I could just wait it out and try not to think about it, but it’s a strange feeling to be so idle during a political season. Normally I’m writing letters, following news, working for the candidates I think will make my government work as it should.

I like Hillary Clinton. I like her because she’s smart, she’s tough, because she’s a woman and I’ve been waiting for the day I could vote for a woman for President since I was eight years old. I think she would good at the job, that her experience and connections in the political establishment would let her hit the ground running and go to work. I want to vote for her.


I like Barack Obama too – he’s charismatic and inspirational, and knows how to parlay his skills to his advantage. I wish he had more experience, but when he gets the job he’ll learn fast. I won’t be angry that I have to vote for him come November. I won’t feel disenfranchised by his candidacy.


I just don’t want to vote for him. And yeah, I’ll be the first to admit it’s all about gender for me. It probably shouldn’t be, but there you have it.

So I stood down during the primary. I don’t feel good about that, but I feel better then I would have felt voting for either candidate. Voting for Obama, I’d have felt terrible about betraying the candidate I wanted to win. Voting for Clinton, I’d have felt terrible about betraying the needs of my country.

Because Hillary can’t win. There are too many people sitting on the fence who will cross it for Obama, and not for Hillary Clinton. There are avowed Republicans in my family who voted for Obama in their primaries, and avowed Democrats who’ve said they’d rather vote for McCain then Clinton. She can’t win.

It breaks my heart.

But I can’t just sit by idly anymore – politics and it’s results are too important to ignore, no matter how gut wrenching the choices we must make sometimes.

I have a letter to write. Because we need to take back this country if we want it to keep being a country we’re proud to be citizens of.

Hillary, it’s time to stand down.

I’m sorry.