In the late afternoon my son and I were walking into our lobby, and there was a voter’s registration table with red, white, and blue balloons floating above the table. What got Baby Danny’s attention was the bowl of lollipops. “What is this table for?” he asked. “To vote,” I said. “Vote for what?” he asked. “The president,” I said. “Oh, you mean I can vote for Barack Obama,” he said with enthusiasm. I was soon in the elevator and Baby Danny entered with an elderly white woman. Her hair was cut short, and her glasses sat on the tip of her nose, like a schoolteacher's. Baby Danny realized that she was behind him and said, “or McCain.”
What do you think God thinks about that? It was clear that Baby Danny mentioned McCain because the elderly white woman was on the elevator. I was wondering how a seven-year-old understands the race dynamics of this presidential campaign. God, is this presidential campaign a test to see if we have really overcome our masters, Willie Lynch and Jump Jim Crow? Don’t let it be said that we are sitting in the same diners, drinking from the same water fountains, interracial in our marriages, and still segregated.
“Why do you want to vote for Barack Obama?” I asked Baby Danny. “Because he is the same skin color as me,” he replied.