Vote ’96: Conventional Colors

by Annie R. Smith 

Have you ever wondered what it would be like being another color? Have you ever wished that you could become another color just for one day or just for the moment? I thought that day would never come for me. But the night of the convention, I had wished I was three different colors by the time I departed from the political arena.

It wasn’t the color of my skin that made the difference. It was the color of the ticket that I had. I was given this pass to the convention which was a 4 “X7″ dark green card that had to be displayed when I wanted to enter a section of the arena. No matter how blue I felt or how much red I seen or how yellow I appeared, I was still green, dark green to be exact. I would have settled for light green. At least I would have been admitted into the press section. But we were stopped on the stairs as we headed in that direction. I tried to get into the delegate section and I was stopped at the entrance. I was told, “I’m sorry but you are the wrong color. You need a yellow ticket.”

But I did get a chance to meet and take photos with Cisneros, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Cook County Commissioner Jerry “The Iceman” Butler, and U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-2).

Al Gore, Carol Mosley Braum, Cook County Board President John Stroger and many others made my evening a delight. But I will never forget that everywhere I really wanted to be be, I was rejected because of my color. all the affairs that were going on at the convention that I wanted to attend was forbidden to me because I was too green.

Now I can sympathize with those who have faced discrimination because of age, sex, weight, race, religious factors or height. I learned a lesson that night: the feeling of rejection is the foundation for protest. We must become more tolerant of one another’s differences.

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