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2008-11-05

Voices of Harlem: Voters in Historic Black Neighborhood Discuss Their Votes

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We speak with voters coming out of a polling site on 144th St. and Malcolm X Blvd. in Harlem, New York. [includes rush transcript]

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN:

We heard earlier in the show a woman standing in that mass crowd in Grant Park — and Grant Park has a lot of resonance from forty years ago, from 1968 — saying, “Now I feel like this is my America.” It actually reverberated with something Michelle Obama might have said a while ago and got really slammed on: "Now I feel proud to be an American."

I wanted to go now to some other voices, young voices from Harlem. Yesterday during the day, Democracy Now! producer Nicole Salazar and I headed up to Harlem. We went along Martin Luther King and then over to Frederick Douglass Boulevard and then to Malcolm X Boulevard to a precinct, a voting precinct, right there.

    AMY GOODMAN:

    Did you guys — did you guys vote?

    DIAMOND: Yes, we did.

    JAFAR: Yeah.

    AMY GOODMAN:

    OK. What’s your name? How old are you?

    DIAMOND: My name is Diamond. I’m eighteen years old.

    AMY GOODMAN:

    Is this your first time voting?

    DIAMOND: Yes, it is.

    AMY GOODMAN:

    How did it feel?

    DIAMOND: It felt great. I’m glad I voted. It’s a change.

    JAFAR: Obama.

    DIAMOND: Yeah, Obama.

    AMY GOODMAN:

    Did you vote right here?

    DIAMOND: Yes, I did.

    AMY GOODMAN:

    Why Obama?

    DIAMOND: Because he’s the best. He’s making a change. I’m not going vote for no McCain.

    JAFAR: Did she mention Obama?

    DIAMOND: Yes. I’d rather have a cure for AIDS than the new technology. There’s no need for that. You can make all the new phones and everything, but you can’t have a cure for AIDS? That’s a problem. So Obama’s going to make a change, going to cure everything, make everything perfect. I believe in him.

    AMY GOODMAN:

    What are you going to do?

    DIAMOND: Me? I’m going to get a job, make some money, get off the streets. Yeah.

    JAFAR: Obama.

    AMY GOODMAN:

    What’s your name?

    JAFAR: Jafar.

    AMY GOODMAN:

    Why Obama?

    JAFAR: Obama, because he’s for the people right now, and right now he’s something — he’s someone that we need right now. We need change. We need growth and development right now. We need a lot of progress done for the people here in all states and all boroughs and everything. And just different way of life.

    MALACHI DANIELS: Malachi Daniels.

    AMY GOODMAN:

    And have you voted yet today?

    MALACHI DANIELS: I have.

    AMY GOODMAN:

    Where?

    MALACHI DANIELS: Right here at this precinct.

    AMY GOODMAN:

    Malcolm X Boulevard?

    MALACHI DANIELS: Yes.

    AMY GOODMAN:

    Who did you vote for?

    MALACHI DANIELS: Cynthia McKinney, Green Party.

    AMY GOODMAN:

    Why?

    MALACHI DANIELS: I think Obama hedges on issues around Iraq. I don’t think they do. I think there should be unequivocal pullout, and the funds for this war should be cut. And Cynthia McKinney feels that way, and so does Rosa Clemente, and so do I.

    UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Well, I voted for Barack Obama. I voted for him. I was going to give my vote to somebody else, but since she didn’t win, I gave it to him. And I like what he had to say. And he changed me over the course of time. I have children, and I want my daughter to go to college. So I’m looking forward to see what he’s going to do. I just hope he do — I know he can’t do everything, but just do something better than what it is. That’s all.

    UNIDENTIFIED MAN: America, democracy is beautiful. The rich must share the wealth. You don’t need three homes. You don’t need $3 million.

    AMY GOODMAN:

    Do you think Barack Obama will work towards that?

    UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Well, he will. He had the idea but need the people to change their attitude about spending, about loving each other. He can’t do it alone.

    FLOYD ADAMS: My name is Floyd Adams.

    AMY GOODMAN:

    And who did you vote for?

    FLOYD ADAMS: Obama, of course.

    AMY GOODMAN:

    Why?

    FLOYD ADAMS: Well, because he’s talking about lowering taxes for the poor people, and he’s going to build the infrastructure, which is going to create jobs throughout this country for people, so this way we won’t be a burden to our country and the government. We’ll be able to work and take care of our families.

    AMY GOODMAN:

    Did you ever think Obama could win?

    FLOYD ADAMS: After he beat Hillary, I saw that the people really wanted a change. And he went up against McCain, and he won. He’s winning.

AMY GOODMAN:

Voices of Harlem on Malcolm X Boulevard.

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