So I’m voting in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley and, after getting to the polling place past a wall, yes a wall, of Trump signs, I walk in alongside an elderly African-American couple.

“Feels like hostile territory,” I say casually. “Oh my, yes,” the woman responds.

Then she eyes me carefully. “Are you new around here,” she asks. “Just a couple of years,” I say. “I’m from New York originally.”

She pauses again, sighs, and tells me, “Oh my son, you will learn.”

Later, as I have to carry my ballot marked for Democrats openly across a large room, and put it in the voting machine as a poll worker, a Republican poll worker I am sure, watches me, I feel a tinge of — is it fear? is it discomfort? — for the first time in my voting life.

Author, Dreamer, Educator: A life in service - NYPD, EMS, disabilities/UDL specialist, tech and innovation leader for education. Co-author of Timeless Learning

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