April 7, 2009 § Leave a comment
I don’t know if this is a true story, or the stuff of urban legend, but my good friend in Dayton, Ohio tells me this: on election day her mother-in-law was volunteering for the Obama campaign making calls to make sure people remembered to vote. The woman next to her called a couple who seemed on the elderly side and perhaps slightly hard of hearing.
Yes, the elderly woman said, they were going to vote, leaving in just a few minutes in fact. Who, if they didn’t mind the volunteer asking, were they planning to vote for? “Harold, (or, insert your favorite anecdotal name here)” the woman called to her husband, “Who’re we votin’ for again?”
“Votin’ for the knee-gar.” came the called out reply.
This is one of those unique stories that induces the strange feeling of wanting to laugh and put your head in your hands at the same time.
It also points out the nature of progress: never as straightforward as we might think. Rather, it is a circuitous process, cyclical, incremental- always two steps forward, one step back. Not only can you have the same country jubilantly elect the first African-American president and still harbor a tremendous well of racial prejudice… you even find those two powerfully conflicting ideas represented within a single citizen. « Read the rest of this entry »