I'm a political organizer, I hope my stories entertain you (so that's where the name comes from):
My first paying job in politics was running a nightly phonebank for a State Senate campaign. I'd train the volunteers on what to say on the phone, how to mark down voters' responses, help out with tough calls, and in between work the phones myself. Nothing too complex, but everyone has to start somewhere. Things were going pretty smoothly for the first several weeks, until one day my boss decided he wanted to try out an experiment. He wanted us to contacting self-identified conservative Republicans on behalf of our uber-progressive Democratic candidate. The experiment lasted for only a night and went about as well as you'd expect: plenty of profanity, heaps of hangups, and at least two death threats. In fact I only managed to identify a single supporter that night.
The call started off well, I could hear the woman's kids playing in the background so I decided to talk to her about education cuts. After a couple of minutes, she seemed pretty sympathetic and so I asked her if we could count on her support. She went silent for a moment and then said, "you know, I agree with you about the education cuts, but I'm just not sure I can vote for a black woman." A lot of thoughts went through my head as I tried to figure out how to respond. Finally I decided to settle on the truth least likely to upset this potential supporter, "Oh, don't worry. She's not black." The voter let out a relieved sigh and promised her support.
And I moved on to the next call on the list...
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