In 2008 during Obama's first run at the presidency I wrote the following in response to an article on a vitriolic and hateful McCain/Palin rally (Breathtaking Ignorance Captured on Film at McCain/Palin Strongsville, Ohio Rally):
I'm a woman of color living in SouthWest MI. I fight the urge to embrace the sentiment above on a daily basis. I don't want to believe that every white person is a bigot or that that every Republican is a racist. I just can't go through life that way. It's unfair to humanity. I have to believe that we as a people are better than this. I have to believe that by and large the people who make statements like this are the immoral minority.In 2008 I was incredibly hopeful that Obama would win and that he would make the world a better place. I was naive in beliving that the losing side would play fair, show good sportsmanship and support our president. Four years later, I am sitting here near tears from an incident that happened this evening, and I couldn't think of a better place than to work through it than here.
I choose to believe this is the silt of the party who have gotten caught up with the mob mentality of the event. This element is exactly what McCain/Palin want to stir up with their subversive commentary. When I look at the people who are verbalizing it outwardly and openly, they do not seem to be people who are exposed to diversity, or who are willing to embrace change. They seem to be people who are justifying their bigotry through "excuses" they've heard about Obama's upbringing and background.
It makes me very sad to see this. It's a dose of reality, certainly.
Obama's message is the antithesis of this bigotry and hatred.
Hope. Change. Obama/Biden '08.
by HoneyBrown on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 08:53:11 AM EDT
My life has certainly changed since 2008. Thanking God that I not only have my job, but have been promoted several times. My 7 year old son is healthy, strong and quite bright. I miscarried our second baby in 2009, then lost my husband in a car accident in 2010. And now I live in a brand new city -- starting over! We've been in Atlanta since April of this year. I'm working the Obama campaign with a new group of people, and by and large I surround myself with forward thinking folks.
Tonight I am so disheartened and almost tearful. I had a hard day at the office and decided not to cook tonight, so we went to a local bar and grill for dinner. We sat in the booth next to a group of four white women who were out celebrating a birthday. They were mid 50's or early 60's and when we walked in they were laughing and looked to be having a good time together.
I don't know if seeing us walk in sparked the thought (we are still "of color" -- THAT much hasn't changed in my life!), but within 2 minutes of taking our seat they began talking politics.
One after another, they bashed President Obama and the First Lady citing Rush Limbaugh and Neil Boortz as sources. How Obama hasn't done anything for the country since he's been president, calling him selfish and narcissistic, stupid and a liar. They called the first lady a disgrace and an embarrassment. They cited Boortz's invitation for one person to call into his show and share one positive thing that Obama has done since he was president. Hateful, vitriolic, spiteful, bigoted words were thrown around -- "arrogant," "full of himself," "common." At some point in there I ordered a gin and tonic.
Then they began talking about Mitt Romney and his "lovely" wife Ann. Nothing but positive things about his appearance on Regis and Kelly this morning. How she's had cancer and challenges and is still so perfect and beautiful. How well spoken and relaxed he was. The media came next, how they're all in the pocket of Obama. How noone dares say anything bad about him in the media, but if Romney so much as sneezes they are against him and how it is all so unfair. In a flash they were back to Obama and how he's a socialist.
At this point I ordered another drink.
They went on about the Arabs and the Iraquis, talking about how they are crazy and want to kill their own children. They discussed the Russians and how Jimmy Carter pulled us out of the Olympics in protest of the Russians invading Iran. They wished for Bush. One smacked the table and said "I want my COUNTRY BACK!"
Dinner arrived and I thought I could relax some. Until my son - my handsome, brown sugar baby - said "Mama, why are they talking about President Obama like that?" And it hit me. HE is why I am donating money to the president. HE is why I am registering voters - not just people I think will probably vote for Obama, but all voters. HE is why I am working the phone banks. His future is on the line.
Soon enough the topic circled back to politics. Started talking about how Mitt didn't release his tax returns, then started on Obama's birth certificate. One of them reminisced about when she was 18 how she didn't care a thing about politics, but the young people today are idealistic and don't understand the world, so they are sucked into Obama's fancy talk. I asked for the check and told our waitress that they had ruined my dinner. She was a young 20-something and whispered "ME TOO! I want them to LEAVE!" They lamented over how unsafe they feel these days. One of them even said "I don't care where he was born, I care where he is living. He doesn't BELONG in the White House."
As I paid, I wondered what I should say. I wanted to tell them that even though they don't support Obama, he supports them - at least ONE of them is collecting social security. At least ONE of them is on Medicaid. I wanted to share all of the good that Obama has done in his presidency - not least of all Obamacare. He killed Bin Laden. He killed Ghadaffi. I wanted to tell them how he stopped the downfall of our economy, preventing our recession from turning into a depression. He saved General Motors, the stimulus was a success. I wanted to tell them how amazing, how absolutely amazingly successful our president is - he battled against an obstructive Republican congress and still got the job done. He brought back jobs. He's maintained his dignity and grace under pressure.
Instead, as I left I simply smiled at those women and said, "I really enjoyed your conversation tonight. You've fired me up to work even harder for my president."
I sit here fighting tears. I feel like I should have said more. I should have said something. I feel like I let our POTUS down. Yet, I know I wouldn't have changed their minds -- they are addicted to Rush and Neil and Sean and Kristol. They aren't interested in moving forward -- they are stuck in times gone by. Instead of trying to show these obviously biased women the good that Obama has done, I am committed to finding more that I can do to get our president re-elected. I'll use my frustration and anger in a positive way. I'll fight to get my guy elected. As those sweet old ladies said, the good of the country depends on it.
Even though my life has been turned upside down in many ways over the past four years, when I look at the big picture I realize that my would hasn't hasn't changed in four years. I continue to believe that I can make a difference.
Hope. Change. Obama/Biden 2012
Thank you for reading my very first diary post!
Thank you all for taking the time to not only read, but comment and recommend my first diary entry! I came in to see what the real writers were posting today and found myself in Community Spotlight. How cool is that?
I appreciate this venue and this community. I read (lurk) near daily and have learned so much about your lives and experiences. So much so that last night when I was literally seething with anger, hot faced and stuttering, this was the first place I thought to come and work through what had just happened.
It's easy to stop reading posts under an article or to intentionally blind myself to pro-Rmoney Facebook status updates. Last night I felt assaulted. My eyes still threaten to brim with tears when I read what I wrote. Those women. I hope they remember me as vividly as I remember them. I hope they will remember me on November 6.