8.29.2008

Why the gap isn't wider...

I should have said more... but I bit my tongue. It was an exchange that could have happened in any corner of our country. This one took place in our local auto dealer while I waited for our car to receive it's second recall in 12 months.

There were about ten of us gathered around the TV in the waiting room as John McCain revealed his top-secret, secret weapon of a V.P. choice. Some were just watching, one lady was definitely not all about his choice, I was remarking about how it was amazing that history would be made one way or another now... how we would either have our first woman V.P. or the first African-American president.

It was after I said what I said that an elderly man, sitting next to his wife, told me he hoped it was a woman. "I'm a McCain guy." I listened, but told him I was probably on the other end of the spectrum and hoped Obama would be elected.

"You ever spend time in Chicago? If you had you wouldn't be for Obama."

"Well, yes, I have visited." I replied.

"No, lived there... I lived there and we spent years fighting them."

"Fighting who?" I asked.

"Them... they are a different culture."

I pretended I didn't know that he was basking in his own ignorance when I asked, "Culture?"

"The blacks. We fought 'em for years, they are a different culture."

"Hmmm, you do know that Obama isn't originally from Chicago?" I replied. "And that his mother was white and his father was from Kenya?"

"Well..." He began to reply when his wife interrupted.

"Now, don't be discussing politics here..."

I didn't say what immediately boiled to my lips. I wanted to say that the discussion that was about to start wasn't about politics, it was about race. It was about the ignorance that has plagued our country for years while many of us have been sheltered under the privilege of being white. The fact that what he perceived as a battle, his African-American counterparts considered a reach equality.

There were many things I should have said. But I didn't.

Maybe I just thought it in vain. Pointless.

I mostly was just pissed as I sat there thinking that this was the guy. It was this dummy whose vote I would cancel out.

8 comments:

libarrylady said...

Some day, you are going to be talking to your children, telling them that people used to think that if you were a woman, or a black man, you couldn't be president, and they will be baffled. "Really?" they'll ask, "Why?"
And that is cool.

Kim said...

Preach it brother!

Loved the speach...did you see it?

Kate Rudd said...

Forgot to tell you over dinner tonight: thanks for canceling that vote.

Daniel Rudd said...

arrr, that's so frustrating.
volkswagon owners are such stereotyping bigots!

chris o said...

i have a co-worker who has told me in the past, before the election that she didn't like mccain, and also that she was a fan of ted kennedy.
recently, when we were discussing the election, she told me that she didn't yet know who she would vote for. after interrogating her for like 5 minutes reminding her of previous conversations, she said, "i just don't know if america is ready." that was the first and only time i have come across someone who is making race an issue to vote on. it's hard to believe those people are out there, but i'm wondering how shocked we might be a few days from now...

Jen said...

Hello Ryan! In case you were interested, my blog is in a different place, has been for 2 years now. You know...just in case you wanted to change the "Florida College Friend Jen" link to the real blog ;)

Congrats on the new baby by the way!

Jen

lacey said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Kate
http://educationonline-101.com

lacey said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Kate
http://educationonline-101.com