Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Today's the day. At 9pm last night, we got a message from my friend Tobi, who's in the Swingle Singers and lives in London. He was beat-boxing Barack Obama's name, already wanting to know the results. A German living in London and *he's* impatient. Try living here.

The last two elections I voted with my heart, which tends to be green or independent, over logic. Fact is this time I feel I can vote with both. I really *like* Obama. I sincerely do. I'm not old enough to have experienced Kennedy, but that's the feeling I get. Fresh new-ness with good potential. Maybe it's because I'm young but I'll take someone coming in with less experience and more integrity than someone on the way out with both. Of course McCain wasn't ever an option for me.

But others were. In the past I voted for Nader - just once. Then I realized he does better for the world by helping safety standards and would likely not make nor like being much of a president. Kucinich - who really addresses the needs of the poor and marginalized in a way that no "black" candidate in this race has. These have been the candidates for me. But I can safely say Obama is it this time.

Had an interesting conversation with a friend about "prejudice" as regards to racism in the North and in the South the other day. We were both defining prejudice as "pre-judging" but I have always thought of it as sort of post- and pre-judging, and talked about it that way in our conversation. "It's ignorance otherwise" if you pre-judge, but from a place of not knowing. Dictionary.com says otherwise, all is included in prejudice:

1.an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason.
2.any preconceived opinion or feeling, either favorable or unfavorable.
3.unreasonable feelings, opinions, or attitudes, esp. of a hostile nature, regarding a racial, religious, or national group.
4.such attitudes considered collectively: The war against prejudice is never-ending.
5.damage or injury; detriment: a law that operated to the prejudice of the majority.

Huh. I was all prepared to do a blog entry about how prejudice is both post and pre-judging, then it turns out the dictionary already accounts for that.

So instead let me get a bit more personal.
I used to work for a radical lefty bookstore, the kind of place that would have made my commie parents proud, if they were still around. There the issue was never which of the two majors you would vote for, but how to choose amongst the independents and get counted at all. They would likely say I have fallen from the fold, especially because I readily read the NYT for my news now, but the fact is in the beginning, from the beginning, with pre-judging, I was ready to vote for Obama - I THOUGHT - because of his race. That's right. Because of it. I didn't much care for Hilary, never have, and she totally lost me when she got screedy. Fact is I am picky, as I often am about women, I wanted a GREAT first woman president, not just anyone.

And the fact is that I DO think race is making a difference and will make a difference. Get him in there. Besides the fact that he's charismatic and strong, and real in the world, just having a face and voice that's not the same standard old white guy was enough to get me to vote for him from day one.

Now, of course, I am paying attention and choosing him over the others, and my others are not McCain, but the independents. I am choosing him not just because of his race or background, but because I just like the guy. I have since day one. First came prejudice, then personal preference. Sometimes prejudice is more beneficial than harmful.

1 comment:

  1. agree with everything you said. shocked my students saying i'd vote for a person of color over a white person, if i had no strong reason not to do so. i like shocking them like that. :)

    also like him, also know that the bookstore peeps would be scornful, also don't care. lol. ditto all round.