When I Need A Pick Me Up, by my friend Ryan King

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


The other night in Times Square, I saw a group of five twenty-somethings, looking like they had fallen out of the dorm at Columbia University, or out of an L.L. Bean catalog, campaigning for O. Loudly. Waving their "O" signs and taking names on their clipboard. Two boys and three girls. Looking like the cast of Dawson's Creek or The OC. And I thought to myself, are they really for him? And by extension, me?

Tonight I started down my Blogroll list to peep into your lives, and I opened up My Other Hero's page and I saw the video he posted. I'd never heard a mumbling peep from him about his stance on politics or the world, or race or even religion. He's a science fiction author and an essayist, and a humorist (and a poet and singer and songwriter). Through none of those mediums had he ever expressed his views on much else than that he was a nice creative guy with a wife he loves and hopes and dreams for a successful career.

To me, posting this video is like reaching out an giving me a hug. Not that he posted it for me. He probably wasn't thinking about me at all. But I've said it before--it's important to me. It would mean so much. It would go so far. Sometimes I feel ornery and I just want rednecks to hiss and spit (treat ME like a second class citizen, will you?). But most times, when I dare to hope--allow myself the vulnerability to dream--I know how good it would be for your kids and my kids --all of OUR kids-- to see a black man as the Executive Officer. As the Leader Of The Free World. As More Than A Basketball/Football Player. As More Than A Rapper/Entertainer.

As Someone.

I've said it for a while now, just to throw the idea out there and see if it made any sense to anyone.

It makes sense to My Other Hero. And to all the other white people out there who are casting their votes.

And for the first time in a very long time, I feel like my country can accept me for me.

Can you, America?


Vi said...

Hey, if I could vote, I would! I hope he gets in for you.

akakarma said...

Wow Alan- what an inspiring post! That vid gave me the shivers!

Alan said...

This post was made just to share how My Other Hero made me feel, really, and to share my own opinions on the issue. But I understand that it means just as much to others if Hillary gets in, and just as much to others if McCain gets in. I don't begrudge anyone their politic views.

I've learned to love you guys for who you are and for what you value.

Eliel Mamousette said...

To put it in the words of my candidate: Yes, we can

Scott said...

We'll see, Alan. I don't know much about Obama right now. I won't vote or not vote for him based on his color. I'm far more interested in what the man stands for. I have to understand his stance on war, because I think someone who avoids it as a rule has no business as a leader. That said, someone who will jump into war without much thought is even more dangerous. A leader has to make hard decisions, and that almost always means unpopular ones. Then I have to measure his stance on economic issues as well. So far I have no idea, but I get the feeling that the Republicans aren't bringing their best people to the table, and I know that I don't like Hilary. But again, before I make any judgements I will be better informed by the time I reach the polls.

Zombieslayer is a very smart man who analyzes politics on his blog. He's not an Obama fan for whatever reason (and he is black by the way). I'm curious to see how he shakes out. I have a feeling I will be wasting my vote on an other-party candidate.

Alan said...

Scott, "The Audacity of Hope" should give you a good peek into Obama's worldview. I saw someone reading it on the A last night.

Right now, it's a more an issue of emotion for me than politics, and I think for me the job is done. I feel great!

Way back when I didn't even understand what the Iowa caucus was, I stated that this here, what's happening right now, is what I wanted. I wanted to see Barack and Hilary contending for the spot. That didn't mean I wanted them to fight. It meant that I wanted to see voters choosing them above all the other candidates. I wanted to see American voters accepting a black man as a legitimate possibility.

They've done that. At this point, I now know that to A LOT of people, being black is not a turn-off. That's all I've been asking for since I left Missouri.

So I'm really happy and I feel more a part of this country than I have in a long, long time.

GrizzBabe said...

I wish I could be as hopeful as you, Alan, but I live in the South where being black can still be a turnoff.

On a website recently, I completed a questionnaire that was designed to discover which presidential candidate best matches my political views. At the end of answering the 25 or so questions there was a sphere that represented my political beliefs located on an axis. The ONLY candidate that was located in my sphere was Ron Paul. As it turns out, I am fiscally conservative and socially liberal, just like Ron Paul.

But I won't be voting for Ron Paul. That would be following my head and I don't want to follow my head in this election. My heart is what's making the most noise. It's saying vote for Obama. I think I'm going to listen.