Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What's with the mean?

So, I'm reckoning with the fact that I do not live amongst my kin. I am surrounded with people I can not relate to on so many levels I am beginning to be curious about my husband's obsession with Star Trek, because I now believe I can identify with living on another planet with other species.

Yeah. It's that bad.

I was looking for some female, mother venting. I went to our local newspaper's website, as I have seen several ads for this social networking site they sponsor. I was rummaging around & thought heck, I'll check out the political posts. Um. Okay, break. Sidebar. Red light.

I am not registered as any political affiliation. I think the current status of our country sucks. Doesn't help that I married a Canadian who whines every chance he gets about how ignorant & backwards we are. I have come to the conclusion that I am supporting Barrack Obama. I am a very thorough researcher. I have investigated his stance on the issues important to me, as well as his opponent. I watched &/or listened to both conventions. I became ill. I am very offended by Ms. Sarah Palin. Just leave it at that.

Both of my grandfathers served in WW2. My paternal GP, Frank, was a Gunny Sargent in the Pacific. He did SEVEN beach heads. (that opening scene in "Saving Private Ryan". Did that 7 times.) He volunteered for FOUR of them. Yeah. I know. My other GP, Louis aka Red, was in the Army. I don't know what his rank was (he's still alive at 82. Piss & vinegar gets ye far. I could ask, but we clash.), but I know he was there when they liberated Auschwitz. My dad was a Sea Bee in Vietnam. He was awarded a Bronze Star. My point with all these qualifiers is that I come from a family that supports the military. I do not, however, support our occupation of Iraq.

Back to the newspaper website. Let's just say that I was horrified by the blind, misinformed, one-sided, hate-filled comments I read there. Hate.

See, I've got this thing about hate. I'm from Detroit. I'm an Urban Planner. I became an Urban Planner because I love Detroit. I am one of those naive, hopeless romantics that wants to make it better. A friend calls me the S & M Planner because I'm from the bell-weather of failing cities & live just across the river from the textbook joke of all planned cities. The thing that did my city wrong is hate. I like to think of myself as an anti-hate super hero. I was correcting Grandpa Frank from telling off-color jokes at age eight.

I have 2 bumper stickers on my car. One reads, "We're Making Enemies Faster Than We Can Kill Them". Another reads, "You Can't Kill For Peace". Yesterday I took my car to the dealership where my husband works to have the oil changed. I went in, talked to the service tech, walked back out & got in my husbands car where he was waiting with Mini Me to take me home. He pointed out that the service techs were pointing at my stickers & laughing. Not the kind of laughing of, "Oh man! That's a good un!" No. This was the, "Ha! Look at the commie that's gonna get herself lynched!" laughing. I confronted the guy, not with hostility, but with concern. I told him (untruthfully) that I had had stickers removed from my car there previously & wanted to make sure I didn't have anything to worry about. He smirked. "Eve'rbody's got der right to der own 'pinion, I reckon, " he said. Smirk.

So then I came home & read some of my beloved Free Press online. Read some of the lovely stories & commentary on the Mayor (the title deserves respect even though he doesn't) resigning. Read some of the lovely hate he was spewing. Sigh.

Looked on you tube to see the reasons why people aren't wanting to support Obama. Found some lovely people that actually admitted they were not going to vote for him simply because of his skin color.

This morning I went to the local Obama office to try to get a yard sign indicating my support. I was having a hard time finding the place. I stopped a FedEx driver to ask him if he knew where the place was. He didn't want to tell me. He told me to go register as a republican. He told me I was "an idiot" for thinking Obama will win. More hate.

After I got my sign, they were apparently trying to tow my car because I wasn't parked in the right place. There were no signs indicating where I was not allowed to park in the clearly marked space that I did, but hey. That couldn't of had anything to do with the big McCain signs in the legal office windows facing my car, could it? No, couldn't possibly be more hate.

After I got home & was standing in my front yard with Mini Me, pushing our new sign into the ground, a big truck with tinted windows blared its' horn & swerved at me.

So, I decided I needed to spread some love.

I talked to my best, & admittedly republican, other mama friend here in SWFL this afternoon. She knows I've been having a hard time. We came to a mutual agreement. We love each other. We provide unconditional, non-judgemental support for one another. She was there for me when I didn't know I needed her & has become a primary witness to my life. We are grateful for each other because she has listened to my pain over all the hate I have witnessed in the last few days over this election. She understands how alien this all feels to me. We know we are on different sides of this fight, but we still find a way to respect each other. I am proud of us.
Oh, & I keep reading this:
"We know the battle ahead will be long, but always remember that no matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can withstand the power of millions of voices calling for change.We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics who will only grow louder and more dissonant in the weeks to come. We've been asked to pause for a reality check. We've been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope.

But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope. For when we have faced down impossible odds; when we've been told that we're not ready, or that we shouldn't try, or that we can't, generations of Americans have responded with a simple creed that sums up the spirit of a people.

Yes we can.

It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation. Yes we can.

It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail toward freedom through the darkest of nights. Yes we can.

It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores and pioneers who pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness. Yes we can.

It was the call of workers who organized; women who reached for the ballot; a President who chose the moon as our new frontier; and a King who took us to the mountaintop and pointed the way to the Promised Land.

Yes we can to justice and equality. Yes we can to opportunity and prosperity. Yes we can heal this nation. Yes we can repair this world. Yes we can.

And so tomorrow, as we take this campaign South and West; as we learn that the struggles of the textile worker in Spartanburg are not so different than the plight of the dishwasher in Las Vegas; that the hopes of the little girl who goes to a crumbling school in Dillon are the same as the dreams of the boy who learns on the streets of LA; we will remember that there is something happening in America; that we are not as divided as our politics suggests; that we are one people; we are one nation; and together, we will begin the next great chapter in America's story with three words that will ring from coast to coast; from sea to shining sea - Yes. We. Can."

So, please don't send me any messages about how wrong I am. What's that thing? If you don't have anything nice to say....? Let's go with that.

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