Wednesday, October 29, 2008

And Now, Something Nice for a Change

I just received this email from a friend who is an associate of Obama. It's a small, but very powerful story, and I plan to share it with my 95-year old father, who just sent in his absentee ballot for Obama.

Please send it around. I have omitted the sender's last name for obvious reasons.

Jerry

From: Judy Sent: Tuesday, October 28, 2008 6:53 AM Subject: This is a good story

Upon arriving at the Hamilton County Board of Elections in Cincinnati to vote early today I happened upon some friends of my mother's - three small, elderly Jewish women. They were quite upset as they were being refused admitance to the polling location due to their Obama T-Shirts, hats and buttons. Apparently you cannot wear Obama/McCain gear into polling locations here in Ohio .... They were practically on the verge of tears.

After a minute or two of this a huge man (6'5", 300 lbs easy) wearing a Dale Earnhardt jacket and Bengals cap left the voting line, came up to us and introduced himself as Mike. He told us he had overheard our conversation and asked if the ladies would like to borrow his jacket to put over their t-shirts so they could go in and vote. The ladies quickly agreed. As long as I live I will never forget the image of these 80-plus-year-old Jewish ladies walking into the polling location wearing a huge Dale Earnhardt racing jacket that came over their hands and down to their knees!

Mike patiently waited for each woman to cast their vote, accepted their many thanks and then got back in line (I saved him a place while he was helping out the ladies). When Mike got back in line I asked him if he was an Obama supporter. He said that he was not, but that he couldn't stand to see those ladies so upset. I thanked him for being a gentleman in a time of bitter partisanship and wished him well.

After I voted I walked out to the street to find my mother's friends surrouding our new friend Mike - they were laughing and having a great time. I joined them and soon learned that Mike had changed his mind in the polling booth and ended up voting for Obama. When I asked him why he changed his mind at the last minute, he explained that while he was waiting for his jacket he got into a conversation with one of the ladies who had explained how the Jewish community, and she, had worked side by side with the black community during the civil rights movements of the '60s, and that this vote was the culmination of those personal and community efforts so many years ago. That this election for her was more than just a vote ... but a chance at history.

Mike looked at me and said, "Obama's going to win, and I didn't want to tell my grandchildren some day that I had an opportunity to vote for the first black president, but I missed my chance at history and voted for the other guy."

8 comments:

slithy-toves said...

Awww what a sweet story! Thank so much for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I came here via M.J. Rosenberg. This looks like a blog I'll like. I'll be back.

But as much as I like this story, it's been very chilly here in Cincinnati this week. I can't believe three little old ladies wouldn't be all bundled up.

Blue Ash Mom

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this wonderful story. Its being shared among many voters.

Anonymous said...

How racist can you guys possibly get? To vote for a guy for the sole reason that he is black is just as racist as not voting for him because he is black.

Racism in any form is ugly and no good can come of it.

B-chan said...

Voting for a candidate based upon his skin color is the act of a moron.

Anonymous said...

b-chan, we in the U.S. can vote for whomever we want to and for whatever reasons we choose.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous--

You must be a happy fellow, totally unacquainted with any racists if you think a sentimental vote for Obama based on the historic symbolism of the moment is as racist as one can get. It's not racist--it's someone who thinks that it's a hugely important moment in our history, when only 40 years ago people died to win black people the right to vote in the South.

I don't think it's a particularly good reason to vote for the man--I'll vote for him as the lesser of two evils (and because I've given up on protest voting for third party candidates.) But your hyperventilating is foolish.

Donald

Anonymous said...

According to Haaretz US citizens in Israel are voting 3 to 1 in favour of McCain. I hope their last state of residence is one in which Obama has an overwhelming lead.

I think it points out that the politics of fear overtakes American olim more easily than others, once they leave the protection of being inside an (almost- since 9/11) invincible superpower,they are afraid , very afraid.