to whom shall i dedicate this vote?

I just got an interesting note from a fellow named Bob Krzewinski suggesting that I “dedicate” my Obama vote to someone in my past – perhaps a racist with whom I’d had some contact. He then went on to share the following:

For me, my Obama vote is in honor of “Al”, the racist father of a friend of mine who has since died. An example of Al’s class act was years ago when I stayed over his place one night in North Carolina. He started bragging how he went to the local post office to buy some stamps, and he told the postal clerk he did not want a certain commemorative stamp that had a “n—-r” on it, and how all the good old boys had a chuckle over that. My fun was sending him a thank you note for the stay over, making sure the stamp on it was the commemorative one with a black man (I forget who it was) on it that he did not want to buy.

Al, where ever you are, this Obama vote is for you!

At first, I couldn’t think of anyone, but then I remembered back 15 years ago, when I was living in Atlanta and working at Kinko’s. I had the honor on a few occasions of waiting on former Georgia Governor, and avowed segregationist Lester Maddox. I don’t know that I’d go so far as to say that I’m dedicating my vote to Maddox, who died in 2003, but it might give me a little bit of pleasure to think of him as I pull the lever and elect our first black President… For all of my complaining, this really is a pretty incredible country that we live in. It’s amazing to me that within 40-some years we’ve gone from segregation to this election. We’ve still got a hell of a long way to go, but it’s encouraging that we’ve gotten this far. I never thought that I’d see it in my lifetime.

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7 Comments

  1. Steven Bishop
    Posted November 4, 2008 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    I dedicate my vote to the woman in the last post who refused to give candy to kids who looked like they might be Obama supporters.

  2. Posted November 4, 2008 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    I dedicated my Obama vote to my granddad — the KKK member. This one’s for you, Pops!

  3. Posted November 4, 2008 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Whatever happened to voting your hopes, not your fears?

    I’m dedicating my vote to the people I love, rather than using it to flip the electoral bird at somebody.

    (Really, I figure I’m going to get all the political schaedenfreude I need at about 9pm tonight, when we’re toasting the ruins of the RNC and the beginning of the end of the 40-year-long right-wing revolution.)

  4. Posted November 4, 2008 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Actually, I believe my granddad voted his fears with every KKK event he attended. I dread to think of what his actions may have instigated in people’s lives. I voted in awe and gratitude that change for me was somehow possible, despite where I came from. I trembled with joy.

  5. mark
    Posted November 4, 2008 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Maybe I wasn’t clear, Murph. I wasn’t saying that I was voting “because of” Lester Maddox. That, I agree, probably wouldn’t be the best motivation. Like you, I think that I am voting for the right – positive – reasons. I’m voting for science, reality, education, alternative energy, sound food policy, sane, thoughtful foreign policy, and all the rest of it. Like most Americans today, I’m voting for hope. At this same time, however, I think that Bob has a point. All of us have, during our lives, had interactions with folks that, for whatever reason, wouldn’t want to see Barack Obama in the White House. I think it’s worthwhile to consider that today. Maybe “dedication” was too strong a word, but you know what I mean. Obama’s win today (hopefully) signifies a big shift away from those small-minded ideas and a recognition that we can, and have to, do better.

  6. publius
    Posted November 4, 2008 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    I dedicated my vote for McCain to Obama’s illegal alien Aunt living in Southie.

  7. Chelsea
    Posted November 5, 2008 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Dora Lewis:
    http://americancivilwar.com/women/Womens_Suffrage/Dora_Lewis.html

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