Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Hatred Has Reached My Home

I live in King, NC. I had an experience while on vacation in Tennessee that was full of racism, hatred and obvious disdain for the 1st amendment. This experience changed me forever. I still remember pulling back into King and being happy. I was happy that I had made it home. I was happy that my little redneck town did not act like the racist bigots in Tennessee. I was happy to be home and happy to be living in King, NC.

I am not happy anymore.

My Mother's Experience:

In her own words.

Last night Joe (my dad) and I went out to eat and stopped at a stoplight in King. There was a pickup truck behind us. I have a small (about 4" by 4" Obama sticker on my car that has a picture of Obama with "Vote November 4th" superimposed over it. It was dark and the sticker would be hard to see BUT the folks in the pick-up saw it and decided to react badly. They started shouting at us in unison - there were three guys in the truck - "F##K YOU" and "NoBama" - fortunately we weren't stopped at the light too long and pulled away from them before they decided to get out of the truck and do something worse. This is why I'm sure we won't win in North Carolina.
Here I was, thinking I lived in a place of tolerance. I thought I lived in a place that believed in the freedom of expression. I thought I lived in a place that may have been a little "redneck," but accepted the views of others without allowing emotion to show true colors. Everything I have thought about my hometown has been shattered. The "silent hatred" I endured as a King resident has now been vocalized. I fear for my country.
I know there are many good people in King, NC. I know there are many good republicans and conservatives in King, NC. However, if we are to free our country of the polarization, the hatred and the bigoted racism, then we must teach our children not to fear change. Do not fear what you do not understand. Do not be angry with someone else's beliefs. Instead, embrace the ideology that we can all believe whatever we wish, without retribution. If we cannot do this, we cannot survive as a country.
I must now work, but I have hope that "hope and change" will shine through today.


Grey Fedora said...

Happy to report my experience was somewhat different today.

The trees are in their autumn splendor, and there is a chill in the air. I put my dog on her leash, and walked to the schoolhouse to cast my ballot.

This is the last election I will be able to vote in person, and I wanted to savor the bittersweet experience.

Washington State is implementing vote-by-mail. Over 95% of the electorate voted by mail this time. I am one of the few holdouts. There will be no polling places next time, everyone will mail their votes in.

I watched my wife fill out her absentee ballot last week. I can see the advantages. She had the non-partisan voter's guide on the kitchen table; reading all the down-ticket candidates statements and endorsements, studying the initiatives, bonds, and levies.

She probably made wiser choices than I did. I had to leave several local initiatives and tax levies blank because I had never heard of them before today. So I grudgingly admit it is a better way.

But I will miss my walk to the schoolhouse; the sanctity of the voting booth, having coffee and doughnuts afterwords, and seeing all my neighbors there.

suebeehonee said...

It is a sad commentary for these tough times. I would have thought the American people to have grown more and become more diverse in their beliefs. In watching the world news, the world is for Obama. A majority of the nations are watching with curiosity to see if America is going to prove itself more tolerant. I am sad to hear this happened to my mother and father who are both very good parents and who taught me tolerance in gender and race. The town of King was often known to challenge the KKK by preventing it from marching and if the KKK somehow side stepped and marched anyway, no one lined the streets to watch. I was surprised to hear that my parents experienced such hatred there.

RedWing said...

It is good to see that my mother was wrong about North Carolina. Change overtook us in the same way it overtook the country. The majority is tired of bigotry, tired of racism, and tired of rednecks dictating policy in our country.

Way to go North Carolina! I'm so proud of all of us!