I took the bus downtown, with a few campaign flyers in my hand. A group of teenagers got on at the Thayer St. tunnel. One kid was talking to another, it was â€˜nigguzâ€™ this and â€˜nigguzâ€™ that. It wasnâ€™t even fighting words, this was just normal conversation. I said to him, â€œYoung man, thatâ€™s not a good word.â€? I handed him a flyer.
He didnâ€™t get angry, more like total incomprehension as to what I meant. He handed the flyer back and started talking to a girl in Spanish. A couple of high school girls saw this and immediately asked me for flyers. They are excited about this candidate. I hope their parents will vote for him.
I went to Obama HQ, on Westminster St. I am convinced that the bus stop is the place to be, although the campaign organizer says that approaching random people has been shown to be ineffective. But he let me take a sign and more flyers. Iâ€™m signed up to canvass on the weekend anyway, and Iâ€™ll stick to their plan.
This time I walked to Kennedy Plaza and held up my sign. I was really feeling the love. Contrary to all my previous experience distributing literature, I didnâ€™t need to chase anyone. People came up to me. Most of them were young, probably too young to vote, but I talked to a good number of people who were registered and determined to vote on March 4th.
A few boys yelled, â€œHillary!â€? I doubt that meant they were going to vote for her. I talked to a couple of women who were Hillary Clinton supporters and it was friendly enough. I donâ€™t have any trouble saying good things about Senator Clinton. Iâ€™m a feminist from way back. It even feels good to me to say, â€˜Senator Clintonâ€™. Iâ€™m proud of her. But Iâ€™ve listened to both candidates and Barack Obama is my choice. Sure beats the â€˜lesser of two evilsâ€™ voting Iâ€™ve done most of my life.
Before my hands froze totally solid I got into this conversation with some teenage girls, â€œWhyâ€™re you not voting for the white lady?â€?
“I think Barack Obamaâ€™s the better candidate,â€? I replied.
â€œHeâ€™ll just get shot if they elect him.â€? she said.
I told the girls that I had lived through the decade where so many of our leaders were assassinated, or shot and injured. I told them that all the candidates who get up in front of crowds are brave, but you have to fight for what you believe in.
These girls were born a generation after those days, but the murder of our leaders left scars on our country. A long period of disengagement and despair. Now thereâ€™s hope. And now, for the first time in my life, my vote really counts.