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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Been There, Done That

It shouldn't bother me and I shouldn't post this but some minor group of nit-wit wingtards have continually been posting on this blog (and maybe others) that I'm some sort of anti-African American racist because I did not vote for and opposed Barack Obama.

I have actually had people ask me if I was not comfortable voting for a Black man for office.

It bothers me most because I have stood against bigotry my entire life. But that I've already crossed the threshold of having not only voted for a Black man for Governor of California three times but that I voted for a Black man for President way before many of Barack Obama's supporters were old enough to vote or even were born.

It was a lonely spring of 1988 when I threw my support behind Jesse Jackson's campaign for President. I remember going to that Arleta garage and likely being the only Democrat there voting for the civil rights leader in his historic second candidacy. During the 88 campaign, there was a time where there was a very real chance that Jesse would capture the nomination. Had that happened I would have been like many other 24 year olds were last night, dancing in the streets.

Now I don't think Jesse could have likely beat George H.W. Bush that November of 1988. And 20 years later my politics as well as my personal opinion of Jesse Jackson changed dramatically. But our politics were the same then and I saw him as a transformational leader.

That constellation will come again for me and I have no idea - and nor do I care - if that person will be male or female, Black or white, gay or straight, old or young. And by then hopefully America won't either.

I believe such because even though Barack Obama was not my political cup of team, I am enormously proud that so many of my countrymen were able to do what many of us did in 1988.

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Blogger Petra Fried in the City said:

You're a man of integrity, Michael.

It's mostly Don Quackers talking to his multiple personalities that are attacking you.

Hang tough.

November 05, 2008 2:30 PM  

Blogger Anonymous said:

I don't believe for a moment that you are racist. You shouldn't have had to justify that to the one or two sickos who attack you unfairly.

I believe, however, that you let an excessive fear of Obama's politics stand in the way of supporting a man whose election has given hope to so many, restore dignity to the White House, and improve overnight our image abroad.

This election was about so much more than whether we elected a Republican or Democrat. When you see people happily standing in line for hours to vote, and dancing in the streets when the results were announced, you know that something transformational is happening.

I doubt that there would have been that outpouring of joy if McCain had been elected.

In the same sense the running for president is a contest for the middle, so is being president. In elections like this you can ignore a good portion of what the candidates say in order to get elected. The realities of the office, especially if part of the goal is to carve out a good place in history for yourself, demands moderation.

One thing is for certain, whatever happens next it couldn't end up any worse than what has happened over the last 8 years.

November 05, 2008 2:33 PM  

Blogger Unknown said:

higby you don't need to address that lonely old fools comments, he is the racist, look how he attacked the shaw family and you should support for them.nobody here thinks your a racist you have intergity and are as fair as possible.

November 05, 2008 2:50 PM  

Blogger Unknown said:

I know MS, MS is a friend of mine, and MS is no racist!

November 05, 2008 2:53 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

2:33 I really, really do appreciate your thoughtfulness and sentiment but I have to with all respect disagree with you on some points.

I don't fear Obama's policies as much as I disagree with them and have concern about the potential outcomes of them. Some of things that went on around him did unnerve me but with the campaign over and a clearer head and as I watch his decisions over the next several days and weeks I will have a better read there.

However I don't see McCain or Obama with the emotion many have. I may have been quite excited about working for and voting for Bill Clinton as I thought he might be "my JFK." As time went on I learned that Bill was no JFK (whether Lloyd Bentsen said so or not) but that even JFK was no JFK.

In America, we elect Presidents, Vice Presidents, Senators, Congresspeople, etc. We don't elect kings, queens, dictators, il dulces, fuhrers, grandfathers of the people, heroes of the proleteriat, etc. These folks are men and women just like the rest of them.

Therefore I don't believe in revering our leaders or expressing hope or change or whatever even McCain and Sarah were selling to their Kool-Aid drinkers. What gets me excited at best is that here is someone who might be able to do the least amount of messing things up in the government.

I don't look to Obama, McCain, Villaraigosa, the Clintons, Jose Huizar, Arnold, the Bushies, et al to be heroes. I am hiring them to do a job.

My real heroes are the teachers who stick with students that others say can't or won't learn. The cops who go above and beyond to help communities take them back from crooks. The parents who get involved in their schools while working a full time job. The brilliant young minds who travel the world helping poor countries empower themselves. The smart entrepreneurs who create jobs by starting great businesses.

For the most part, politicians aren't on that list. Call it cynicism or call it the reality of my experience.

I stopped worshiping politicians a long time ago.

November 05, 2008 3:41 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

Thank you to Petra and James and Joe and anonymous for your kind words.

November 05, 2008 3:42 PM  

Blogger Anonymous said:

Changing the subject just a bit, I'm sure we all noticed how McCain accepted his defeat with style and class.

Now compare that to the way Hillary and her supporters handled her defeat and it will give you an understanding of why she wasn't the VP choice, even though I'm not sure she wanted it.

November 05, 2008 4:11 PM  

Blogger Gava Joe said:

Damn! Aint that the truth 4:11's hit that one outta the park. I daresay Bill Clinton has yet to recover any decorum (as if he ever had any)..

November 05, 2008 5:19 PM  

Blogger Anonymous said:

Conservative Robert Novak writes in the Chicago Sun-Times that the vote was no mandate for Obama. And that's probably true. The Democrats will have to word with Republicans to accomplish anything.

But this is the same Robert Novak who said in 2004 that George Bush had a mandate from the voters despite losing the popular vote.

Former Reagan speechwriter Jeffrey Hart says Obama is the new Reagan -- a great communicator.

November 05, 2008 6:07 PM  

Blogger J.Scott said:

I'm glad to hear you are not a racist- I was pretty sure you weren't but I thought maybe you wrote something I didn't read and that's what the dorks were talking about. Luv ya.

November 06, 2008 8:07 AM  

Blogger Alex Walker said:

It's not fair to say someone is a racist for not supporting Obama just like it's not fair to say someone is a sexist if they didn't support Sarah Palin.

I am a progressive and I do think part of the problem with this thing that calls itself "conservatism" in the United States is that big league organized "conservatism" has been a haven for diehard bigots from the fight over school desegregation to all the over-the-top garbage about "illegal Aliens" today.

Nevertheless, it is very important to understand the difference between the whack jobs that have effectively taken over the Republican Party in recent years and the average Republican voter, especially at the local level in a One-Party Democratic town like Los Angeles. I mean, for example, if you really care about the effect of all the screw-ups at King/Drew Hospital in Watts on the quality of life for a lot of people of color, then you have plenty of reason NOT to support Democrats.

November 06, 2008 8:41 PM  

Blogger Cartoons said:

J Scott,
Yes, I always believe what commenters say in blogs, too. Believe, and then investigate.

November 07, 2008 6:34 PM  

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