A tall, young good lookin’ black man walks out of the house trailer and up to my truck. The dreadlocked Miss Lashonda is sittin’ in my passenger seat and says “Is Kristina here?” “Nah” he says. “She’s gone”. Lashonda responds “You registered to vote?” “Naw, I don’t vote”. “HUH!!!” she says. “MAN! Of all of the years, THIS is the year!” “This is the year! Are you kidding me me? You ain’t gonna vote?” “Naw, man, they gonna do what they wanna do anyway”. “EXACTLY! They gonna do what they wanna do until you vote them out!”. “Naw, man, I don’t vote.” They go around and around for about another 3 minutes before Lashonda is fed up and says “let’s go, that’s just ignorance! I know Kritsina and I’m gonna get on her about that man she married”. Disgusted, we head to the next house on the list. All in all, after about 3 hours of work we pulled into 19 driveways, knocked on as many doors and registered 5 new voters. It was especially exciting when we stopped at an ex-POW’s house and he seemed generally glad that we came. Disabled in Vietnam, he told us that his main beef with the current administration was the war. He was a genuine hero. I could tell. The feeling I got was that he was scarred from his days serving the country. He had, at my count, 2 teeth on each side of his face. As Lashonda went down the list of questions he responded in kind, with a slight lisp, the correct answers. I watched truth ooze from his eyes. Whatever he said, we knew to believe it. We asked if he was registered and sure enough he wasn’t but wanted to be. She pulled out the registration form and in 3 minutes or less he was signing it and we were starting the old blue Dodge pick-up back up. That one felt good! I got a big ‘ol dose of America this morning! Only once were we shoo-ed away. Mr. Arnold, who had at one time or another since 2000 voted for a Democrat (which is why he was on our list of “sporatic Dems”), tells us “You can ask them questions but I can tell you right now that I’m a Republican and will always be a Republican!” “OK, Thanks, have a nice day” we say lockstep and hurry off. I was thinking to myself “This guy is a racist”. It seemed pretty obvious to me, but who knows. They ARE out there, I DO know that and its really sad to me that 40 years after Martin Luther King that this disease still exists. It really is a sickness you know? Only, unlike health threatening diseases like TB and AIDS, this one is spread by ignorance.
I gotta a call from Edna last Monday, “I hear you want to volunteer for Obama?” “HUH!? I never said that, but I can”. “When you wanna come in?” “Uhhhhhh…I can do Friday night from 6 to 9”. I hear her yell “Friday night 6 to 9?!!”, “Yeah! Tell him to come on!” So I did and after a short visit with C-Pain he hooked me up with Miss Lashonda right here in Bunn. It really was almost as satisfying as writing a good song. Imagine helping someone figger out that they were part of something really big and I mean REALLY big...a great democracy where everyone has a voice. And it was worth every penny of the $4 a gallon gas that I burned to see it on their faces.