Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Few Americans Speaking For Themselves...

A student of mine pointed me toward this Al Jazeera English piece on an aspect of our elections. Have you seen it? It doesn't much matter that it's Al Jazeera (in terms of any presumed bias), since none of it is commentary or punditry. It's just a piece that allows some of our Heartland citizens to speak for themselves on the topic of Barack Obama. It's pretty clear these folks are speaking in their own words, and that they really are impassioned.




Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey David, I haven't watched the video because the PC I'm on doesn't have any sound drivers installed (yè, in this day and age), but as a South African, I really hope Obama wins. McCain seems a bit too shifty (in my completely uninformed opinion), and America needs the New Guard, not the Old. :-)

6:17 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

Hi Dave,

You know, it's funny. Even though I put the video up there I don't mind that you haven't watched it, especially as you're coming from outside of the US. In brief, it's a collection of people at a rally saying racist things, and saying things about Obama that have absolutely no basis in fact. It's not the best representation of America.

I don't put it up to make fun of them, or to attack them either. That's not what I feel when I hear them. What I feel is saddened... for them.

6:48 PM  
Blogger Stephe ^@@^ said...

My thoughts are that I don't ever think there will be a day when my country lives up to its reputation. What a sad video indeed.

My fellow Americans will always listen to whatever sounds right to them rather than searching for the truth with their own eyes, rather than putting their own brains to work reading and running down facts for themselves. They will always be lazy and do what's easy--taking everyone and everything at face value. They will blindly follow the generational rules and beliefs set in place by families and icons for years rather than question a better way.

They will always need to use racial slurs to fight their misplaced feelings of inferiority and raise themselves on pedestals above other people, or merely to prove a stupid point. They will always put their own words in God's mouth, and think you can't tell the difference. They will always claim to be God-like while exhibiting the very behavior a good person doesn't use. They will always let fear talk them into treating other people like animals.

They will always forget the lessons they've learned in the past, and repeat the same mistakes over and over again (selective amnesia?). They will always talk a good game, but then sit back and wait for someone else to solve the problem. They will always enable other people's bad behavior. They will always think only other folks exactly like themselves can be trusted. (Any person on that video would have let Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy date their daughter without a background check. I'd put money on that.)

It is inconceivable to me that we have so much media at our disposal, so many resources, so much freedom, yet not have the common sense to be free and happy and absent of hate. There's no magic formula, you just make up your mind to be a decent human being and DO it.

And we're just the tip of that 'berg--check out the Middle East. "We cannot live so long as they live." GAH. Please.

3:07 AM  
Blogger Corby Kennard said...

Oh, I have some comments - but I won't pollute your blog any more than having these worthless ignorant morons speak their "minds" already has.

3:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, I actually thought it was pro-Obama! :-( Well well well, I guess some leopards never change their spots, huh? It really P's me off, being a white South African, that Caucasians are always the idiots who think they have the best opinions but are too stupid to realize that they probably don't know what they're talking about.

4:37 AM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

Should I put a warning on the post mentioning that it's not pro-Obama sentiment? Hmm... I was kinda into the shock effect, especially as that's how I experienced it when I first viewed it. It was - in a way different than anything I've seen on the networks recently - a personal reminder that some people out there unreasonably FEAR the electoral outcome that I so wish for.

Part of what's so striking about it for me is that I don't want Obama to win because I want to harm these people. I want him to win because I believe it will be better for the country, for the world, and, yes, even for those people at that Palin rally.

1:09 PM  
Blogger Dirk said...

That one guy talking about 'if it walks like duck and talks like a duck...that's Obama' made me think of the bit in Monty Python and the Holy Grail where the peasants are getting ready to burn the lady for being a witch.

ARTHUR: A duck.
CROWD: Oooh.
BEDEMIR: Exactly! So, logically...,
VILLAGER #1: If... she.. weighs the same as a duck, she's made of wood.
BEDEMIR: And therefore--?
VILLAGER #1: A witch!
CROWD: A witch!

Or a 'terrorist' in this case.

1:52 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

Ah, yes, always good to have Monty Python to reference. Much wisdom there. I think a rental is in order. I could use a little comedy...

5:46 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

I know it's hardly that much comfort when faced with such blunt ignorance and fear, but this is how elections always seem to go. For a lighter look at the many smears and fears of the past (such as a CT newspaper alleging that a vote for Thomas Jefferson would mean "murder, robbery, rape, adultery and incest will openly be taught and practiced") check out this article in the Washington Post: /wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10 /12/AR2008101201966.html

Once every four years, everybody's worst fears and greatest hopes get pinned upon one person as we elect a new (generally) president - this year things are bad, but I think if we keep striving to look at things with humor and good grace, as well as a lot of patience and determination, things will work out. And if they don't, well...there's always Monty Python DVDs.

8:51 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

P.S. To see the article just delete the spaces/breaks in the link. It's a fun read - hope you enjoy it!

8:52 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...


Fun article. I'll do a post that links to it. Thanks,


5:30 PM  
Blogger Stephe ^@@^ said...

Well, okay. A Python party it is. :)

5:31 AM  

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