Monday, 20 October 2008

Countdown to Barack: 16 Days

So my dad and I went to NE Philly this weekend and spent 2 days canvassing for Barack. I hope in some way we made a small impact — but if anything I certainly had an experience like none other. I saw a place that I would never have under any other circumstances and met people who I would probably never would have interacted with if I wasn’t knocking on their doors harassing them to vote for Obama. It certainly reminded me of my privilege and that California elitism I will probably never let go off. I’m sorry — I just can’t eat processed cheese.

Made up of row houses with tiny front yards that all looked the same (it reminded me of parts of London), this was the most diverse community I have ever seen. There were elderly white couples living next to twenty-somethings with cigarette strewn yards, next to black families with four kids, next to single Russian women who barely spoke English, next to Asian families with only children, next to husbands and wives who just moved from Pakistan, next to young Latino couples, next to grumpy single middle-aged guys who couldn’t be bothered, next to porch chain-smokers, next to women who didn’t believe in “baby killers,” next to a man with no teeth who just registered to vote for the first time at the age of 75 because of Barack Obama. If anyplace is worthy of the melting pot cliché, it’s Northeast Philadelphia. Pretty fucking amazing.

So my dad and I made quite a team braving the first days of actual winter cold with our little packets and Obama pins. And then, if we weren’t feeling patriotic enough, we went into central Philly and took a tour of where the good old US of A started. I saw that Declaration of Independence and that Liberty Bell and the first place congress ever met. God Bless America, gosh darn it. Then I went to an Irish pub, but whatever.

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