Wednesday, November 12, 2008

FBO: 'More Talk about the Election'

Oklahoma got a knock on the 'will you vote for a black man?' storyline this week, but it's worth noting how the US is way ahead of the supposedly more progressive places in Western Europe. The New York Times -- doggedly chasing the race issue -- followed up the story with a revealing knock on the south as a whole yesterday, then added a more fascinating comparison with Europe today.

I'm reminded of my days in a fraternity in college -- a not-altogether worthless experiment, I should add (impromptu football games any day of the week are hard to knock) -- and of one of the more embarrassing moments that sticks out from the experience: rush.

In my first year as a 'brother,' I sat out most of the goings-on of the next year's ugly 'rush' process, where incoming Freshman were judged by shoes, haircuts and sporting successes -- or likelihood of scoring at various functions. It was ugly, and I knew it.

Everyone admitted, though, that rush there was one incoming 18-year-old who clearly stood out above all the others. The sharpest, most engaging of the several hundred pouring through the doors -- no one doubted the fact. But our rush-team crew refused to even ask him back for the second phase of rush. He was black. Not sure whatever happened with him -- but our house sure could have used him.

You'd think when you're faced with such situations, you'd rise -- like Al Pacino's spout offs in the blind-guy movie against Ivy League hypocrits. I didn't. Perhaps because I was still a bit unsure of myself, having just joined a house of intimidating older guys who had hazed us all the previous year. But I did say things to friends in-house at the time. Too bad I didn't stand up and say more.

Here's for change.


FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

3 comments:

Hiser Odt, Alan said...

It was a strange election night in OK this year. As I collected my Obama sign from the front yard and put out my American (previously..merican) flag, it was slightly tainted with.... will someone tear down my flag overnight? Knowing that OK went to the Red this election again, and in overwhelming fashion, I was worried about redneck vandalism. That said, it was still nearly my proudest moment as an AAAmerican. Not just the ousting of a party that has stepped on civil liberties to the point of humor, but a fundamental shift in thinking. A new mode, and intelligent president, finally a shock to the system!

To support your story/thinking Rob, there is James Lambeth. Who, upon giving OK one more try in the late 90's, moved to Bath Eng. Not only because he wanted to, but because he felt like he had to to get away from the pathetic racist attitudes that still exist here. We all miss him dearly, yet are envious of him for getting out. OK is a great place to live; low cost of living, lots of opportunity, new growth, like never before, hell even an NBA team.....it's a great place to live if you are white. (Norman is an exception, thats one of the reasons we live here, decently liberal) But from what I understand, OK finished last in the Blue Votes. Mildly embarrassing really. TX beat us again on something, even more embarrassing. Maybe through the national change, we will catch up like we always do, about 4 years later.....Then Obama will win with a complete landslide for his second term in 2012!

THE FBO said...

I don't mean to knock Oklahoma, but am sorry to hear that about James -- didn't know it. Perhaps next time Obama will campaign some in Oklahoma too...

WASKA_THE_ROCKER said...

He set up an office in Tulsa, and for the first time I can remember the number of Democrat signs in yards WAY outnumbered the Republican signs throughout the area (rich neighborhoods, working class, white, black, etc.). Of course I had a few people pull up beside me an flip me off. I was sure I didn't offend with my driving, then they speed past me and I see McCain and NObama stickers and I figure it's because they don't like my Obama stickers. Sure, I think the same thing about them when I see their stickers, but I wouldn't flip them off for it. At least not to their faces. I'm a bit shocked by the outcome, like every other reasonable person.

Must have been those clever and convincing NObama stickers that swayed the state. Get it? NObama! Like "No" and "Obama" combined! Fucking brilliant!