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Monday, October 13, 2008

Dear Ignorant American

I have a McCain/Palin sign in my front room window.

A couple of weeks ago, I found a note stuck on my front gate:

Side one

Side two

The note reads:
Dear Ignorant American,

You only have the right to choose when you're informed.

Or unless you want four more years of war, high gas prices, no middle class and bad relations with other countries.

I don't know who left the note, although it appears it was written with a young feminine hand. The heart is also a clue as to the gender and age of the author. It's a guess, but probably a good one.

Last summer, the back window of my car was spray painted black and the Bush stickers on the window were gouged.

It's apparent that one or more of my neighbors are not happy with my political choices. I'm on pretty good terms with most folks on my street. Some are Obama supporters, some aren't. We usually don't discuss politics, mostly about things more in common. Neighbor stuff. So I have no idea who is behind the shenanigans.

I'm thinking about removing the sign from my window. I'm afraid one of my smarter neighbors might see it as a target for a handy rock.

It saddens me that there are petty people that feel they have to express their political feelings by vandalizing other people property or leaving insulting little notes. I'm sure that some idiots from my side have done similar.

Obviously, I don't condone such behavior from either side and will have nothing to do with anyone who acts in such a patently un-American manner



JosephMcG said...

Hi VW: I woke up this morning recalling what I experienced years ago when I put a vote Nixon sign up in the window of my room. I was seventeen years old, living in my mother's home. My room faced out on the main street.
My grandmother could hardly walk at that point. She limped up the stairs, came into my room, and said to me: "Boy, take that sign down. And don't ever bring anything like that into my home again."
I was shocked. But I took it down. And, from then on, I began
asking why my grandmother and mother were such faithful Democrats.
My grandmother. at the age of fourteen, was living in Louisiana, and was sold to a Black Baptist minister and became his wife. That's all I know about her early years.
I know that my mother left Texas because she was afraid she would end up killing her white female supervisor in Houston. All her life she was very much caught up in local Democratic concerns and worked at the polls each election.
Anyway, thank you for giving me the opportunity to look back at my life in divided America.
I am very sorry that some folks went out of their way to ridicule you.

Mizu Sugimura said...

Vandalizing property - including political signs - is not acceptable. It falls into the same category as name calling and other forms of disrespect. I am sorry to hear that someone in your neighborhood may be intolerant and have permitted themselves to cross the line.

In a larger community context - a great deal of these feeling and resulting behavior can be placed on one extreme of a scale measuring all those behavioral options we have as human beings.

Moving any distance one way or another up and down this scale creates a more welcoming climate for more dramatic options in that general direction.

Aside from fear directly attributable to actions by the Japanese military (including the bombing of Pearl Harbor) damning stereotypes and anti-Asian sponsored legislation in the United States along the West Coast for example, played a role in the evacuation and internment of my family during World War II.

Your decision to state your beliefs that you don't condone such behavior for either side and will not have anything to do with such behavior is one that assists our fellow citizens by example.

A fearful citizenry whipped up by years of partisanship (on many sides as I don't believe there are always only two) which can only see as far as the next win, does not believe they have the safety required and luxury of extra time required to sit down and sort out what issues may be demanded of them.

What you often see is a reaction. As with the experience of my parents and grandparents, how do you work with or dialogue with a reaction?
They were at complete loss at the time to find a immediate and sufficient answer.

In some ways their experience (at the hands of their fellow citizens and U.S. government) parallels your own. Years later - after a sufficient time to start healing, some were able to go forth and seek what they needed to work out this unfinished business.

In that way, I hope that should it be your choice, that you will be able to do so as well.

Stephanie Frieze said...

VW, I am sorry for the vandalism to your McCain/Palin sign. One of the beauties of this country is our freedom of speech and our right to vote for whomever we wish. Joseph and Mizu have spoken eloquently to this as well as to the fact that we ought to all be free of slurs and prejudice. The campaign will soon be over and we can only pray that people’s anger and fears be put to rest whatever the outcome.

Lorraine Hart said...

I'm in total agreement about vandalism and everyone's right to display free-choice and opinion.

As Crosby, Stills and Nash sang...
Teach your children well.

Erica Rose said...

The vandalism of your car is not only beyond ridiculous it is a criminal act!

It's a true shame that the maturity level of some people is so low they feel they have to physically deface someone else's personal property in order to make a point.

What happened to having an intelligent conversation with someone when you don't agree with them on a topic rather than resorting to blatant stupidity? And for it to be done by your neighbors at that!

It's absurd. I'm sorry this is happening to you.

LuckyCharm said...

I am so sorry this happened to you. I have an Obama sign in my front window, and when my house alarm went off a few days ago, my first thought was, "Somebody threw a rock through my window."

One of my fellow Obama supporters had painted an anti-Bush message on her car's rear window. As she drove down I-5 to work, that window suddenly shattered. Somebody shot it out.

Emotions are high in this election, and I daresay our preferred candidates would often be appalled at what their supporters do in their name.

Please accept my apologies on behalf of all Obama/Biden supporters. Most of us, just like most McCain/Palin supporters, are just regular, good people trying to do what they feel is best for America. There are plenty of patriots on both sides.


Stephanie Frieze said...

Cheryl, your story about your friend's car is frightening!

Lorraine Hart said...

Well-said Cheryl.

The only political sign in our window is a "Save Darfur" poster...a foreign-policy issue that did not get enough discussion.