About Me

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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Election Map Provided by the Associated Press
Oklahoma has the distinction of being the reddest state in this last election. Not only did Oklahoma give John McCain's campaign its largest margin of victory, we were the only state in the nation where President-elect Barack Obama lost every single country. That may change but it may take some time. We have often been a "lag state" when it comes to matters of politics and social justice.

The GOP is presently a regional party, not a national one. You might notice that it's presence is limited to Appalachia, the Deep South, the Plains States, and some of the Inter-Mountain West. The Democratic Party has all of New England, the Upper Midwest, the Mid-Atlantic, some of the border South, the rest of the Inter-Mountain West, and all the West Coast. Oklahoma is at the crossroads of the Deep South and the Plains State. The Democrats are starting to make enroads into the Plains and South. GOP demographics are heavily weighed on the side of the elderly, rural Americans, and blue collar Whites, not exactly an expanding demographics. Democrats are gaining among the young, the college educated, and they are gaining in the suburbs. Democrats have gained Latino voters due to the GOP's radical anti-Latino agenda. Oklahoma is looking more and more like yesterday's America, and not a model for the rest of the country. We will see how long the Republicans are able to maintain the redoubt they have in Oklahoma.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Early Voting Ancedote

My pastor told me a story that came from the time he did his early voting. He and his wife went to vote on Friday. They stood in line with a elderly black woman who had to walk with the aid of a cane. They were in line for an hour and a half before they could cast their ballots.

My pastor, of course, talked with this woman at lengt while in line. After she finally was able to cast her ballot, he asked her what this moment, being able to vote for an African-American candidate, meant to her.

She said, "Well, preacher, the way I see it is that Rosa Parks sat down. . .

so that Martin Luther King, Jr. could walk. . .

so that Barack Obama could run. . .

so that our children can fly."

Saturday, November 01, 2008

First Rule of Rhetoric: Know Who Your Audience Is

from Talking Points Memo. Com

A reader in TPM sent in this story which shows a great deal about the McCain organization:
Interesting anecdote and probably a testament to ground organization. I have no idea what this means. Friday night (which happens to be the start of our Sabbath) my wife answered the phone to hear a man stating he was from the McCain-Palin campaign. He asked who she was supporting. She replied that we will vote for Obama. He replied with "but he's a f-----g n---er!". Before I get to my wife's response I'll first have to say that I understand desperation and I also understand that this pitch may actually work for a few people. I also understand that there are people who are whack-jobs phone-banking for both sides. But here are some facts:
My wife and I are Black. Citing the fact that Obama is a f----g n---er as a way to sway our vote may not be a great idea. My wife and I live in Maryland... Baltimore, MD.... One of the most African American areas of Baltimore Maryland. How on earth did our phone numbers get on to a McCain volunteers phone bank list of potential voters to be calling at this stage in the game? We have never received a call from the Obama campaign.

Just weird. Not sure what to make of it... but that's not a good sign of organization. If it did anything it made us want to donate more. BTW, the rest of the call went downhill from there. My wife prayed for forgiveness after the call.

Cat and I Early Voted Today

Early voting line at the Oklahoma County Election Board on Tuesday. Photograph from The Oklahoman web site.

Cat and I went to vote early today at the Oklahoma County Election Board. We had heard that the average voting time on Friday, the first day of early voting in Oklahoma, was about 3 hours. So we were prepared for a long wait.

Still it was amazing and wonderful to see the line to the polling place stretch out some 6 or 7 blocks out from the Election Board and down the street in front of the site. We ended up waiting 4 hours to vote, but was well worth it.

Over 5000 people voted on Friday when the polls were open from 8-6. Today, they closed at 1pm, but I expect the total voting will approach yesterday's total.

The crowd seemed to be overwhelmingly pro-Obama and Democratic Party. I did not see one person wearning campaign material for McCain or any Republican. I saw many wearing buttons and shirts supporting Obama and other Democrats, including moi.

I wore my "Super Obama" t-shirt that I got from StylinOnline.com.

It caused a great reaction, as you might imagine. I had several people ask to take my picture. There was even a camera crew of students from OU doing a documentary about the presidential race who saw the shirt and asked for an interview.

We had a great time, and it did not seem like it took 4 hours, till we got finished and realized that our legs were very sore from standing around on the parking lot surface for so long. Still it was a small price to pay to be able to take part in history!