A Trip To The Gas Station:No it’s not a Curious George book

Posted on 03/20/2008. Filed under: 2008 elections, barack obama |

This is the story a young man from Kentucky sent about his experience after Obama’s speech about race.

“Yesterday, as Barack was giving his speech I took a break at work so I could watch. I knew then that it was historic… I knew then that he was so much more than a politician… I knew then he was a visionary.

My day went on as usual, finishing work… I came home, changed clothes and went to workout. I wore, as I often do one of my five Obama t-shirts. So I finish working out and it was a tough workout. I was exhausted, sweaty, nasty and just wanted to go home, shower and relax. But I had to get gas and I am so glad I did.

I pull in and it was windy as could be and start pumping my gas. Then this huge blue truck with a guy in his forties, beard, rough looking actually gets out. I notice he’s staring at me and I’m thinking “ok this is it, I’m gonna get my ass beat right here for being a white, gay, Obama supporter from Kentucky.”

With a deep southern drawl, he say’s: “I like him.”

“Who? I think”

“The man’s got it… He’s smart… He’s real… (insert cursing, anti-Hillary remarks here) and he’s got my vote.”

“That great” I say, not only cause he’s supporting Barack but because it looks like my life has just been spared!!!

Then I asked him if he saw the speech.

“Yup, that’s why I’m voting for him… if he can change my mind and let me see the error of my ways… he can sure as hell change this country.”

“Wow” I’m thinking. Then I remember I had an extra Obama, “yes we can” bracelet in my pocket. I reach in, pull it out and toss it to him, telling him what it is and pointing to the one on my wrist. You would have thought I had just given him a million bucks. Then he does something I will never forget as long as I live. He goes to the back of his truck and slowly peels off a confederate flag bumper sticker, “the south will rise again” right next to a “sportsmen for Bush” bumper sticker and tosses it in the garbage.

The ironic thing about all of this is that both the worst experience in my life and one of the best experiences of my life happened at a gas station. As you may recall in 2006 I was stabbed in a restroom at a gas station because I was gay…

Barack Obama is our next great President, just ask the gun waving, redneck, that turned out to be one of the kindest people I’ve ever met, kinda guy who he’s voting for.

Pass this along as you wish and thanks for reading!!!
We can change the world
~ted”

Having been the victim of hate crimes not once but 3 or more times before we had a term for them, I understand this young man’s story and the hope that Obama’s speech gives to many as we see how everyday Americans respond to it. People can call it rhetoric and hype and get tired of hearing Obama and his supporters talk about hope but after the results of the past 12 or more years of divisive politics and politically and religiously endorsed bigotry, maybe hope is what this country needs.

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