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Election-flu: Are you Okay?

I don’t know about you all, but I’ve come down with the election-flu. I’ve identified the germinology: 1. 24 hour election coverage. I’ve got news about the Mccain-Obama situation coming at me from Twitter, Friend Feed, CNN, Rachel Maddow, Chris … Read More

By / November 1, 2008

I don’t know about you all, but I’ve come down with the election-flu.

I’ve identified the germinology:

1. 24 hour election coverage. I’ve got news about the Mccain-Obama situation coming at me from Twitter, Friend Feed, CNN, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, and Fox News (thanks to my multi-news channel that lets me watch all the major stations at the same time), the local Hawaii ten-page newspaper, Alternet updates on my Blackberry, a constant stream of posts on my Facebook page, huge Hawaii for Obama posters at the supermarket, and even Tenzin. Right this second, he is in the bathtub singing, "Barack Obama, Barack Obama, Barack Obama."

2. The growing hostility. I was just speaking in the bible belt, the midwest, the west coast, and the northeast. Among many moments of difficulty, an airline attendant looked at me with disdain when I asked for a cup of water, and then told me there wasn’t enough to give me. At a hotel in Tennessee, a family of five asked me huffily to show them to their room. I was made-up, dressed in my best suede boots and killer trench from Barneys, and striding to the elevator to give a talk at the local university.

In another southern state that will go unnamed, I asked why about a "No Firearms Allowed" sign on the front door of my hotel. I had no sooner gotten the words out, when a policeman stood up from his post in the lobby, put his hand on his gun, and asked the woman behind the desk if she was having a problem with me.

And then, last night when I got home, I heard what I can only describe as Commando-style yelling coming from across the yard. I heard "Go!" and "Aim!" and "Move out!" Was it a television? A white supremacist group doing an exercise for the day after the election? I wish I could say definitively that it was the former, but since I’ve been hearing a lot of bagpipe playing over yonder, and checking in with the SPLC on the staggering rise of white hate groups as shown in the map above, I’m not so sure.

SPLC HATE GROUP MAP

The truth is, the backlash on this necessary step forward is going to be monumental. I recently saw a documentary on the civil war. One historian said the North won the war, but the South won Reconstruction– blacks were emancipated, but they were also severely brutalized and disempowered shortly thereafter. I’m not saying it’s going to happen, I’m saying Obama supporters of all colors and creeds need to get ready. Now is the time for all of us to vote, and also prepare. 

Today, my friends, I am going to take some time off to rest and recover. I’m going to lie in bed with a book after I post this and try not to think about the economy. I am going to send messages of reassurance to all of the people in the world terrified of change that we will make it through if we can be open to what is rather than attached to what was, and I am going to check all of the locks on my doors and windows to make sure they are secure. 

I’m also going to try, try, try, to give my son my undivided attention for at least thirty minutes. And that includes being with him without thinking about the ten thousand things on my to-do list and what the world might look like at the end of next month. Then I’m going to make some chicken soup. 

And one more thing. The Dalai Lama says a guaranteed way to feel better is to think about others more than yourself. So I’m going to ask how you’re doing with all of this. How are you managing these final days to E-day?

Are you okay?

Cross posted from my blog at theroot.com

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