Friday, October 31, 2008


Look, we live in Georgia, okay? People love them some John McCain here, and go out of their way to let Obama supporters know it. With a LOT of gigantic yard signs. And bumper stickers, too. And they tend to say a lot of ridiculous things about Barack Obama, obviously within earshot of their kids, because these little pint-sized, tart-mouthed Republicans have been climbing on the school bus and strutting into the classrooms, saying all kinds of foul things to black children—mine included. Just yesterday, my 9-year-old tells me, a kid in her class told her he “hopes Obama gets assassinated.”

I wish he was just engaging in some 9-year-old silliness and that his words were not the reflection of the views of his parents. But something tells me the ‘rents are probably sitting around the kitchen table, saying all kinds of foul things in front of their kids and letting the feelings their words ratchet up go unchecked. Don’t we have the responsibility to arm our children with thoughtful, intelligent, age-appropriate information so that they can learn how to parse ideas and express themselves in meaningful ways? I mean, anything less means we’re falling down on our jobs.

Luckily, my fourth grader, Mari, is quick witted—she’s got skills. She simply dismissed her classmate as an idiot and told him he should prepare himself to call Obama “Mr. President” come next week. (*I dab at my eyes, sniff, and smile proudly*) My nephews Miles and Cole recently had their own glorious moment on the school bus:

6th grade Republican girl: Why does your family support Obama, since he takes from the rich and gives to the poor?

My 4th grade nephew, Miles: That’s not true. But if it were, would that be a problem?

Republican girl: You should have a problem with it—you’re rich. How many poor people have a pool in their backyard?

Miles: We’re not rich—we’re middle class. And the rich are in a better position to help the poor.

Republican girl: Well, Obama won’t be a good president for the country.

Miles: It was a Republican president who caused the country to be poor and led us to war in Iraq.

Republican girl (obviously flustered): Yeah? Well Obama’s ears are so big that he could be an elephant and become a Republican.

Miles: Well McCain’s cheeks are so puffy that he doesn’t even need his private jet—he could just fly himself.

Cole, Miles’s 6-year-old brother, who couldn’t resist getting in on the action: “Look up in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, no—it’s the same McCain!”

Mark my words on this one: Mari, Miles and Cole, and my other daughter, Lila, equally brilliant, are going to be runnin’ thangs one of these days—maybe even the United States of America.

Today is the last day that early voters can pull the lever in Georgia, as it is in many other states that allow early voting. No matter whose corner you’re in, no matter what party you support, no matter which candidate you prefer, please go vote. If not today, then most certainly on Nov. 4th. It’s your right. It’s your duty. It’s for our beautiful babies.

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  1. You're absolutely right that these children are only spitting out what they've heard come out of their parents mouths. It makes me think of South Pacific and the song about bigotry, "You have to be carefully taught." Unfortunately, these nasty little Republican children are being "carefully taught" by their nasty Republican parents.

  2. That was a great post. Your children are learning to deal well with ignorant comments.

  3. Yes, even the babes are getting in on the act! Hilarious. I don't see too many McCain signs in the parts of Atlanta that I frequent. Farthest point Noth for me is Downtown on most days. Anyway, we'll either being jumping for joy or crying our eyes out on Wednesday.

    BTW- I am working the polls in Sandy Springs on Tuesday for the election. It should be interesting.

  4. God love them. Your kids are very witty.


  5. Thankfully, here in the land of "northern Virginia" most of us are hardcore OBAMA MAMAS! There are a few "McCainies" milling about, but we just largely ignore them :-) LOL.

    Sounds like your kids are not only smart, but very whitty! It will serve them well!

    Great post. Let's keep our fingers crossed for Obama on Tuesday! Woo-hoo!

  6. Today is the last day for early voting here, in TX, as well. It will take intelligence and wit, like your daughter displays, to combat the verbal assaults from ignorant notions of misinformed people after this election season. I pray for Obama's safety and for America as a whole.

  7. your kids sound HILARIOUS!

    but i agree, it is the parent's responsibility to temper their conversations when their children are around. unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be happening enough. i see it with my students (middle school). they speak and ain't grown because their parents no longer how boundaries around what is "grown folks business." many people seem to have blurred the line with their children and it's causing a huge problem, espically in schools.

  8. I see the dirty south is still dirty! Obama has my vote, but I must say, I'm worried about the safety of him and his family.

  9. This was so cute! I am dealing with a bit of drama myself... I try to stay away from political posts on my own blog but my sister is all over it! Check out the post she wrote about my daughter and what is going on at her school...

  10. That's so crazy. Doesn't surprise me at all, but its still sad.

    This was a brilliant post, you have some brilliant kids in your circle and you are obviously a brilliant educator!

    Luckily, I live in one of the most liberal parts of the Bay Area so we are majority Obama supporters, thus no Obama hate speech.

  11. I don't think a bigger sign is going to convince me to vote for McCain and his puppet.

    I'm ready for Obama. If McCain buys the election I am retreating to Canada. My mom said she's moving to Jamaica. *We* as the poor citizens of the country are trying very hard to improve our lives. It will not happen if McCain is in office. We will lose a lot. My children who have special education needs will suffer. I will suffer as a college student.

    I have heard ignorant people say they want Obama assassinated. That makes me sad. Haven't we moved passed that? Aren't there bigger issues in this world? Shouldn't we be talking about that little war in Iraq or the one in Afghanistan? Shouldn't we be working on our economy?

    I can't wait for this election to be over. I really can't. My husband and I are going to drink a bottle of champagne if he's elected!

  12. You should be so proud of your kids and nephews. They're a cabinet in the making. It shows that you are doing your job in educating them and arming them with meaningful ammo to back up their candidate unlike some other folks....

  13. It amazes me how insightful children are--they really are paying attention, and it gives me hope that no matter how much the adults screw things up, we have some young folks who can put things right (and keep others' ignorance in check!)

  14. It's really sad that McCain supporters have gotten so threatened that they have to be downright mean. Not only that, they are okay with letting their kids be mean to others. WTF happened to family values, God and and all the other things these so-called "reall Americans" are supposed to stand for?

  15. Out of the mouths of babes. It is so sad that parents believe it is "right" to spew hate. What happened to being able to support your candidate using the issues? It is clear the true learning is going on in your family. I only wish that everyone would follow your example.

  16. YES, WE DID!!!

    What an amazing night and day in history! I am so PROUD to be an American today.

  17. I like to think of where I live as metro Atlanta, but really it's the middle of McCain-ville. I'm in Athens, but across the county line in rural Jackson County, which means that all of my neighbors are white McCain supporters. My nieces have told me about some of the crap spewing out of the mouths of their majority white, Republican classmates, and I'm glad they are just as quick-witted as your daughter and nephews. They kindly put them in their places. Wonder what they've all got to say today? I know this much — only two of my neighbors (one from Canada and an older couple who has been great friends with us for a while) will look me in the eye today.

    God Bless America!

  18. Denene,

    I'm just catching up on your blog after weeks of handling our Obama business! (Yes We Did!).

    Your blog is brilliant! I just love it. Keep up the amazing work!

    Hilary Beard


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