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For the last few weeks Obama for America volunteers in Virginia have been making "persuasion calls."  That is, we call registered voters and ask if they know who they will be supporting in the 2012 Presidential election?  Most of my fellow volunteers dislike this task because we usually call strong Democrats and past supporters of the president which are easy calls to make.  Persuasion calls are harder because we don't know if they are Democrat, Independent or Republican.  I like them because they are a little more challenging and they have given me an optimistic view for 2012.  Usually responses are in one of three categories: For Obama, Undecided (WTH?), and NOT for Obama.  In over 600 calls I have only had one person say "Newt".  Not one for Romney, Paul, Santorum or even just Republican.  And the NOT for Obama are usually hostile, mean and rude but quick and to the point.  Nothing I can't handle and laugh off.  Hell, if I was Republican I might be too embarrassed to admit I was voting for one of those clowns too.  But last night was almost too much for me...

On our sheet we have the name, age and address so I knew this man was 87 years old.  The call started off well as he replied that, yes, he knew who he would be supporting.  He was even quite proud and and said "I'll be happy to tell you who I am supporting."  And then he said words I could not believe, "You can bet your ass it sure as hell won't be that damn ape in the White House, that's for sure.  So you have yourself a good night!"
I campaigned in the very red state of Georgia in 2008 for Obama so I am well aware of the racism that exists in this world and all that is directed at our president.  And I have been told horrible things in the past.  But I just simply could not believe this man would say something like this to a total stranger on the phone.  After I hung up I was speechless, which if you know me, you know that does not happen often.  My co-volunteers were aware that something had happened.  We usually share silly things people say.  After a minute I found myself crying, really crying.  It's something I have done since childhood.  When I am really angry to the point of being furious and I can't take that anger out on the person causing it, I cry.  I wanted to call him back and cuss him out.  I wanted to stop making persuasion calls.  But what I finally decided to do is get back to work.  Because of that vile, ignorant, racist man I am going to work even harder now.  I will make more phone calls, and register more voters, and recruit even more volunteers.  And I will know that I did everything I could to re-elect President Obama in 2012!  I know that that man has become the worst thing he can imagine-a minority in this country.  There are fewer and fewer of them each day.  So thank you to the mean old man for helping me become more focused, more determined, and more dedicated to this campaign.  And if you are interested in volunteering and making a difference too, please visit BarackObama.com.

Originally posted to gailwmcdonald on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 10:52 AM PST.

Also republished by I Vote for Democrats.

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