Reflections on Campaigning in Western Pennsylvania – 4th report

November 7, 2016

Hello Everyone:

Pounding the streets and knocking doors today in primarily black neighborhoods in Monessen PA. At least 25% of the homes and buildings are vacant, many burned out and crumbling, yet real people like you and me get up everyday and try to make a go of it.

Today was an emotional wringer.

40 year old black man. Good guy. Very articulate. His house is immaculate. “I work with a lot of white supremacists who keep talking about using their guns if Trump doesn’t win. They want to start a civil war in which skin color is the color of the uniforms. Yeah I am scared. I am so sick of their gay bashing. I don’t want to go to work but my family is counting on me.  Thanks for doing what you are doing.” I was so tired and brain-dead that I failed to ask him to spend the rest of the day calling all of his family and friends to vote tomorrow.

We knocked on many doors in a small housing project which is primarily black but has a significant number of whites. All appear to be relatively low income. The homes look solid and are probably an improvement over many of the extremely rundown apartments and homes in the neighborhood. There are a number of 4 to 8 year old black children playing and following us asking questions about what we are doing with the wide-eyed  innocence of childhood.

As I approached a door, a six year old girl behind me said: “______ doesn’t live there any more. There were gunshots and she left.” What is it like to live around this social pain as a small child?

Soon we had six young children wanting to talk about what we are doing. “We are working to make sure Donald Trump doesn’t win.” Their responses. “That’s good.” “He hates brown people.” “He is mean to women.” “He wants to send us back to Africa. I don’t want to go.” “He is a poop head.” “He talks bad in front of kids.” Out of the mouths of babes comes wisdom.

We gave each of them our campaign literature and reminded them that someday they can vote.  Take this home and tell your parents to vote.  As we walked on, tears came to my eyes thinking about how these young black children face continued bigotry and injustice.

Fighting my own stereotypes.  47 and 54 year old white guys.  They look like they are struggling to make ends meet. Trump supporters?  WRONG.“We’re voting for Hillary because Trump is a racist.  We don’t need him.  We need more good jobs around here but he only cares about himself.” They are fully supportive of my campaign to toss Trump in the dumpster.  One commented that it would ruin a good dumpster so perhaps we could stuff him under the dumpster. Of course we are being figurative here.

137 doors today.  Our peak effort.  TOMORROW THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND US WILL RIDE HOME WINNERS. THIS IS OUR TIME. THIS IS OUR COUNTRY AND WE WILL BUILD A BETTER FUTURE FOR EVERYONE IN OUR WORLD.

Love and hugs from 2,000 miles from home.

Mark

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