Obama Mama in the Making

My mom rocks.

She’s got these friends and relatives who continue to send her those forwarded anti-Barack Obama e-mails, the ones that question his patriotism and charge that he doesn’t salute the flag, doesn’t believe in God, refuses to sing the National Anthem, used the Koran instead of the Bible when he was being sworn in as a U.S. senator... and on and on. They are all falsehoods, distorted versions of reality put in play by McCain supporters, bigots, or just plain ignorant people.

She has sent them to me in the past, as she knows I’m a Barack backer, and each time I get angry. So last week she sent me the latest one, this time about how Barack supposedly got rid of the American flag in favor of his campaign logo on the side of his plane when his campaign recently refurbished it. “What American running for president would remove the symbol of his country?” the e-mail asked.

The true story (because there’s always a true story) is that his campaign just refurbished what was a North American Airlines plane, and in doing so removed from the tail of the plane the airline’s logo -- which looks like a waving American flag. There is, however, still an American flag on Barack’s plane, a view of which is of course not seen in the slanderous e-mail. Also not seen in the e-mail is a shot of McCain’s plane, which has (gasp!) no visible American flag on it, either.

When I opened this e-mail, I fumed, as I usually do. She no longer forwards them on to anyone but me, thanks to her passionate daughter who gave her a piece of her mind the time she DID forward one of them on to others. :) And she understands how to go on snopes.com to check an e-mail claim’s validity, which she did before she sent it to me. Still, I was fuming. So I called her, and we chatted. “Mom, what pisses me off is that this is racism. I hate knowing we have such racists in the family.” I think she was taken aback by that statement, and challenged me on it. “I’m still not sure what I think of Obama either,” she said, “and that has nothing to do with his color.”

I asked her if she really thought these e-mails would be circulating if the Democratic presidential nominee was a white Methodist, and if both of his parents had been Christian. She said she was sure the attacks go both ways, so I asked her if she had received one single such e-mail slandering John McCain. She hadn’t, and neither have I.

I told her that I was fine with people not supporting Obama because they don’t like his stance on foreign policy, or they don’t believe he can help solve the energy crisis. I said I wanted people to make up their minds about the man based on his political leanings, his track record in the Senate, and his campaign promises, NOT whether or not he wears the flag on his lapel, or has it emblazoned on his plane. I talked so much and so passionately that I thought she finally agreed with me to get me to calm down and hang up.

Then, a few hours later, I got an e-mail from her. It was a forwarded copy of the one she’d just sent to the relative who had sent her the e-mail about the plane. It read:

“Dear Xxxx and Xxxxx,
I’m not sure about Obama as yet, but the slander against him that has circulated since his campaign started has really had nothing to do with his political agenda. I wonder why I haven’t had any negative info on McCain. Could it be Obama hasn’t stooped to that level of smear tactics? If everyone had taken the time to read the snopes article, they would have seen the answers about the plane and all the other accusations that have been falsely spread. As I said, I haven’t decided as yet, but I choose to vote on facts rather than whether someone has a flag on their lapel or plane or by some advocate of the devil’s interpretation of the book of Revelation. This truly is not meant to offend you, but instead to have you check all FACTS before sending things on. You are very special to me and I just want us all to check things carefully before we send them on. Love always, Pat”

I’m not lying when I tell you my eyes welled up with tears when I read it. I wanted to kiss her through the computer. Not because she stuck up for the candidate I like so much, but because she truly listened to me, respected me enough to give it some real thought, and had the guts to go out on a limb, and risk offending her own kin, to set the record straight.

I tell ya, my mom rocks. She’s an Obama Mama, whether she knows it or not!


Heather said...


drgngirl said...

I updated my profile today and decided to look for people that might have similiar interests, books, etc in my age group to see what they write about. I am glad I stumbled upon yours. I am happy for you and your mother that she was able to realize that all of these negatives we are seeing in the smear emails have nothing to do with what kind of president Obama would make for the U.S. Go Obama!!

Kim said...

That Mom Rydzy has real chutzpah! Bravo!