Andre Lee: we all came together...

Dateline: Fri 09 May 2008

The best part of working with the Obama campaign for the past few months has been meeting the scores of young people who are so turned on by the possible future.

These kids don't have a name yet -- Gen X or whatever -- but they have an identity. They are idealistic, highly motivated and patriotic. Steve Simpson on the Greg Garrison radio show this week used a fruit salad metaphor to describe what is happening. Older Americans, he said, like to think of the nation as racially blended, as if were were all run through the mixer and have come out the same, a big smoothie. But the kids are comfortable with the paradox of individual identity/shared unity: in their fruit salad, it's OK for a grape to be a grape, an apple an apple, a strawberry a strawberry. We do not all have to look and think and sound alike to make great fruit salad. This is the generation that "gets" Barack Obama and his inclusive trickle-down leadership style.

Somebody else described the experience in a way that is worth quoting. Andre Lee is a barely 30-something friend of my godson Tony Wells and his brother Brad Wells, also Obama guys. Andre, an artist, is one of the few black kids to graduate from Carmel High School. That must have been a trip.

Andre signed up to work for Obama in Indiana. This is what he said about getting out the vote on the Northside of Indy with volunteer coordinators John Lilienkamp and Judy Goldblatt and others.

"I was very impressed to see so many people of all kinds of backgrounds and ages working for this campaign at the Broad Ripple Headquarters. Young, older, poor, affluent, White, Black, Latino, and Asian, all of us ready to do more than just vote for a better future, we were ready to work, sweat, and fight for it. For a moment in time, it was a glimpse of a better America, one that my grandchildren might experience, one where the color of someone's skin will be as irrelevant as the color of someone's eyes today. So, no matter what happens from this here on out, (I've reaffirmed) ... my belief that just a few determined people in the right place at the right time, can make all the difference in the world."

Beautifully spoken.


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