2008 In Search of Those Hard Working White People
posted by May 8 at 16:40 PMon
Hello from Medford, Oregon, way down south near the border with California, where the view from the Holiday Inn Express is as follows:
I’m here to attend a Hillary Clinton town hall meeting this evening at the Jackson County Fairgrounds—a place where, a friend familiar with rural Oregon tells me, I am sure to find many of those “hard-working, white Americans” that Clinton is staying in the race to represent.
Check back later to see how I do and what the white people tell me, but for now I bring you the hard working white man who I sat next to on the plane from Seattle:
That’s David Kirby, 44, the pastor at United Family Fellowship in Klamath Falls, Oregon, just a short drive from Medford. He’s not a Democrat so, unfortunately, I don’t think he falls into the class of hard working white people that Clinton is courting. However, he did have some interesting things to say about Obama.
Kirby is one of those fascinating people who both know that Obama spent 20 years at a certain Chicago church and firmly believe that Obama is a secret Muslim.
“All the evidence points to that he is,” Kirby told me. “I don’t trust him.”
The evidence Kirby has received comes in the form of emails from “watch dog groups” that he listens to, as well as chatter among his friends. He’s heard it all—Obama not saying the pledge of allegiance, Obama’s pastor engaging in hate speech, Obama being a Muslim—and he believes it all.
Granted, he also thinks Hillary Clinton is “crooked as a snake” and he wishes Mike Huckabee had won the Republican contest, but Kirby is nevertheless quite worried about a potential Obama presidency: “Having a Muslim for a president—if he’s true to his faith he’s going to be pushing the Muslim faith.”
I asked Kirby why he thinks Obama went to church for 20 years if he’s in fact Muslim.
“I have no idea,” he replied. “A lot of people have political reasons behind everything they do.”
And why would Obama lie about his alleged Muslim faith?
“If people of your faith had attacked New York City, and that is still fresh in Americans’ minds, wouldn’t you lie about it?”
What would it take to convince him that Obama is a Christian?
“If I heard him say Jesus Christ is Lord it would cause me to listen to him.”
I told Kirby that Obama has, in fact, said he believes in Jesus. Repeatedly.
“Oh, really,” he replied. “I didn’t know that. I hadn’t heard that.”
Kirby gets most of his news from email and the Internet, he told me, and then he instructed me that even if Obama does believe in Jesus, “believing in Jesus and believing that He is Lord are two different things.”
Kirby is from Albertville, Alabama, and he said he used to be filled with prejudice but that Jesus has filled his heart with love. “I don’t even know you, man, but I love you,” he told me.
After I finish asking him questions about the presidential race he starts asking me about my religion. He finds out I’m Jewish. He wants to know if I believe in God. The snack cart interrupts.
I figure it’s dangerous to go down this road, so I decline to mention that airplanes are actually one of the few places where God and I have words.
He asks if I believe in the Book of Revelations. I tell him no, and, gosh, I’m really tired, should probably take a nap.
After the plane lands he tells me he’s going to pray for me as he’s getting into bed tonight. He also tells me that he hopes this image—him talking to God about me in bed—is with me while I’m in bed tonight.