Illustration of Derek Powazek by Adam Ellis

White Folks for Obama

One of the many things I love about my dear wife is her patronage of the arts. After too many years living in cities, I’ve got my defenses up when we’re out on the street. But Heather loves artists and will usually buy from someone selling their work.

Over a year ago, we were walking down Venice Beach in LA. Both sides of the street were lined with artists and importers. All the same crap you can buy at the border was there, along with the local painters and weirdos.

Heather stopped short. “Check that out,” she said. At our feet was an amazing series of paintings of Barack Obama. It was the first time I’d seen any Obama-related art.

This is April of 2007, just a couple months after Obama announced his campaign for the presidency, when it looked a quixotic long shot. “If only,” I said.

Obama Art by Tony B. Conscious

We bought the painting from artist Tony B. Conscious. As he took our cash, he shouted out to the surrounding crowd: “We got a coupla white folks for Obama over here!” Heather and I blushed.

We put the painting in the window of our living room. Our own little political/artistic statement.

Fast-forward sixteen months and here we are. Today Obama became the official nominee of his party at the DNC in Denver. I truly believe that in a few months we’ll be calling him Mister President.

How he went from long shot to nominee in a year and a half is a subject I’ll leave to people smarter than I. But I can say this: There seem to be a whole lot of white folks for Obama. And that, more than anything else, gives me hope for my stupid country.


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Hi, I’m Derek. I make awesome community-centric web stuff. I sometimes post things to Flickr and Twitter. I’m mostly harmless. More.





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