Obama in NC

This past Monday, I and thousands of others attended the “One-Stop Early Vote Rally” at the Dean Dome (Chapel Hill) with Barack Obama. The Dean Dome seats over 21,000 and I would say that almost 20,000 people were there. North Carolina Congressmen David Price and Mel Watt rallied the crowd, and Sam Perkins gave a short speech. Seeing Sam Perkins was a particularly nice surprise for me — I was also at the UNC vs. Wake Forest game in February 2007 when they honored the 1957 and 1982 championship teams, and that night I was able to see Jordan, Worthy, Perkins, Rosenbluth, Dean Smith, etc. in attendance for the ceremony. 

But anyway, standing behind Perkins in the audience were Ty Lawson and Danny Green (perhaps some other players, but it was hard to see from my seat…), and Sam made sure to call them out for trying to go pro instead of staying all four years. That got quite a response from the crowd of UNC fans, as you can imagine. If you haven’t seen them already, be sure to check out the pictures of Barack practicing with the team the next morning. Those of us who have lived in Chapel Hill for a while and those of us from North Carolina have…uh, a bit of an obsession about basketball. So, knowing that Barack plays basketball and, like me, also chose UNC to win the NCAA championship (I did call Memphis, though), that was pretty cool to see. 

But Sam has spent his post-NBA years traveling the world and helping those who are in need, and he described those experiences to us. He also explained that as a result of his years of service he is supporting Barack Obama, who he sees as having a similar mission of service. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, another athlete who is an activist, author, and humanitarian, is also a supporter of Barack Obama.

Barack gave a fine speech and not only talked about his visions for the entire country, but he also focused on local interests. People imply that he only talks in generalities or that he relies on goofy slogans that are superficial. That is not the candidate that I saw on Monday. He talked about issues that effect North Carolinians and he talked about bringing business back to small towns and improving the economy. He emphasized how important it is to reduce the cost of higher education and to raise salaries for educators. He talked about his upbringing and how it has inspired his love for this country. Most importantly, he emphasized the healing of racial and class divides. I will say, though, that he tried to address the divide in the Democratic party, and he said that no matter what happens, at least George Bush won’t be on the ticket this fall. Well, I realize that this issue is pretty difficult to address right now, but the party is incredibly divided, and tensions are only going to get worse, and resentment has already started to sink in pretty deeply. If you take a look at the debates online, the comments on CNN, for example, or the comments to this article in the Daily Tar Heel, it’s kind of hard, no matter what “side” you are on, not to get upset and angry at the vitriol. Granted, posting comments anonymously on a website is just an easy way to be a jerk, but Democrats have seemingly totally forgotten about McCain, and the complete focus is on Obama versus Clinton. That is my major concern at this point, and I am eager for our leaders to start addressing this as soon as possible, particularly with November being only six months away…

Obama at Dean Dome, Chapel Hill, April 28, 2008

Obama at Dean Dome, Chapel Hill, April 28, 2008

(photos by Josh)


~ by atomlattice on May 1, 2008.

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