Tag Archives: race

Black Mother in Omaha: ‘Can This Be Real?’

Posted, 11:17 p.m. — One day after Americans chose Barack Obama — a black man — as their next president, Omaha resident and mother of two boys Deborah Bridgman — a black woman — said this: “Oh, my God.  Can this be real?”

Omahan Deb Bridgman says she feels that her vote influenced history.  BRAD DAVIS/The Ballot Box

Omahan Deb Bridgman says she feels that her vote influenced history. BRAD DAVIS/The Ballot Box

Bridgman, who before the election said Obama’s ascent would open the eyes of African-Americans to the possibilities in their lives, voted along with 52 percent of her fellow Omaha residents for Obama.

The Douglas County Election Commissioner on Wednesday said his office still was counting 9,000 absentee ballots, and would not declare a winner in Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District until possibly next week.

A majority of voters in Douglas County, which overlays the city of Omaha, voted for Obama, but residents of suburban Sapry County, which makes up a small, but not inconsequential, part of the 2nd District, chose John McCain.

The latest count showed Obama trailing McCain by 569 votes out of more than 250,000 cast.  Up for grabs is the Omaha area’s one electoral vote.

Whether or not Obama wins the 2nd District, Bridgman said her vote influenced history.

“It matters,” she said.

Before the election, Bridgman had purchased an Obama bumper sticker she affixed to her gray minivan.  It read: “African Americans for Obama.”

Wednesday, Bridgman took a Magic Marker to the sticker.

It now reads: “Americans for Obama.”

— BY BRAD DAVIS

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Young and Black in Omaha: ‘It’s Going to Change Everything’

OMAHA, 3:13 a.m. CDT – In a drab strip mall with a shuttered grocery store at one end and a check-cashing parlor at the other, Chris Bridgman walks into a storefront.  Door marked No. 5032.

Deborah and Chris Bridgman say Barack Obama would change everything.  BRAD DAVIS/The Ballot Box

Deborah and Chris Bridgman say Barack Obama would open new possibilities in their lives. BRAD DAVIS/The Ballot Box

It’s there that campaign volunteers – most of them black – make phone calls, write letters and organize canvassing campaigns to elect the first African-American president.

Bridgman, a 17-year-old student at Omaha’s predominantly black Benson High School, bounds into the office, finds the table full of Barack Obama paraphernalia, and promptly unravels a roll of Obama stickers.

“How many of these can I take?” he asks the campaign worker.

“Well how many do you want?” she asks.

Bridgman takes seven. They’re not just for him: Kids at his school – most of them also younger, black men – want to show their support for Obama.

Why is electing Obama so important to Bridgman?

“Because it will mean that we as African-Americans can do anything.” Continue reading

After the Parade, Tensions Return in York

Dancers at the York City Halloween Parade

Dancers at the York City Halloween Parade

YORK, PA, 9:30p.m.-After all the marching bands finished their songs, after every float went by, and Santa Claus waved at the people lining Market Street in York, Pennsylvania, the Sunday crowds quickly fled from the streets. Those remaining after this weekend celebration were fierce in their politics.

According to locals, empty storefronts began to appear in York a few months ago, thanks to the havoc wreaked by the initial waves of the subprime mortgage prices, and in front of one such store was Chris Kelley. Kelley is frustrated with politics as usual, and is voting for Bob Barr, the Libertarian candidate. He discussed “particular people” buying up property and not taking care of it. Listen to why he has given up on the Democrats and the Republicans below:

Continue reading