Thursday, July 16, 2009
Today I left Governor Palin's hometown for good. (Well, for this particular trip). We have been coming and going, Wasilla being home base in between travels, but we have left home base and are rounding the bases now.
I arrived in Valdez a couple hours ago. Tomorrow we'll spend some time here, and I'll get a chance to see the pipeline, which is so important to Alaska, so important to America, and so important in the creation of the 2012 Draft Sarah Committee slogan: A New Energy for America. Afterwards, we will head to McCarthy, which promises to be rather interesting. McCarthy has been described to me as something similar to a 3rd world country: for the most part, no plumbing, no electricity, no cell phone service, no Internet, no nothing! Needless to say, it will drive me nuts, I'm sure. McCarthy is very remote. In fact, there are miles and miles of unpaved, gravel roads leading to it. I hear getting a flat tire on the way is to be expected, although I am not going to expect that!
With McCarthy's current state of affairs, it is rather clear that there will be no blog post tomorrow evening. If you can't tweet me or call me, and if I don't respond to text messages, you'll know why. Oh joy! But the scenery, I hear, is out of this world. That, I hope, will make it all worthwhile.
The plan is to spend tomorrow night in McCarthy (without phone or Internet: ARGGGGGGGHHH!), and then head up to Fairbanks, arriving sometime Saturday night. I believe I will be in Fairbanks for the duration of my trip. On the 21st, Lynette, April, and I will be on KJNP television to discuss the 2012 Draft Sarah Committee. On the 26th, unrelated to the Committee, we will join Governor Palin at her Governor's Picnic, and at the end of the event, she will turn the reins over to Sean Parnell, for he will be inaugurated as the new governor of Alaska. I imagine that will be bittersweet for Sarah.
Changing topics: Let me share something that happened to me just the other day. I met a Black woman, and she and I began a delightful conversation. She gave me some information about her work and talked to me a bit about how she came to live in Alaska. As I was preparing to leave, she questioned me about my shirt. I happened to be wearing a Team Sarah shirt. I explained to her a little about what Team Sarah is. She said, with mouth and eyes wide open, "You mean the Sarah that's here in Alaska?" I told her yes and shared my personal support of Sarah Palin and my work as the New York State Organizer and Media Director of the 2012 Draft Sarah Committee. She just stared at me for a while and then said, "Wow!" repeatedly--and I do mean repeatedly. She then said, "I'm...impressed!" But she didn't look impressed. I've been at this long enough to know why, so I said, "You don't look impressed; you look shocked." She said, "I mean, I've just never met anyone who looked like us who was on her team." By "on her team," she meant on her side, supporting her. Her absolute shock continued for some time, and I felt a bit unnerved as she continued to stare at me and voice real disbelief. When she stated...again...that she hadn't seen "one of us" in support of Sarah, I said, "Well, it's about time!" (I do have Black friends who support Governor Palin. As they are believers in God, family, the sanctity of human life, limited government, personal responsibility, and the future of America, of course they support her!) I went on to express my reasons for supporting the governor, and she said, "I believe in all those things, too." Yet although she didn't come right out and say it, I knew she didn't personally support the governor and found it strange that I did. I appreciate, however, the fact that she kept wishing me well in my efforts for Sarah. She went on to say that she believed people should indeed take a stand for whatever they believe in. So even though I could tell she thought it odd that a Black person would respect Governor Palin to the extent that I do, she was respectful that I was willing to make that unpopular stand.
I knew what her beef with Sarah is, although she didn't come out and say it--and it's the same beef I hear often and I deal with on my blog, but she wouldn't come out and say it, so I didn't come out and address it. Now, I'm just going to say it because I've had to deal with it, and although I left a couple of them, I had to delete some comments on this blog this week that got out of hand under the post, "Sarah Palin, Woman of Faith and Prayer." This is the issue: There are people out there who assume Governor Palin doesn't like Black people. This assumption is completely false. It makes me uncomfortable to even discuss it, but it has to be dealt with. Governor Palin will have to deal with it in some way at some point. It's a shame that she has to, but she will have to. And this is a battle that I will fight because I can, and it's one that I can help her win.
Look, I've spent a considerable amount of time in Sarah's hometown, spent time with her family and friends. I've walked the streets of the place that has influenced her, where she grew up and currently resides. I worshipped at the church where she gave her life to God and worshipped for years. I digested the culture of Wasilla. I've met the governor myself before. I've talked to her. She's shaken my hand. She's hugged me. I've talked to her husband and two of her kids. I know what I'm talking about here. Now, I didn't have to do any of these things to know that Sarah Palin is sincere, kind, and respectful--to all. I already knew in my spirit that she was the real deal--a woman of character, a woman of God. I had no doubts along these lines, but when you actually look someone in the eyes, you get a better sense of who they are. When you spend time where they spend time and see the people there--how they treat you, how they smile, how they reach out--it brings it home even more. I know Sarah is who she says she is. I know she sees people as people. I know she doesn't have people divided into groups and segments of society. I support her because what she stands for is right for all America, as I've said before. Yet the misconception continues to loom and continues to find me. Hey, I can take it, and I will take it. I will defend what I know to be true, and if that is my part in helping the governor in her future plans, then so be it. I'll serve in that capacity. I'll do that part.
I was somewhat uncomfortable as the woman, as sweet as she was, looked at me, saying, "Wow!" again and again. I gave her my blog card, and she said she would check it out. Perhaps after reading what I have to say, she will understand Governor Palin's heart--and get to know my heart in the process. Perhaps she will see why I was wearing a pro-Sarah shirt and why I am willing to defend her. Perhaps she, too, will join in at some point. She won't be the first to have a change of heart. Just a few weeks ago, a friend sent me this message after spending some time reading my blog: "Adrienne, what's the deal with Sarah Palin? You've got me curious." I was then able to share a little with her about the governor and her character. Look, that's all I want to do. If I can use the truth to motivate people to learn more on their own, wow, I'm honored and I've done something. Just this week another friend told me through email that as she read the Time article I posted here, the one with the governor on the cover, and saw the accompanying pictures--although she had not been a supporter of Governor Palin previously--something deep stirred within her. She couldn't really explain it because she couldn't really understand it herself, but she admitted that there "IS SOMETHING" about Sarah, something she had never been open to before. This friend and I hadn't communicated for months due to some disagreements regarding my blog, some of which we probably still have, but as she shared what took place within her, she wrote, "I owe you this much." She went on to say that she would now be praying for Sarah. What better response is there?! That is indeed a God-thing--and He used liberal Time magazine! Shhh...Don't tell 'em! LOL!
I want the best public servant for America we could possibly have, and I believe God has called Sarah to be that one. I will work on her behalf to help make it happen. So the bottom line is this: I want to do so much more, but if my support of Governor Palin touches even one life and gains her even one more supporter, I am most proud and humbled to have served.