What’s the word?

Local Obama volunteer Ralph Walker called this morning, like he’s done so many times throughout this long presidential campaign, asking me “what’s the word?”

“Historical. Change. Amazing,” I uttered.

“I’ve heard that. Tell me something new.”

I said: “Hope in a difficult time.”

Walker, who lives in Covina but is a fixture in Monrovia both on his KGEM talk show and at the Obama for President table during the Monrovia Family Festival on Friday nights, started talking about Obama’s army. The dedicated volunteers who mobilized on the ground for the candidate was an efficient, unstoppable force. As Obama said during his acceptance speech, they did a phenomenal job.

“It’ll be interesting to me to see how Obama will be tapping into that electric current … it is a standing army. Now that they’ve achieved their goal, they are waiting for what’s next,” he said.

Walker, who is African American, has been an Obama volunteer for 18 months. He began by putting an item in this newspaper (and on this blog) about a meeting in “the little green shack” in Monrovia’s Library Park. Six people showed up that first Sunday and the multi-racial and multi-ethnic group of Obama volunteers grew from there.

Since then, they’ve registered more than 2,000 people to vote. Walker said he spent endless hours phone banking and knocking on doors. Some of the responses he received included “Why don’t you go back to Africa,” he said.

“In my younger days, I would’ve punched someone in the mouth. But not this time,” he said. Instead, he endured racist remarks with the hope that this day would come. And on Tuesday, it did. America elected a black man as president.

“I’m still overwhelmed by it. I am still like pinch me,” he said. “What can we equate this to? Jackie Robinson? This is different. This isn’t baseball. This is the president of the United States.”

While it still sinks in for the Valley’s African Americans and other people of color, and white people as well, the question for the Obama volunteers is what should they do next?

Ralph will be back at his Obama table Friday night at the Monrovia festival. “I guess I just want to look at the faces,” he said.

This entry was posted in environment, land use, Pasadena by Steve Scauzillo. Bookmark the permalink.

About Steve Scauzillo

I love journalism. I've been working in journalism for 32 years. I love communicating and now, that includes writing about environment, transportation and the foothill/Puente Hills communities of Hacienda Heights, Rowland Heights, Walnut and Diamond Bar. I write a couple of columns, one on fridays in Opinion and the other, The Green Way, in the main news section. Send me ideas for stories. Or comments. I was opinion page editor for 12 years so I enjoy a good opinion now and then.

3 thoughts on “What’s the word?

  1. The only thing bigger than the bias the media had for Obama is your nose Scazullo. Yeah, isn’t it amazing that a half black man, raised by white grandparents and a white mom, who was educated in the Ivy League won a presidency when he ran against a war hero who was saddled with being in the same party as the most unpopular president in a generation. It also helps that people still feel guilty about stuff we had nothing to do with. What is historical or amazing is how little your sack is to take a stance.

  2. Well, I guess some people just can’t get over it. Only this persons passing into the netherword will change to crustiness of his soul. We have a chance to make this country a better place like the founding fathers created. Yet, we know they may have never envisioned this to have happened. It may have been beyond their understanding. But what Washington, Jefferson, Adams et al. Attempted to put together was something totally different from any type or form of government known to man at that time. We attempt to place ourselves on a Moral pedestal but yet support policies less than moral. But we strive to make ourselves more moral. But I digress. I am a member of the Obama campaign having never participated in a campaign ever. I was a typical tainted electorant. But what had gone on for past 8 yrs was too much to stand on the sidelines any longer. I felt the need to change this government, like our Declaration of Independence suggests. This is a movement to make this country better, like the founding fathers intended. We will continue this movement even after this election by volunteering to support organizations assisting the citizenry. Again this year we will be helping the Foothill Unity Center, Thanksgiving Food Drive for the needy this Saturday. If you want to help this nation to make it better come join us Saturday at the Arboretum.
    Do something rather than sit there pissing and moaning under an anonymous cover, ragging on the paper for simply reporting the news. Get up and do something constructive be a part of the solution not a part of the problem.

  3. Great article! I know Mr. Ralph Walker and if Barack Obama knew this man and all the other Obama supporters that worked, knocked, walked and too time for the cause of making change, he would say “Great Job”! Now, here’s what’s next….
    The momentum is on and we can’t stop. What is next Ralph??

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