Today I walked to 40 houses in my neighborhood for Million Doors for Peace, collecting signatures for a petition to Congress to end the war within one year. Yes, I know, troops should be pulled out now, but Code Pink made the organizing easy: it was just walking for one hour to every house within five minutes of my own. When I first moved here to Austin from Tokyo, it felt too small, flat and monoethnic, but in the past few months I’d been feeling better about living in this part of the US. Even though I finished my degree at UT, I was imagining living here long-term. Now I realize I was living in a graduate school bubble.
I walked to 40 houses but only three people would sign the petition, one of whom supported the war in Afghanistan. Only one person really bristled when I explained what I was doing, but another, an elderly white man, asked me: "Aren’t you Christian? Why do you love the Muslims so much? We’ll win the war in another 50 years, because by then all the Muslims will be Christian again or dead."
None of the three knew Iraqi deaths are in the seven digits.
Now while I write this, a musician in this cafe is praising Obama. He says, "For the first time in my life I’m excited to vote. Instead of the lesser of two evils, I like him, because he’s a compassionate, intelligent, thoughtful man."
Right. Who wants to continue the wars.