A couple of weeks ago I was standing outside when a candidate for State representative visited. He was a sweaty young man named Evan Goyke and a lot of red flags went up. For a long time my state representatives and state senators have been African-American. I have voted for Congresswoman Gwen Moore, who is also African-American, a few times But in the 40 years I have have been voting I never considered the candidate’s race as a factor in deciding my vote. I voted based upon my beliefs starting with George McGovern the peace candidate for president. I probably voted for a third party in 72.
I have voted for centrist Democrats like Kerry and been disappointed. But it didn’t matter the color of their skin only what they believed. I have believed that white people do use skin color to decide their votes. It’s very difficult for African-Americans to be elected mayor in cities that are not at least 60% African-American. It’s very tough to win any city-wide office and so in creating local and state district voting areas,care has been taken to create areas that cluster the largest amount of African-American votes to ensure that African-Americans will have people representing us who look like us.
With that in mind I was apprehensive when I was approached by a white candidate looking for my vote for state rep. I was very pleased with what I found and was pleasantly surprised when one of his supporters, my neighbor, told me about a program I could use for the people I am assisting. After that experience I wrote about a woman Sandy Pasch who is running for State Representative in a district different from the one she is currently serving. I said that based upon her advocacy and effectiveness she should be elected once more, even though it may mean having one less African-American state rep. You see, I truly believed Dr. King’s statement about being judged by the content of our character. I shared his dream.
But this message is about the simple joy of riding a bike. As part of my discussion with my neighbor and Evan I learned about a program where people could get inexpensive bikes that had been repaired by teens. I had been impressed on my previous job by seeing some of the people in supported housing riding bikes. It seemed like fun, the kind of supplemental therapy a psychiatrist would never mention. So I mentioned it in my group on Friday and a couple of participants liked the idea. I like all of the things that doing something positive can accomplish. I want to see more people riding the bike trails, fishing along our rivers and enjoying the fresh air. And I want to recognize some of these people as I pass by. And maybe we’ll have a conversation and we won’t say a word about diagnosis or medication or symptoms. That is my dream. When I originally wrote this, I was thinking about the Thelonious Monk tune Monk’s Dream but maybe it can be about anyone’s positive dream.