I am frequently amazed and amused by my social interaction with other cultures. Ok, that’s just the P.C. way of saying white folks. Recently, I was out and about doing grown up errands and generally having a very “me” day in my usual casual jeans and t-shirt gear. This day, my t-shirt happened to have a picture of reggae superstar Bob Marley on it. No biggie, right? Wrong!

The brunette, green-eyed cashier at the drug store stared at the shirt and said “Oh, I have so many great memories of him. I play “Get Up, Stand Up” almost every day!” Gee, thanks for sharing that. I’m sure we can all breathe a sigh of relief knowing that white people also want us to stand up for our rights. I’ll take that back to the weekly black meeting.

The sandy blonde family guy sitting next to me at the car wash says, “If only we could all see the world like he did, right? Don’t you just love that idea? That’s what Barack’s all about, don’t you think?” Yes, I totally think that Barack Obama’s platform is all about living the Rasta way. Jah love!

The unnaturally tanned ticket taker at the movie theater leans in, and in a solemn whisper says, “It’s so true, isn’t it?” Yes, yes, “it” is oh so true. What the hell was he talking about?

The bartender at the CPK where I was enjoying a much deserved cocktail, placed my order before me and with a sad, nostalgic look says, “I went to Jamaica once. It totally changed my life. Made me wonder why I’m still a working stiff when I could be out in the world, you know? Doesn’t he make you feel like you can do anything?” Uh, yeah. Totally. I mean, just the other day I was balancing my checkbook and thinking, “What would Bob do?”

I know Bob Marley is a giant in the world of music. His message, his beliefs and his passion for unity and harmony among all of us is definitely something to celebrate. But, what was it about the very image of him that made these strangers feel such an instant kinship with me? If I had been rocking, say, a Public Enemyt-shirt, would I have been taken into their confidence like that? Fascinating!

So, I made a mental note to self. This t-shirt goes in the back of my drawer, only to be worn on special occasions. Say I need “the man” to do me a solid and spot me that loan. I’m bringing Bob. When I need to sneak a churro into the movies, I’m bringing Bob. If I get caught I can just hum a few bars of “Redemption Song” and I’m certain that will get me off the hook.

But, I think I’ll especially make it a part of my ensemble on November 4TH.

Maybe as I come of out the voting booth, I’ll run into a couple of McCain sympathizers and a flood of “love see no color” compassion will fill their hearts and sway a vote or two towards Obama.

Hey, it could happen.

Ellene Miles has worked as an entertainment publicist for more than 6 years. Her collections of rants are featured exclusively on UTC for the good of the people.

Email This Post Email This Post