Sunday, November 30, 2008

The stakes are high

When I was in college, my cousin started dabbling in drugs. He ended up getting stopped by the police and sent to an out-patient rehab center.

After word got out, I can remember one of my friends in our small town telling me, "He'll be alright. He's been raised by good parents. He'll come out of it."

Sure enough, he did. He's married with three children, runs his dad's farm, and is an upstanding citizen maintaining the good Morrison name in our small town.

Unfortunately, the stakes are much higher in the inner city. Once a kid messes up, it seems that it is much harder to recover. A police record is much harder to break for a kid in poverty and a kid from certain neighborhoods. The surroundings seem to pull children down and keep them there. One mistake sends them into a downward spiral. It is because of these odds that it makes me breathe a sigh of relief when I watch a student consciously make a decision and put forth great effort to do something different.

I thought of that as I talked to Kia* (not her real name) the other day.

Kia is now in the 8th grade, but she was in our After-School Academy for about four years--first as a student, then as a volunteer. She has a mom who strongly encouraged academics and did everything she could to keep her children involved in productive activities...even if it meant spending extra money.

Kia started out as any young elementary student. She was smart. She was interested. She followed her mom's rules. But as Kia got older, she became influenced by her surroundings. Her attitude made her more difficult and her school work started suffering. Not only was she being influenced, but began influencing others as well. The teen girl attitudes seemed to take on a ripple effect throughout the After-School Academy.

She and her family moved several months ago. I stayed in touch with the family, but didn't talk to Kia much except to say hi and chat with her a little here and there.

The other night I went over to see the family, but everyone was gone but Kia. As we sat and talked, she eagerly began telling me how she had made a conscious decision to change her attitude and begin focusing on her education. She proudly told me that she had all A's and could see now why her younger sister hated getting B's. She had decided she needed to begin working on everything now so that she could be prepared for college.

As I quizzed her about how this all took place, she simply explained, "I just decided."

I know it was more than *just* a decision. I know that her mom's perseverance probably had a lot to do with it. I would guess that being a part of the community we had created in the After-School Academy had a part as well. But I also believe that them moving away also played a major part.

Either way, I'm glad she made such a conscious and intentional decision. It was really good to listen to her. It was so great to see such a genuine smile on her face and hear her chuckle about her "old self" as if she were a grown woman looking back on her teen years. Her conversation seemed lighter...friendlier. It seemed like the attitude she used to have was a burden and had been taken off of her shoulders.

The stakes are high for kids in the inner city. We need to provide as much support, guidance, and encouragement alongside the parents. We need to make sure there are plenty of opportunities available for kids like Kia to make that decision.

"It takes a village," is more than a cliche and the kids need to know there are many of us there to walk beside them long term.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Life lessons from Wyshina Harris

by: Colleen McCain Nelson

03:05 PM CST on Thursday, November 20, 2008

When I wandered into the after-school academy at Turner Courts last year, I was enveloped by enthusiasm.

There, in some of the sorriest public housing this city had to offer, kids were clamoring for chess lessons. They were creating a blog on the computer, learning photography, reading to one another.

These elementary school students in navy-and-white uniforms were soaking up everything their teachers could tell them about the big world beyond a South Dallas neighborhood where the main road literally is a dead end.

Wyshina Harris, a single mom who spent six years in the Air Force, was making it all happen. As the education outreach manager for the academy, she commanded the room with a quiet presence that demanded respect.

I told Ms. Harris that I'd like to write about the after-school program, this bright spot on Bexar Street. Perhaps the attention would bolster the academy's fundraising efforts, I noted as I surveyed the modest classrooms.

Ms. Harris, who lived for four years at Turner Courts, was friendly but firm.

"This is not some charity," she told me.

Parents and kids alike at Turner Courts are seeking opportunities – not handouts, she added. And a volunteer's gift of time and energy is more valuable than cash.

"Don't come in and give a bike at Christmas and expect these kids' lives to be OK," Ms. Harris said. "Help them with their homework for a year."

I explained those sentiments in an essay about Ms. Harris and her colleague, Sylvia Baylor. Headlined "Lessons in success," the column reflected some of what I'd learned from these two mothers determined to do right by the kids of Turner Courts.

The article was one of the first in this newspaper's continuing series focused on putting neglected southern Dallas neighborhoods on equal footing with the rest of the city. And as I've continued to write about Dallas' north-south disparity, I've carried Ms. Harris' words with me.

While her neighborhood and some of the challenges Ms. Harris faced were much different from what many of us are accustomed to, her priorities – her children, her church, her job – were familiar to folks everywhere. I learned from Ms. Harris that our lives weren't all that different.

Last weekend, I was only half-listening to a 10 p.m. TV news report about a Dallas woman fatally shot in her car. The story had all the makings of the horrific but somewhat distant crime that compels many people to channel-surf right by.

Too often, we do a quick assessment of bad news: Not my neighborhood. Not my friends or family. Not my problem.

But, I learned, this was not just "a Dallas woman" who was murdered. This was Wyshina.

The news report offered the basic who, what, where information: Ms. Harris had been driving to her job as assistant manager of a liquor store. (She had been laid off from the academy in May when Central Dallas Ministries restructured its after-school program.) She had kissed her kids goodbye, hopped in her car and was shot in the neck as she drove down Scyene Road.

But the story couldn't explain how Ms. Harris had coached 6-year-old Raquasha to shake my hand, how she had singled out students and praised their good deeds, how she'd taught me more than I bargained for. Ms. Harris, like many of the people who get only a passing mention in the crime blotter, wasn't just the anonymous victim of an unsolved murder.

Ms. Harris had an unshakable belief that both she and the kids she worked with were going places. "People here are trying to move up, move out," she told me. "We try to teach the kids: This is not it. Turner Courts is not it."

She had moved up and out of Turner Courts – to a home in Pleasant Grove.

Now, 12-year-old Jazmine and 7-year-old Jordan will say goodbye to their mother at tomorrow's funeral. She was 32.

Wyshina Harris' story should not have ended this way. But if there is any solace to be found, it is that those who knew this determined woman will continue to benefit from her lessons in success.

Colleen McCain Nelson is a Dallas Morning News editorial writer. This column represents her personal opinion; her e-mail address is

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Funeral Arrangements for Wyshina Harris

From 2:00-10:00 at
Golden Gate Funeral Home
4155 S. R.L. Thornton Frwy (I-35) @ Ann Arbor
Dallas, TX

1:00 at Southern Hills Church of Christ
6969 C F Hawn Freeway
Dallas, TX 75217
Church Office: 214-398-2576

If you would like to donate money (in lieu of flowers…or in addition to flowers) to secure a fund for her two children, Jordan and Jazmine, please make checks payable to Central Dallas Ministries with "Wyshina Harris" in the memo line.

You can send the checks to Central Dallas Ministries, Attn: Jenny Fogel, P.O. Box 710385, Dallas, TX 75371. Or, if you would rather donate online, go to and click on Wyshina Harris in the drop down menu. (Note: if "Wyshina Harris" hasn't been added yet, click on Education and then email me to let me know the amount you donated so that they can make sure your funds are designated correctly).

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I can't quit

As I reflect on my friend Wyshina's death, I think about how much less stressful my life would have been had I stayed in Ozark county in rural Missouri. It probably wouldn't have been filled with as much death, tragedy, and worries that my life has now.

When things like this happen, a fleeting thought of quitting enters my mind. I have had people tell me I should move on...that I can do "more good" if I utilize my doctoral degree for something working at a university full time or doing some other, larger job. Others have tried to convince me that I am not doing the good I think I am and could do it more effectively if I did more to fulfill myself. Thank goodness I have learned and continue to realize that the people who make those suggestions have their own issues and insecurities about who they are and what they are or aren't doing.

Wyshina's death makes my head throb as I think of the people I have lost over the last few years--some due to senseless murder, some being caught up in the drug culture, some because of a lack of healthcare...all of them societal issues that can and need to be fixed.

I think about how these deaths have affected me...I think about how many people's stories I carry in my head and how they burden my heart...yet I think about how anyone walking by me would never know about these things. It makes me think about other people around me...people who probably also have many things going on in their life that the average, outside person would never know about them. I know many of these are children...and the children grow into the adults of our society.

However, when I think that it would be easier to go somewhere else to make my own life less complicated, the word SOLIDARITY comes to mind. I think of Paulo Freire, who speaks a lot about solidarity in his book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Here is just one quote from this book:

...true solidarity with the oppressed means fighting at their side to transform the objective reality which has made them these “beings for another.” The oppressor is in solidarity with the oppressed only when he stops regarding the oppressed as an abstract category and sees them as persons who have been unjustly dealt with, deprived of their voice, cheated in the sale of their labor — when he stops making pious, sentimental, and individualistic gestures and risks an act of love. ... To affirm that men and women are persons and as persons should be free, and yet to do nothing tangible to make this affirmation a reality, is a farce.
It is not fair or just for me to remain on the outside. I am not any more special than the people I know who directly face these tragedies. To think I am would be arrogant and unwise. It is because of my friendship and my solidarity with those around me that I can not leave. I must endure the hardships with them.

I have found that there is true "family" in that solidarity. (Thank you Sylvia, Larry, Gerald, Marva, Mike, Mr. Wendell, Vicki, Dave, Lagean, Ms. Coleman, and so many others)

To truly be free, we cannot ignore what happens. We cannot remove ourselves.

If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is tied up with mine, then let us work together.-- Lill Watson, aboriginal activist
I now understand that my welfare is only possible if I acknowledge my unity with all the people of the world without exception. ~Leo Tolstoy
I know these are just quotes, but remembering them in times like these gives me hope...provides me with a sense of direction and understanding that is much needed in times like these. I can't quit.

When things go wrong as they sometimes will
When the road your trudging seems all-uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup
And he learned too late when the night came down
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar
So stick to the fight when you are hardest hit
It's when things seem worse that you musn't quit. -Unknown

In memory of Wyshina Harris

My friend and former co-worker, Wyshina Harris, was killed yesterday morning.

Just two weeks ago Wyshina was calling me, so excited that she had been able to cast a vote for an African-American president. It was her I posted about here. As I was standing in shock and awe as 6000 people around me cheered, it was Wyshina who called as soon as the announcement that Barack Obama had been named our president. Since I couldn't hear a word she was saying, I called her on my way home that evening and we talked about our feelings about that moment, what was happening around us, and how we were moving things forward.

A short time before that she came to visit Sylvia and I at our new office in Roseland. As she sat at the table, she laughed and asked us to start a new enrichment class on her day off so that she could teach art, a class she had taught in Turner Courts and something she had discovered she really enjoyed when teaching it to the children.

Wyshina had a great smile, a great laugh, a great joy. She loved pictures and was very photogenic. I hate the picture the Dallas Morning News chose to put in the online edition of the paper. I have no idea where they found it, but I wish they had asked for something representative of her. Below are some pictures that remind me of Wyshina.

Click here or go to the blog search above and type in "Wyshina" to read about the number of ways she impacted the community and to read about her own motivation to make things different for her and her children.

Please pray for her two children and her family.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hurricane Katrina--Invisible to the tourist eye

I chose to take a Hurricane Katrina Tour yesterday. My interest in the tour disturbed me. I didn't want to be the sensational tourist who wanted to see other people's devastation, but I wanted to understand and see for myself the lack of resources that have been placed toward this effort to rebuild. Seeing what New Orleans offers on the surface and what is easily available to tourists makes it too easy to overlook that so much has not been done. It makes it easy for me to be comfortable listening to jazz, eating jambalaya, and going back home thinking everything is fine.

Everything is not fine.

Over three years later, as we travelled around to the different parts of the city, I could still see houses marked with an "X" and "TFW" (Task Force Washington) to let people know the house had been checked and cleared. There were entire shopping centers still vacant and in disrepair. There were very large homes with tall weeds all around them because no one had returned to that property.

The blight was not limited to poor neighborhoods, although many of the wealthier neighborhoods were often located on higher ground and weren't as affected. Small and large houses alike had been hit and were left behind--vacant and now overgrown.

The entire city is like a neglected urban a giant "inner city neighborhood." I couldn't help but think of the $700 billion that has been approved to bail out the economy and has been given to people who knew what they were doing and could've changed course...yet we left an entire city whose commerce and culture is just as vitally important to our country to figure out how to fix their own problems.

Something about that seems terribly wrong. The scars because of our terrible mistake are, unfortunately, hidden--except to those who continue to be affected.


While listening to some great jazz music at Preservation Hall I met two people who had come to New Orleans about 18 months ago to work with Habitat for Humanity and Americorps through the St. Bernard Parish Project to help rebuild homes. I believe he said they had built around 50 homes during that time period.

One of the guest drummers works with Sweet Home New Orleans, a non-profit agency that offers social services and financial assistance to the city’s musicians, Mardi Gras Indians, and Social Aid & Pleasure Club members. Sweet Home’s mission is to perpetuate New Orleans’ cultural traditions by providing direct services to the individuals and institutions that will carry them forward.

I also purchased a book called 1 Dead in Attic that is a recently updated version of personal accounts that have happened during and since the hurricane.

After seeing what still needs to be done and talking to people who are doing it, I would highly recommend that you invest some of your money into these two organizations. I'm sure there are more, but these two are ones that I have talked directly to people working with them. People are working hard to rebuild this city with no help from the government. I hear people talk about how we should leave things up to the here it is. New Orleans still needs help. Please consider helping monetarily, coming to rebuild with the local organizations already in existence, or even moving here to take a teaching job.

Many have not moved back because of lack of resources. Housing prices have risen, businesses have disappeared, jobs are not available. Jobs can't become available until people move back and people can't move back until jobs are available. I would encourage everyone to help if at all possible.

To see the slideshow of my New Orleans/Hurricane Katrina pics, click here.

Here a few to preview:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The realities of Katrina still live in people

Not too long ago I met a 17-year old girl from New Orleans. As I was taking her home one evening, I asked her if she had moved to Dallas because of the hurricane. She did.

She began explaining the horror and the fear she and her family endured during the hurricane as they moved to the upstairs of their home, then had to break through the attic as the water rose higher and higher. She explained that they were ordered to evacuate a couple of weeks before for a different hurricane scare and they didn't have the money to evacuate again. They were hoping this would also be a false alarm, but as the water rushed in, they knew they were in trouble.

They were stranded on their rooftop with only a box of cereal. She talked about how they communicated from the rooftops with three other families, trying to figure out a plan to survive. Helicopters kept flying over, but none bothered to stop.

After three days on their rooftop, the four families decided they needed to get to the infamous bridge that they could see from their rooftop. They could now see that buses had begun arriving taking people to safety.

The families used a door that the hurricane winds and water had busted off of its hinges and began taking turns swimming and using the door for a floating device. However, after their horrendous journey swimming through the waters, the bridge did not offer them the route to safety they had hoped for.

So few buses and so many people created chaos. Perhaps on purpose, the buses kept stopping on opposite ends of the bridge causing people to run back and forth trying to get to find safety...trying to get out, often losing the people they were trying so desperately to hang on to. At a last ditch effort, my friend was able to lurch onto a bus and hang on to her mother, despite the official's attempt to separate their hands.

You would never know all she went through by talking to her. She said it has taken her quite a while to be able to talk about it. But as she talks, she lights up as she remembers the music, the culture, the city where she once lived.


In the French Quarter where I am...and I'm sure where most tourists go...the memories of a hurricane, to the naked eye are gone. But, it is my friend and the remaining devastation that prevents her from moving back that I think of as I sit in Cafe du Monde eating beignets and drinking coffee.

Obama donates campaign supplies to schools

Barack Obama's campaign contacted a few weeks ago to begin organizing the donation of their office supplies and other items.

"The man had the foresight to plan this. In the middle of a huge national campaign, he's thinking about poor children," commented Jean Schmalzreid, the district's director of federal programs and special projects.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Obama groundswell efforts continue

The election is over and we have a new president...or we will have in 69 days.

I am excited about President-Elect Obama. Barack Obama picked a team of people that ran an absolutely amazing campaign. He inspired young and old alike. He rose above many of the stereotypical and racist comments and insinuations throughout the campaign. His campaign staff used technology in ways no other campaign thought of. He encouraged all of us to believe that WE are the government...that it takes US to make change happen.

But now he's elected. Will those same inspiring efforts continue?

What's exciting to me is that I don't see this changing!

I am still getting emails from asking me to host house parties so that we can come together and offer our ideas to the incoming administration.

Color of Change is still collecting our stories...stories that help define who we are as a nation and what we are going through as individuals who make up this nation...with the goal of informing our political system.

Barack Obama's staff continues his ground swell efforts through the internet by allowing people to apply for jobs in his administration, share personal stories with him, or just keep up with what's going on with his transition.

I have high hopes that these groundswell efforts will continue and we will continue moving toward the day when the United States is not about one person in charge, but is a collective of voices from all different perspectives, socioeconomic statuses, ages, religious beliefs, and genders.

Monday, November 10, 2008

What brings us together?

Mark Johnson spent 10 years going all over the world making this film, Playing for Change: Peace through Music.

Unifying across cultures through feel-good music. These videos make me smile.

Stand by Me:

One Love:

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Barack Obama's presidency is not the change we need

Unfortunately, this week hasn't been good for everyone.

One of our college students called on Wednesday to let me know that a noose had been hung in an area of the Baylor campus where the African-American students hang out. She told me about an Obama sign-burning that took place in a bar-b-que pit and some fights that had broken out between Whites and Blacks. The story was picked up by CNN:

She text'd back on Friday to let me know that the fighting had not let up. She told me of instances of the "n" word being used toward students who White students assumed voted for Obama. She talked about the tension and slight fear that has been created through White students comments and threats...and some retaliation that has happened with some of the Black students.

As she told me about these events, she wondered aloud, "Why are they targeting us? It wasn't just Black people who elected Barack Obama. Why are they acting like it was only Black people who elected him?" She explained that some White people she knew voted for Obama and some Black people she knew voted for McCain.

An African-American student of mine who teaches at a small, rural, predominantly White school explained that this week has been very somber at her school. One of her close [White] friends who hadn't spoken to her all week finally admitted to her that she is scared President Obama is going to enact all kinds of laws that benefit Black people and oppress White people.

It is true that 95% of African-Americans voted for Barack Obama...but so did 43% of Whites, 67% of Hispanics, and 62% of Asians. Barack Obama could not have been elected solely on the Black vote; there simply aren't enough Black people to make that happen. Plus, as we all know in "politics," people have to cater to their electorate or they won't be elected again. I don't know of any politician who gets elected just to prove a point (i.e. that a Black man can be president) and doesn't want to be re-elected when that time comes.

This reality has not escaped Barack Obama. He addressed it in his speech:
"And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn -- I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too."
Barack Obama is not going to be perfect. No president ever is. I'm sure he will make decisions that I will not agree with. Besides, the presidency is different than the campaign; he will probably not fulfill all campaign promises due to realities he didn't realize as a candidate.

But Barack Obama never said he had all of the answers. Throughout the campaign, Barack Obama challenged US to get involved. The presidency is not the end. It is only the beginning. Each of us must step up and get involved. We must get out in the community, organize people, and encourage them to speak out as well. It is OUR voices that are important to making this country work.

November 4 was not "the change" we are looking for. November 4 was only the BEGINNING of that change.

It was up to us to start the process of change. We did that by electing a president who is African American. It will be up to us to continue that involving ourselves in local writing letters that express our thoughts and educating ourselves about candidates and vote visiting city hall.

Our democratic society is set up so that everyone can be a part.

"There's not a liberal America and a conservative America; there's the United States of America. There's not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America." ~Barack Obama
We must ALL choose to be a part of that change for it to happen. We're not there yet.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

President-elect Obama: "A new dawn of American leadership is at hand."

"Barack Obama is our next president." Typing that statement still overwhelms me with emotion. I've watched his speech three or four times and have the same feeling.

I am a very passionate and emotional person, but I don't shed tears often. On Tuesday, as the screen flashed the statement above in big, bold letters, I could feel the emotion welling up from my chest. As I stood in the middle of 6000 African-American people crying, dancing, praying, and some in complete shock, I wondered if I had the right to be so overcome with emotion. After all, I'm not Black...I haven't endured what they have to get to this day.

I held back the tears until I started receiving multiple phone calls and text messages, most of which were from the young adults that we have dubbed the apathetic generation...all of whom were Black and Hispanic. The emotion came faster than I could hold it back. My tears were for them.

For the 23-year old young man who text'd me after he voted, explaining:

"Obama's my idol! He just became one of the reasons I want to make sure I pursue my degree and perfect my speaking skills. He presents himself in a way that I wish I could at interviews and important outings."
For the 25-year old African-American teacher who explained to me that she thought she had high expectations for all of her students, but after Obama became president, she realized she had never thought it would be realistic for her African-American students to say, "I want to be President."

For the 23-year old young man who has worked hard to get past neighborhood influences of drug dealing, friends who are in prison for murder, and friends who have been killed...but who called two days after the election saying, "You've got to help me find a newspaper from yesterday! I want to frame it!"

For the White grandmother who called me in tears Tuesday night because, though she is a democrat and an Obama supporter, this election has a whole new impact on her because of her 3-year old bi-racial grandchild.

My tears came because of the African-American children I have known for years...and how I know this election impacted them.

But my tears also came because I know this election was for ALL of us. As Barack Obama said in his speech on Tuesday night,

"...our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand."
We are all connected.

My hope...and the reason I voted for Barack because I believe he will help us understand that we ALL have a shared destiny. I believe he will help us see that people of all cultures, ethnicities, skin colors, and places of the world need each other and can benefit from the relationships that develop.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Live at Friendship West!

I'm at Friendship West in a blogger lounge...about 4000-5000 people here!

The energy is amazing. Luckily, I've got friends who were willing to sneak me in to a PACKED house! Inside the auditorium is much different than the blogger lounge!

I'm headed back in so I can get some good photos and document this monumental night!

How does Barack Obama affect race relations?

I got a call from a local TV reporter this afternoon. "Hey Janet...what have you been hearing about the elections?"

At that point...nothing really. Several of my college-aged friends had text'd me to tell me they had voted...and that it didn't take long. Nothing extraordinary.

Not an hour after he called, one of my college-student friends called to tell me that there had been a noose hung at Baylor University! Since the African-American population is the minority, there is an area where the black students hang out. It has been dubbed, "Little Africa." Evidently, this morning some of the students walked to their daily hang out to find a noose hanging.

They took pictures...and she's going to try to send them to me...but when the reporter called to try to investigate, no one wanted to talk. My friend said her friends don't want their names associated with that story. They're scared.

Another friend from Missouri told me that he voted democratic for the first time. But, he said his biggest fear for Obama is that he will be assassinated.

The blog I posted the other day, You Can Vote However You Like, has drawn many racist comments. I ended up having to moderate the comments. I'm all about free speech...but I won't have overtly racist comments associated with my Youtube account.

The racists that have come out as a result of this election may be in the minority, but their voices are loud...and they create real fears.

It is because of these things that I, too, have fears for Obama. But I believe Obama is very aware of these threats and fears. But I also believe that Obama knows he, much like Martin Luther King, Jr., can move us to the next level of race relations. I believe he is willing to take that risk for the good of the country.

I hope that we have enough people now that we can overcome the racism in a very different way than it had to be overcome in the 60s.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Who's really running for President?

Some of my Republican friends have explained to me that Sarah Palin *could* be ready for the presidency and would eventually make a good president. I've heard several talk about hoping that if this election doesn't go their way, they hope she will continue in 2012. None of them have spoke with confidence about her *current* abilities though.

Maybe we all need to re-think who is really running for president on the Republican side. Evidently, from a rally in Florida, it isn't McCain.

As Sarah Palin was speaking, several people had on McCain/Palin t-shirts and hats, but the overwhelming majority of signs being waved said either "Country First" or "Florida is Palin Country."

What happened to McCain???

See the CNN article:
McCain's name nowhere to be seen at Palin rally

Have a good laugh

Sometimes it's just good to laugh!