Martha Outed Kenton And Women With Issues

An Open Letter To Elizabeth Caputo

Sunday, January 13

11:30 am

Women's Issues Committee Meeting
Become involved in the WIC: bring your ideas for events or topics you would like to discuss. We'll be planning events for the upcoming year and introducing new members.
Au Bon Pain
684 Broadway @ West 3rd Street

When I showed up in NYC summer of 2005, I started with DFNYC as a Dean 2004 alum. People were amused I had chosen to stay in Indiana for Dean 2004. Dean had zero chance of carrying that state, especially in Fall. Indiana is Sunday Bloody Sunday red. One of the amused was Howard Dean's brother. I would like to take some credit for Howard Dean's subsequent 50 state strategy.

When people found out I had gone to school in Kentucky, they are like, "Oh, Martha is from Kentucky. Have you met Martha?" Not yet.

When I finally met her, I said, "So you are from Kentucky?"

"Who outed me?"

Saying I was a refugee from Kentucky and getting along just fine with Martha went hand in hand. And then I went to an event where a Kentucky Dude (Kentucky Dude, November 29) spoke, and I was so surprised I was so excited to meet him. It helped that I knew the wife to his Chief of Staff very well. Here was homeboy: Kentucky is about to get itself a Jewish Senator, that is major progress from summer and Fall of 1997 that I know. Five years of staying in Kentucky, and I guess it does get into your system. Who would have thought? When I landed in Kentucky in 1996, I could not have told you the difference between Kentucky and California, the cultural nuances. I was just going to America.

I did meet a few bad apples in Kentucky, about a dozen, maybe more. But most people go out of their way to be nice. Or they are just plain ignorant. "Are you a Patel?" No, I am not a Patel. "Are you a doctor?" No, I am not a doctor, but I am very smart.

I once saw a billboard in Tennessee: "Motel, run by Americans."

And some are evil. This is a few weeks after 9/11. I am in this office setting in Lexington, KY. A guy in a nearby cubicle gets on the phone: "There is an Arab in my office!" The day 9/11 happened, I was in a small town in KY. The locals called the cops on me.

So I show up for this event today, DL21C women with issues. One noted I was there when the Washington sate Governor was in town. Five white women, one Asian woman, and one me. This was mandatory coffee territory. Evening events are mandatory beer. I might switch to mandatory pineapple juice. Bill Clinton's visits to the New York state fair: mandatory. "Most New York politicians can't tell one end of the cow from another."

Jennifer's final thing to say before she left was, "I got to go to the zoo." I thought that was so funny.

"Why are you here? You just like to hang out with women?" Naughty smile.

Well, all else equal, women definitely are more pleasant than men for mild company. Especially imbalanced men. Men who have no knowledge of the ying yang philosophy. Inside every woman, there is a man. Inside every man, there is a woman.

"My mother has had six years of schooling. Her cousin was Education Minister of Bihar, the second most populous state in India. I grew up in a very sexist part of the world. At some level, I feel like I need to atone for the sins of my part of the world."

There was some talk of women and the primaries. You could just smell New Hampshire. This was a Hillary crowd, except for Martha who chipped in for Edwards, saying it was a Southern pride thing.

One round of conversation was, what do you do, and what political organizations are you part of.

"I have a young, tech startup company. And I am a hard core Barack Obama guy in the city. The good news is I am rooting for Hillary for Vice President." Beams of smiles. finally gave me what I had been looking for while making the rounds of the political organizations in the city. I have from day one only been interested in experiencing events. DFNYC at one point thought maybe I want to become an Officer. No, thank you. Kristina Hoke tried to sign me up for MYD. When that did not go through, she thought I might get MYD a new website, that thing about Indians and software. Justin Krebs' one issue is every time I give this guy a button, and he goes home and leaves it there, and I have to give him a new button all over again. I think other organizations in the city could learn button technology from Drinking Liberally. I offered an AOL Time Warner merger with DL21C, but that organization is too drunk on being able to bring along VIP guests.

And that is not counting the Nepali organizations in Queens that tried to sign me up. In response, I started my own: Hamro Nepal.

The word blogger does not describe me. Call me a digital democrat. My organization style is the way the Wikipedia got written, the way the Al Qaeda operates: leaderless organizations. Going back to the way the Manhattan organizations operate would be to go backwards in time. It would be like going back to Windows 98. But just like you can still open up the latest Firefox browser even with Windows 98, I can still make use of all the Manhattan organizations if my only focus is on experiencing the events I show up for: no interest in event planning, no interest in the hierarchy of the organization, not necessarily even trying to get to know others who show up. You experience an event like it were a website to be soaked.

I showed up for the Manhattan For Obama Organizational Kickoff Meeting where the organizer Arthur Schwartz had me as the first speaker after his introductory remarks, and Bill Perkins was in the room.

And before the evening was out, one question I got was if I want to sit on the "media committee." No. (NYC, Obama, Structure, Me) I can't be part of the structure. Months later I was the one to step in to put out a minor fire. (Staff, Volunteers, Elected Officials) Noone else could have.

Nepal's April Revolution 2006 competes with the French Revolution. Howard Dean never instigated a French Revolution. Eliot Spitzer never instigated a French Revolution. (Spitzer Is Right, Albany Is Wrong)

I got Barack's ears early and strong. I identify with that guy at so many different levels. It is so very personal. I lost something in 1989. Through Barack's elevation to the White House, I get that back. That personal. And if America also gets health care in the process, all glory is to God.

I got Barack's ears entirely through 2.0. This has been a case of what you know, not who you know. I am not just a blogger, definitely not a webmaster, although I could hook you up with a friend of mine in Kathmandu who designs websites for real cheap. Getting the ears of the next President of the United States entirely through 2.0: that is cutting edge group dynamics.

The Largest Rally In US Presidential Campaign History
Give Me A Huge Rally In This City Before Summer Is Over
Michelle Obama Is Just Fabulous

Barack's Mother Makes An Appearance
Barack Has To Talk Much About His Mother

Long Walk To Freedom
Long Walk To Freedom: Just A Third World Guy Dazzled By The City

I met Abhishek Mistry at DFNYC, Cornell guy. Then he was a PhD student, now he is a banker. I met him at the Holiday party last. ("Is This An Obama Party?") He had broken up with his college sweetheart. He had been in NYC, she had been in DC. I never met her in person, but she would make smart aleck comments at his blog. At first I thought Tracey Denton was a fan of Abhishek's blog. But this was another Tracey, the girlfriend Tracey.

"She wanted to raise a Jewish family."

I am like her. You don't start with personal feelings. In my case I start by saying, race is the number one issue in my life, all that means is I have to talk about it, if you are uncomfortable talking about it, you are a nonstarter for me.

When you go to an event that is almost all white, of course that is racial. Not racist, but racial. I am not someone trying to fit in, or assimilate. Trying to fit in and assimilate will cost me big bucks. In my business, a high premium is placed on out of the box thinking.

2.0 Screen Time, 5.0 Face Time, Of Racialism, Progressive Group Dynamics

All else equal, I'd rather go with someone from a different cultural background. First, someone from my particular background, that just does not exist. And to start with someone's cultural background would be succumbing to social segregation. But the political consciousness level comes into play. It is not about being white, black or brown, it is about recognizing race is the elephant in the room, and denial is not an option.

I have heard more anti-black comments from Nepalis in Queens than I ever did from white folks in Kentucky. And these people are not even kidding. For them it is their own version of Coming To America.

Thanks to the internet and New York City, someone like me does not have to fit in, assimilate.

"You are more individualistic than the Americans," the Senior Class President said the year I got myself elected SGA President as a freshman. They had to amend the constitution so I could run as a freshman. "Nick, man, I can't wait," I said to the reigning SGA President.

And it is not about being from a different background and so you bring along a "different perspective." Or you are Indian, so go raise money among Indians. How about Obama 2008's shadow Campaign Manager?

More than half the people at the event were from Booklyn. But the event was in Manhattan. Does not bother me. Once you get inside the train, does it matter?

At one point Martha wondered aloud about pro-choice women, but if they actually faced the choice, will they get the abortion?