I live in a small town in ND, and since Barack Obama has been elected and now inaugurated, I am extremely disappointed at the off-hand bigotry and the casual way racist "jokes," and comments are just thrown out there like that is normal speech, and that no one within hearing is disapproving of what they are saying. There are some wonderful things about living in a small town, but this is not one of them. This is a highly partisan Republican section of a very conservative state (the newspaper in the largest town in this area criticized Obama for not "fixing" the sliding stock market a week after he was elected). I am hoping that this is the shock of having Democrats back in charge, and not entirely the fact that President Obama happens to be black.
The new president and his family have so much in common with the collective "us" here in this little burg. They come from modest circumstances and are self-made, value their education and their families, are loyal to their friends, are open and honest about their faith. It will be a shame if we don't learn some tolerance from their example. I think the best thing I can do is not to let these things passed unchallenged. Wish me luck.