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Having faith in change, with a side of chitterlings

By ERNEST HOOPER
Published January 14, 2008


I keep running into African-Americans who believe a black man can't win the presidential election.

Last week I found conservative radio hosts like Sean Hannity speaking more glowingly of Barack Obama than some of my black friends. Oh, they said they liked Obama, but nothing could convince them that he could actually overcome his skin color.

They may be right, and it's sad that our nation hasn't reached the point where race and racism are nonfactors in electing a leader. But isn't it better to believe a black man can win and be wrong, than to believe he can't win and be surprised?

Hope is audacious. Change can't occur without faith.

Riddle me this: If the Rays play well this season and draw huge crowds, can they still argue they need a new stadium?

Banbu opened at BayWalk this weekend. The Asian-themed restaurant has a format similar to the eatery it replaces, Dish, but the difference is Banbu's "Hibachi-style" features exotic dishes like a rare Japanese eggplant.

Meanwhile, the old Dish location at Centro Ybor sits empty, but the district desperately needs more upscale restaurants. I say make it rent-free. Better yet, pay somebody to move in.

Seen on a bumper sticker: President Nixon - Now More Than Ever.

Ann Louise Nixon Cooper, my grandmother, turned 106 last week. People always want to know her secret. I always say it's chitterlings (pronounced chit-lins in the South) because I want more people to eat pig intestines.

But I really don't know the source of her longevity. I asked her, "What's your secret?" She smiled and said, "Is there supposed to be a secret?"

That's all I'm saying.