Code Pink Journals CodePINK Journals

Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! For now, I’ve returned from my Joiyssey to participate in the "revolution":I’ve been at many Occupy sites across the country:1st in D.C. Freedom Plaza I faced & challenged racism/white supremacy, sexism/patriarchy, classism, heterosexism & eventually was kicked off the island; then I offered workshops as I drove to CA:“Anti-Racism Geared for White Occupiers”; “NO DRONES” "Successes and Pitfalls of OWS"

Sunday, September 26, 2004

ohio bound - entering nebraska

it's a shock driving thru the beautiful medicine bow national forest, the eastern end of wyoming, into the barren, flat rolling hills of nebraska. we stopped at the first rest stop/information center because i'm looking for the nebraska peace monument i heard about a few trips back. the womon at the desk doesn't know what i'm talking about but we search thru all her info without any luck. she asks me where we are from & headed to. when i tell her we're registering voters, she tells me she's probably not going to vote in this election. she continues to tell me she knows bush is a terrible person but she'd probably end up voting for him because she hates that foreigner that other man is married to more! at first i'm not sure who she's talking about until i remembered theresa heinz-kerry is african-born. so, now we've got a new reason why folks can't vote for kerry! i remind carolyn we are all foreigners on this soil unless we are native american. she doesn't hear me & reiterates that she can't stand foreigners, especially those w/an accent. i tell her wryly (i hope) she must hate schwartzenneger & she actually looks at me surprised - "why?" she asks - i mention his accent but she remains blank. i ask her if she doesn't think her attitudes about 'foreigners' is prejudiced. she says without shame (and maybe understanding) it is. i tell her i believe english is theresa's first language - i have totally forgotten that ms. heinz-kerry is a linguist & speaks 5 languages which i will have to write a note to carolyn to let her know.
then carolyn tells me she doesn't like theresa because of what she said the other day about those poor people in florida: "those people can all go naked!" and that this just proved she is totally unacceptable.
rae has come in and points out that the media is often biased and twists the truth, besides giving much more positive coverage to george & laura than anyone else.
i tell carolyn i think the real reason she doesn't like theresa heinz-kerry is because theresa is a strong, independent womon who speaks her mind & doesn't allow men to run her over. carolyn says our country is not ready for a such an outspoken womon as first lady. as i tell her our country most certainly is ready, another womon who has entered the center without my notice, pipes up strongly "absolutely, we are not only ready but it is absolutely necessary that we have a strong first lady in the whitehouse - in fact, she should be the president!" then she leaves out the door, with rae on her heels!
carolyn weakly says that maybe laura bush is a strong enuff first lady. i point out that, well, yes you have to be a strong womon to be married to an alcoholic and a drug addict and to take his abuse & finally stand up to him. carolyn nods but before she can get too comfortable w/laura's strong lady image, i mention how i can't admire laura the way i do theresa because of laura's behavior when her husband was trying to rally the country to war. i talked about the poet lauriate and the reading that laura cancelled merely because he was writing peace & anti-war poems which didn't support her husband's agenda. carolyn nodded again.
she reiterated that she really didn't want to vote for bush, listing his war, the young american soldiers that are dying, and his horrid economic policies as reasons for her dislike. i'm pleased she has mentioned these things & offer her kerry's platform as an alternative. carolyn seems happy to hear those things but once again has to reiterate the foreigner in the white house stance. i tell her again, she is a foreigner herself, we are all foreigners unless we are native american. she claims that was such a long time ago, her great-grandmother was the foreigner & i ask her how her great-grandmother would feel meeting a womon like carolyn w/her prejudices.
carolyn appologizes for her comments - she says she really shouldn't have spoken, especially so harshly. she thanks me over and over again for helping her to think about things differently & promises she is really going to try to vote to get rid of bush.
i go outside to see rae has been videoing brenda, the strong womon who says we are ready for a strong womon in the white house. we are all standing in front of the truck when the old white male janitor comes over to us & tells us we have to stop videoing & leave now - poor fellow must be blind as well as stooooped! he tells us it is illegal to video at the rest stop! we laugh & continue talking among ourselves. brenda leaves & rae & i decide to go try to video the janitor. we walk up to the building, asking him to explain on tape what he has told us. he hotly tells us it is illegal for us to video & no, he won't say it on tape. he reaches to grab the camera but i place myself in front of him. he threatens several times to call the state police, which i welcome. after his last threat, he instructs us in his strictest daddy tone to 'do as you're told' before he disappears into the men's bathroom!!! ufb! i'm tempted to follow him in there but i might have to pick him up off the floor. i ask carolyn, who has been standing by watching with a great light dancing in her eyes, if he's always like this. she says she's friends w/his wife, and yep, he's always like this! peace, sam

ohio bound - leaving wyoming

it was great visiting laramie again & finding the organic coffee shops! we didn't spend much time & didn't find guillermo again this time but the feeling was friendly, with several folks waving or commenting on their liking the truck. off to cheyenne and another parking lot - an older white man & his son enthusiastically approach me - the father is wearing a coast guard hat, the son a baseball shirt. they both shake my hand & ask me if i was in michigan a few months ago, where they first saw my truck. as i'm speaking w/them, an angry white womon rushes by & screams over & over: "what about the twin towers?" i try to say i'll talk w/her about the twin towers but she begins screaming about how i'm a disgrace to america & can't be called an american & i need to leave the country. she disappears inside the fleamarket building as i'm trying to encourage her to stop & talk. the older man i'm with, shakes his head & says people like her just want to yell, not talk.
i go to meet rae & have a great conversation with a 30 something white straight couple from boulder colorado. they're short on hope, except excited about the 15,000 new voters registered this month in their little town! the wife says her biggest fear is the corporate controlled media & how dismal they are painting kerry. we talk about alternative media sources & codepink! rae has talked with several wimmin about voting & kicking bush out - we are both pleased with the interactions we've been able to have in wyoming!