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"

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Rural Texas - to be continued

I take a small road from I 20 north and west so I can hook up with I 40. it is actually beautiful – mountains, hills, some cactus even but mostly rugged-looking land with rocks, brush, grass and dirt. Single rows of small, spaced apart houses with huge yards some sporting chickens and horses, others rv’s and suvs. Some dirt or paved roads heading off the highway, thru fences and curving into the sparsely wooded hills but still invisible houses.

There is high evidence of white folks through these hills. I do not stop except in a very small town that has this huge building, so big I can see it from miles out of the town where it appears to be a giant island sprouting from the side of a mountain.

When I get there, I see it is in the middle of a 4 street bustling town of white cowboys and ranchers – along with white insurance offices and banks. And it’s share of empty storefronts and deserted buildings.

My huge building, that I fantasized from far away, must be some rich people’s resort, stands proudly elegant as an ancient queen who can no longer sit upright on her throne. For the building is deserted too and every huge window has evidence of pot-shots breaking at least one of the six-panes.

The windows are too big and close together to be a jail; too many stories – probably 17 – to be a factory; and again, the windows seem too big to be sectioned into small hotel rooms; way too much space and too fancy to be a school. I am tempted to ask someone but there are only a scattering of old white men in Texas-wear around scowling at me. I decide I really don’t want to know that badly. Probably ever homeless family in the U.S. could live comfortably in this building, it is so big.

I head out of town and the road gets a little steeper – still one lane in each direction. Still flanked on both sides by a scattering of small houses, a dearth of children’s toys, a collection of animals. And then a small complex of tiny, 2 story duplexes, painted UPS truck brown, that would almost appear to be a converted 40’s military housing cum camp ground except it is labeled HUD Housing – and still no sign of children but sterile manicured dirt, trees, rocks and cactus and an old American Plymouth idling.

During the course of the hour or so short-cut, I am passed by many speeding pick-up trucks but not one gives me the finger. A couple old geezers shake their heads, feeling sorry for me. But I still don’t stop to chat with anyone.

The North Texas Clinic has more cars parked in the lot and on the side streets than Wal-Mart on a sale day. And I’m finally in a town of more than 1000 – 50,000 actually and there are signs of people of color: businesses in Spanish, Chinese food restaurants, black and brown people walking about and driving.

Texas Justice

Another beautiful dawn, or early morning rather – the sun’s been up for an hour at least. There’s nothing spectacular in Texas – except the vastness maybe – but this morning at the rest stop, everything is so fresh and new, the hills glow in the kiss of first sun, the birds sing their joy, the yellow grasses murmur with the wind in delight.

I am walking around the picnic table structures, searching for an outlet to plug my computer into. As I get closer to the main building that houses the bathrooms, the attendant, a tall white fellow that I assume from his speech must be deaf, approaches me with a question.

Even though the rest stop is full of trucks, cars, and rvs, he knows I come from the peace truck. He says he agrees with me we should bring our troops home and let those people kill each other.

I say they weren’t killing each other before we invaded. I ask him if he knows when the first suicide bomb went off in Afghanistan or Iraq? He tells me he’s not smart enough to know.

I don’t think he’s deaf – I can’t see hearing aides cause his blondish-white hear curls over his ears and falls to his shoulders. But I see his tongue looks deformed and he’s missing lots of teeth.

He appears to doubt my suicide bomb statement, but is thinking about it. He agrees with me again, we should bring our troops home – but what jobs will they have? He complains about his job, $7/hr and his boss having hundreds of millions of dollars, land in North Carolina, oil fields and cattle.

He’s at that point where he says, “what can we do?” I say what do you want to do? There’s SOOOOO much to do.

He says the first thing we should do is get rid of rich people. I agreed wholeheartedly. He says he just wants to be rich enough to not have to work here, scrubbing toilets, mopping floors, picking up after tourists and Texans.

We go our separate ways – I continue to walk around the rest stop taking in the early morning air, he goes back into his office.

Later he comes bursting out the door and catches up with me. He has the answer. We should take all the murderers and rapist out of jail and send them to fight in Iraq and bring home our troops.

I tell him but what about the Iraq people? The Iraq people are just like him & me, and want just what he & I want – they are just like us. He looks at me as if I just said his filthy rich boss who doesn’t care about him, is going to give him a huge raise.

He tells me how ‘they’ drive into the rest stop – he gestures to the road ‘they’ come in – and then mimes ‘them’ praying, bobbing, kneeling, praying some more. And this action makes him not trust ‘them’.

I’m put in mind of the first time I saw Catholics and the crossing and carrying on.

I say so because you don’t understand what they’re doing, you want to kill them? Or allow our troops to kill them?

No no he concedes again.

Well, what we really need is another president like Abraham Lincoln. I ask him if he thinks we’ve got him now.

His eyes start twinkling and his smile widens as he laughs, saying I got it!!!