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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. It is steaming with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society we want ALL to thrive in

Friday, April 30, 2004

Just because they're dressed like military doesn't mean they are military...really???

I must have lost my mind momentarily while planning this road trip with my ultra-conservative, right-wing, still bush-loving, fundamentalist sister – I actually invited her to accompany me to the womxxn’s rights march in D.C. and then travel through the outer banks of North Carolina then to Atlanta with me to visit my daughter. My thinly disguised motive was to get her to the march in D.C., which over the internet, she readily agreed to. When it came time to pick her up in New Jersey and head south, she had changed her mind. Probably someone in her catholic group that pressures young and old womxxn alike into birthing their unwanted babies under the guise of ‘protecting’ the fetus, informed her about the true evil intent of the march – a womon’s right to healthcare often called ‘choice’.
I gave in, went to the March for Womxxn's Lives in D.C. and then returned to pick her up in New Jersey, which gave me several opportunities to ferry across the Atlantic Ocean!
The first couple of days we drove to the coastline through New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware, catching ferries and traversing wonderful bridges that span astoundingly beautiful stretches of bay and ocean. We even stayed at a hotel in room overlooking the flat, white sand beach and Atlantic ocean, experiencing the sun rising over the expansive sea (a splendid treat for a pacific coast womon!), and indulged in the tiny blue baby crabs and spicey shrimp the Chesapeake Bay is famous for!!
All along out path, folks vehemently opposed bush and his policies and were so very outspoken about it to us, even following us and/or flagging down my truck. I was beginning to feel bad for my sister, thinking she must feel so isolated and attacked – and thoroughly shamed, for these people made so much sense! Every person who came to speak with me, assuming she was also progressive – wrong – repeated the same litany, the things we all bluntly say when surrounded by like minds: “what kind of blind, foolish idiot can support bush – especially now when even the mass media is reporting his lies and deceptions?”
On occasion I’d feel myself cringing for her – how could she not take it personally, especially the stupidity and greed parts – and she is certainly the person we were speaking of. By the third day on the road and about the twenty-third encounter that day with such a variety of u.s. citizens from the hotel personnel to tourist on the ferries, truck and bus drivers, even to folks in new cars with fish stuck on the back – I was beginning to consider if I should check in with how she was feeling. Then she just had to open her mouth.
“You know don’t you that just because that christian car gave you the peace symbol, the I love you symbol, and practically fell out of the car to encourage your work for peace, doesn’t mean they don’t like bush. They surely support bush and peace.”
“Just because those fellows were dressed in full military uniforms from combat boots to hats with shaved heads (in humid 100 degree yucky southern weather) and little colorful pins above embroidered names over their shirt pockets, doesn’t mean they’re real military and against bush. Lots of people dress up like military when they’re not you know.”
“Oh look, even though that new suv filled with white folks dripping rich (those last 2 words my embellishment) gave you the finger – they shouldn’t’ve done that naughty thing – but then they gave you the ‘I love you’ symbol.”
Yeah, right – the 2 outer fingers pointed at me with the thumb tucked under – the warding off the evil eye symbol.
How does one who travels in a truck overflowing with compassionate and passionate progressive messages and hope outside and in, deal in a tiny enclosed space with this ignorance sidling across the passenger’s side of the bench seat? Well, first of all, all previous empathy vanishes, especially after I check out how she’s been feeling about the things people have been saying not just about g.w. but more about the u.s. citizens who are supporting him. She gives me a blank stare as if she hasn’t (still) become aware of the opposition to bush and to people like herself. Apparently she’s only heard these lovely christians who’ve just passed and certainly have reinforced her position.
I wish I could say I was able to handle my sister’s blatant ignorance as successfully as I think I do truck drivers – wrong – or at the very least rich, fat, old white preachers! I ended up screaming at the top of my lungs, pounding the steering wheel uncontrollably, feeling my heart clench and hearing rapid, loud roarings emanating not from the ocean but from somewhere deep inside of me.
By the time I get to my daughter’s, I’m knowing again what a rag wrung with a deep ache feels like. I’m asking myself over and over why? why? why? Not the why you might think but the what kind of fool am I and why the hell had I lost my mind and invited this womon who was supposedly related to me by some huge, distant accident, whom I used to know and fiercely love the first 16 or so years of my life. The same womon I was feeling sorry for days earlier.


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