Code Pink Journals CodePINK Journals

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

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Control your guns, guide your children!

My cross-country journey was delayed slightly today. I was loading my truck with the final items needed to drive across the country, as well as doing last minute chores around my shop when the hate criminal struck again!!! I think I might have actually spoken w/him – from a distance, thank goodness!
I had walked from my front door to the driveway, where my truck was patiently waiting, to put my pillow and a bag in the front seat, when I noticed there was a car I’d seen earlier, still lingering out front. A tall, uptight white fellow with his long legs shoved out the door around the front seat passenger side was staring quite rancorously, licking his lips as he gave me the evil eye.
I waved neighborly and motioned to him to look at the boxes of treasures out in front. I invited him to “Take whatever you want, it’s all free”. I did not have my glasses on so I couldn’t really make out the extent of his hostile expressions on his face, but I heard him grunt a grumpy “huh?” when I encouraged him again to help himself to treasures.
When he realized that I was motioning to the boxes lining the front of my driveway brimming with free leftovers from the previous weekend’s sale, he made a half disgusted, half antagonistic snarl and proceeded to fold himself back into the driver’s seat, slamming the door. I then noticed a black and white bumper sticker on the side window that said something about “not my guns”, heightening my alert status!
I finished tucking things away into the back of my truck, proceeded to slam down the roll-up door, and lock it up after one final look. I went back into the shop to also lock up. Approaching the front door, I see a black and white striped sticker slapped on my door that read something like “The straight flag: it’s black and white”.
I gritted my teeth, realizing that it had to have been placed there moments prior, and probably by the aggressive asshole trying to give me the evil eye. It didn’t bother me that much until I returned to my truck and went around to my “CodePINK side and saw up close the bumper sticker read “Control your children, not my guns”.
When I realized this was the same bumper sticker I saw on that fellow’s car, I called the police. In the past two weeks, someone has been shoving first threatening notes through my door and later plastering unique stickers that read hateful anti-gay things from “Prevent aids: get straight” to putting a red circle with a line through it over any rainbow flags I have, and various other name-calling hatred.
I’m telling this story because of how the Albany police responded to me, actually how this one officer responded. He had taken an earlier call, the first that I placed after returning to my shop from Atlanta to find someone had written “Die cunt” and other hate crime slogans on my shop front door and outer walls.
This officer was a short, trim, light-skinned man with a regulation military haircut and formal air about him. The first time he responded to my call, he had been super professional and serious in his response and interactions w/me.
This time, as I’m telling him what the sticker on my truck says, he just as seriously responded “You control your guns, your dog, not your children. It is a parent’s job to guide their children, not control them.”
Such an affirming way to begin my trip!