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

Saturday, August 28, 2004

amerikkkan nitemare vs dictatorship

Standing next to my truck parked on the side of my grandmother's apartment building in Inman Park, Manhattan, I was approached by three construction workers who appeared to be white and spoke very little english. I, being only monolingual, certainly did not speak their language. They wanted to know "This 'pink slip bush', what means?"
Referring to the words printed across my t-shirt, I explained the slogan for getting fired from your job.
A fourth man, I assume the foreman, approaches and soberly informs me in slightly better english: “These men are from Yugoslavia,” as all of the men nod. One speaks rapidly in a language I can’t understand.
The foreman continues: “Bush claims Tito was a dictator, but Bush is the dictator.”
A second fellow chimes in and one of the other fellows begins translating: “He says under Tito, everyone worked - unlike here. He says under Tito, he had a home that was virtually free – as did all his neighbors – unlike here. He says under Tito, all the schools were the same and everyone in the neighborhood went to the same school, received the same education, and all were educated – unlike here.”
The last fellow declares, now translated again by the foreman: “I put up simple 'No War in Iraq' bumper sticker on my truck and people threw garbage at me, gave me the finger, and at night, while I was sleeping, painted 'faggot' in big letters across the back of my truck.”
He stares intently at me as tell him how sorry I am. “In my country,” he continues, “Under Tito, if anyone sick, he went to hospital, same hospital for everyone, received the same medical care, and…” he pauses dramatically, leans forward angrily “Pay no money for it!”
So very totally unlike here.
All his friends and co-workers raise their voices in an agreeable chorus every time this fellow speaks.
He extends his hands palm up to state unequivocally:“Everyone in my community hates bush but has no hope that you u.s.ofa. citizens will get involved let alone vote him out of office.”
 “You know we did not vote him in, in the first place,” I retort.
“I know,”  he nods sadly. Clearly he sees that yet another amerikkkan nitemare promise has been broken, “So how do you think you can vote him out then?”
“Just you watch this next week,” I enthusiastically grab some flyers to shove in their direction: “Come to the march, participate! Witness democracy in action!”
As this last was translated, they all burst into laughter, reached for the flyers, and then gravely shook my hand.