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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

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Are you threatening me?

Today is full of veggie oil challenges. I’m panicking a little because I’ve spent all my funds on veggie oil – if my system is not working, I’m going to be up the creek and not the church one. This is the 3rd time I’ve changed my pre-filter. I’ve also changed my main filter, although I really shouldn’t of had to. 

I’m taking the small, two land road just south of I80 and I90 to avoid paying tolls and the horrible stop-and-go traffic of Chicago. Normally, I welcome traffic – the more the better for getting out my messages but today, with the iffy veg oil, I opt for the smaller, cheaper (if I’m not forced to buy diesel) road.

I pull over into the edge of an almost empty Kroger parking lot so I can check my filters – the last time I changed the filter, I forgot (I’m embarrassed to admit) to re-open the valves when I finished changing the filter. I want to double check and make sure I didn’t forget this time, as the truck is starting to hesitate.

I lift the cab just enough to see the valves are open, everything is as it should be – and to see a fairly new large white dually pickup truck hauling an empty trailer circle my vehicle. I finish my veg check, return the cab down and lock it into place. I see the truck is idling directly behind my truck, blocking my exit. As I go to approach him, he slowly moves forward. I extend my palms in a “what?” gesture and he turns off the engine, steps out his truck, and approaches me. He is young, large, very white in jeans and a short-sleeved shirt even though it is quite chilly here.

I ask him if he wants to dialogue or just scowl at me. His face relaxes a little and he points to my truck, asking what I’m doing in this part of Indiana. I tell him I’m engaging in dialogue with my fellow u.s.ofa. citizens, like him. 

I’m stricken with immense sadness and a deep sense of failure as our interaction continues, for it is so obvious he has been molded into such a shallow, ignorant, hateful fellow quick to spout right wing rhetoric without being able to defend it. I fear we cannot begin to reach any kind of common ground. When he claims that the white rights people in Charlottesville were having a peaceful demonstration there until the anti-fascists became violent, I’m choking on my incredulity. He’s now shouting as he moves closer to tower over me and claims further that white rights people were the ones bloodied and injured, not Black people. I slam down my water bottle on the trailer that is separating us, angry as hell, and he jumps a little as he backs up. I point out it was a white male nazi that drove his car into a crowd of people walking peacefully but he glibly dismisses that violence as not counting because a white womon was killed. When I talk about nazis in Seattle and San Diego, he says the left media used adobe photoshop to put up images of white rights people shooting anti-racist people.

How to even begin to address this mentality? I do smile inwardly and send love to those brave anti-fascists when he expresses his fear of the “antifa” and claims they are the most violent people in our country, maybe more violent than Muslims.

He points to my truck and tells me I’m instigating violence. I ask him what exactly on my truck is instigating violence. He tells me any self-respecting {white} man would be moved to violence reading that “death to racism” and “end the white and male war against Black, etc. people.” In his forceful opinion, that’s racist and instigating violence.

He then slaps his back pocket as he’s now shouting at me again “yes I carry”. I ask him point blank if he’s threatening me to which he denies he is, and I tell him it sure sounds like he is for he’s shouting again and looming over me.

He calms down, lowers his voice, and continues to tell me how sick (white) men are of hearing and seeing the racist “Black Lives Matter”. He’s as indignant as a little boy who’s been made to wait his turn on the slide when he claims he doesn’t have the right to put “White Lives Matter” on his vehicle. As if. 

I tell him I’m sorry we can’t find some common understanding and he interrupts me and points sideways in the direction of Chicago and tells me I need to head there if I want to be around people who think crazy like I do. He promises me I won’t find those people along this route I’ve chosen. Again, I ask him if he’s threatening me. Everything coming from him now feels like a threat. I try to reign him in again by telling him that actually I’ve gotten lots of positive feedback along this route and at that exact moment, a passing car honks behind his back & I give a thumbs up, as if the driver’s message is positive even though I was unable to see if the driver was supportive or protesting. 

He turns to leave as he tells me he feels sorry for me and he’ll pray for me. I’m praying he’ll sit on that gun in his back pocket and shoot himself in the balls.