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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

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Lies and more lies

So this is very important, especially for white womyn travelers rolling in campers they've constructed themselves: you might get the opportunity to confront bigotry and discrimination if you attempt to camp at a public camp ground and are told you don't have the "recreational vehicle association seal of approval".

First, ask them to produce the written requirement for camping there. This morning when I asked Joel and Chris to provide that, they actually showed me a rule that talked about campers extending longer than 32 feet and wider than 8 feet. There was/is no rule requiring such a seal.

Second, point out to them that not ALL campers have this seal. Anyway, it's just a fuckin seal like the good housekeeping seal of approval. It's a fuckin manufacturers' seal.

Third and especially if there is something about your vehicle that offends them because they are sexist, racist, macho pigs and just blindly committed (or fighting like hell) to maintaining the status quo, call them out on their discrimination: it's the same mentality that allows for all discrimination to fester and flourish.

Chris tried to tell me this morning that he doesn't know what I experienced, but in all the 55,000 visitors who have come during his 12 year tenancy at this campground, none, not one person, until me has persisted when he's informed them they have to leave.

I had to smile broadly. I do persist.

I had to tell him over the past 16 years and over 400,000 miles I've traveled around the country staying in state or national campgrounds, not one has tried to keep me out on the grounds of an association seal.

And then I had to tell him what I experienced, after thanking him for asking. I told them my experience was they decided they didn't like what was written on my truck and that's why they invented a rule to exclude me. "When you do this," I say, "you are discriminating against me."

They shake their head in vehement denial. Even these white men don't want to be told they "discriminate" let alone that they are racist.

"I made you uncomfortable and your response was to try to get rid of me" I persist some more. 

I don't let them deny it though as I tell them even if they believed that maybe the seal was a rule, they did not try to figure out how to make it 'legal' for me to camp there. When I asked about pitching a tent yesterday, Joel told me they didn't have tent spaces, which he changed to "primitive camping". He did say that rv'ers can set up tents in their space. But I'm not an rv'er, therefore I can't camp there.

Now, this morning, when I mention the folks camping with tents only (I did take a walk around the campground) they grab onto the tent suddenly as if they were drowning men and I threw them a life jacket, both coming forward to the counter to declare eagerly I can stay if I pitch a tent.

"Are you kidding?" I inform them. "I'm not staying. Do you know my friends from Jackson were ready to storm the campground last night to protect me?"

To their silence, I take my leave. Chris says to my back "Well good luck." I stop, turn, and say to both of them with much more sincerity, "Good luck to all of us."