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

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Why is "harm no one" so very hard for white males to grasp??? Rhetorical question...

I've gone to the Y a few times since I've been here in Lafayette Indiana and apparently a 40 something old white man has also been going and has noticed my truck. Doug is his name, he tells me with a sneer, when I attempt to slow his tirade down so I can respond. He's decked out in tattoos covering bulging muscular flesh where cut off gym shorts and sleeveless t-shirt aren't covering.
Doug claims with that white male not-to-be-questioned confidence "Muslims are the most violent, war-mongering countries (as if) in the world." I don't bother pointing our that Muslims are not a country but a people.
"Wow," I put on my best friendliest open face possible "Doug - you certainly don't know your history, of the u.s. or the world. You do realize you live in a country that has been at war against someone EVERY SINGLE FUCKIN YEAR since it's inception except for 17."
This gives him pause, so I jump in with "And Europe, before us, conquered the middle east and exploited her resources, especially oil."
"Well," he angrily continues, jerking his head at the 'white and male war against Black people' statement on the back of my truck, "Black people are armed and killing in every city around the country. What about Black-on-Black crime, eh?" he ends triumphantly, sneer back in place.

"Every year in this country, the people who kill the MOST u.s. citizens are WHITE MALE SUPREMACISTS. That is if you don't count the 3-5 womyn A DAY that get murdered by men who claim to love them. Nor the one Black person - that's a womon, a child, or a man - murdered by police in this country every 28 hours."

At least he admits he doesn't know the statistics and I assure him, with my own brand of white male confidence, I do know the statistics. Then he's off and running again against the terrorists i.e. Muslims and how we HAVE to protect ourselves.

I'm glad he keeps mentioning protection because then I get to agree with him about our need for 'protection' and then state unequivocally "The ONLY way to 'protect' the u.s. is for us to topple our empire and eliminate u.s. corporate and personal greed."
He ignores that and strides around to the front of my truck to pat with great exaggeration his back pocket, a gesture I've experienced before from angry white men, but a futile move as he realizes he's in gym shorts. He's pointing as his frown deepens to take in the backward "disarm" message painted there for folks to read in their rear-view mirrors when they're passing me.
"We MUST disarm ALL MEN, beginning with our military and police." I state again silencing his protests. "Come on Doug," I insist, "you must know that weapons have done nothing but cause extreme harm to human beings. That period of our world history must be OVER."

But Doug is back to insisting that we have the strongest military - he knows this for sure, he's a vet - that embarks on the greatest military maneuvers of any military on earth with the most brilliant minds and strongest bodies. "And with the holy blessing of god" he has the temerity to claim.
I tell him, my own rage building but not distracting me to challenge his gawd, 'Sure, you're right. You speak about military maneuvers that only the u.s. has the power and resources to pull off: resources we've obtained through conquering almost every nation in the world and on this land - not because we're so goddamn special or gifted but because we were founded by men who were not only willing to murder to get what they wanted but were willing to enslave, to commit rape, genocide, torture, and all the other extreme acts of violence unimaginable to most humans and certainly not employed by most."
"People in other nations need us to..." he begins but I interrupt. 
"People in other nations want us to leave them the fuck alone. Why is that so hard for you to understand?"
"But the bad guys in their country are attacking us. I was there. My buddies were injured and some were even killed. What do you say to that, eh?"
It's not a unique question. Soldiers and veterans often demand to know how I would expect them to not defend themselves against such an attack. Besides, it's how they can justify the violence they've committed.
I ask Doug, as I love to ask all men "Tell me Doug, if someone entered you home without your permission, if someone was in YOUR house, taking YOUR resources, YOUR children, YOUR things, would you not fuckin resist?"
He stares at me as if he's seen a rose slowly bloom for the first time. "Yes, I say, YOU are the ones in THEIR home."
I can see, as I almost always can see, the realization dawn on him - surely not for the first time - that he was the intruder that needed to be vanquished.
I'm relentless. "You say this is what you fear, that Muslims want to come here and take your things and yet it is such a false, unfounded fear. But you've been part of the foreign military forces occupying these countries, taking their resources. You, more than anyone, you KNOW it is the reality of the people in every country we are occupying: we are in other people's homes, lives, countries. We need to get the fuck out."

"I can't see how we can do that," Doug insists. "We have to do this to defend our country. I can't see any other way to bring peace to the world and get rid of terrorists."
I groan, feeling I've failed. I have to comment "Your 'vision' is so antiquated not to mention criminal and wrong, if you can't see that - and I understand you can't - you need to step aside and make the space for those of us who KNOW we CAN do things a different way - a way that holds ALL LIFE SACRED," I silently think, you violent ignorant white man. "HARM NO ONE. It's not so hard."

He throws his hands into the air and retreats. I hope to go think about our conversation, to talk with others, even if it's just to complain. At least he's engaged!