Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Depressing yet inspiring...

This is an email sent to me by a friend of mine, To some it might sound "Anti-American” but in truth Chad is one of the Most American people I know. He had a flag up (while in Moldova) *before* 911 and after, he is an aggie (upatriotic farmer is almost an oxymoron), did his reserve time (but is totally upfront about what he did there, unlike a certain elected official), and I think he more than most people loves his country. That is why it is sad when government becomes so defunct that even people as loyal to the US as he is start to become embittered. He attached a bit that he felt very strongly about and I felt just as strongly so I decided to post it.

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Dear Friends and Loved Ones,

My mother-in-law Susan sent me message which begins in the next paragraph. As I believe it is the patriotic duty of every American to question the motives of their government (thinking outside of your TV)always: this is one of the most inspiring e-mails I have come across in months. It most perfectly summarizes the current state of freedom of speech in much of our country today. I commend the guts it took, for these women in Kansas, to stand up for what they believe in; and if you didn't already know it by now...I don't agree with the current state of our government. Yes...that's right...I don't support our president. Of course I support our troops, seriously...who doesn't? I'm not against our troops in Iraq, but I do believe it is wrong to go to war over oil, to blow up poor people by the thousands, and make the extremely rich...infinitely richer! This e-mail is for all of you freedom loving Republicans out there who forwarded me all of your BULLSHIT over the last 4 years. If you just can't handle the message...call me and well "chat" about it. JUST DON'T FORWARD ME ANYMORE BUSH/CHENEY PROPAGANDA!!! I AM SICK OF READING YOUR BORING, STALE, RIDICULOUSLY LAME COMMENTARY ON POLITICS!!! FUCK IT...THINK!!!

I am involved with a group in Lawrence, Kansas called "Women in Black." Weekly, we have stood silently as a group wearing black clothing and veils, holding signs with the current death toll of both Iraqis and American service people in the Iraq war.

Last Saturday we wanted to put our message out to a larger group of people. We decided that tailgate parties before football games would provide the best bang for the buck. Held in the parking lot before games, they can attract thousands of people.

Wearing our black garb and carrying our "Bush lies, 1000's Die" and "1157 US dead, 15,000+ Iraqi Dead" signs, we slowly and silently walked through the crowd. It was the most frightening experience of my life. Screaming angry people yelled obscenities at us and called us traitors.

For 40 minutes we walked through the most hostile environment I have ever been in. I actually feared for my life at times. I thought to myself, "if just one person throws something at us, a riot would ensue and we would be killed." Was this what it was like for the children trying to go to school in Little Rock, Arkansas in the late 50's?

I had to wonder if those silent watchers had doubts about the crowd they were with... seeing these big bulky men yelling at these eight small women walking silently through a jeering crowd, whose side did they really want to be on?

Out of thousands of people, only three offered encouragement. One women walked beside me and said, "you're so brave, thanks for doing this." I didn't feel brave. An African-American man took his hat off as we walked past, and said, "thank you ladies for doing this." Then another many screamed obscenities at us. The kind black man held him back and said something like, "I'm a Veteran. You don't know about war, man. These people are trying to help us." He continued to talk the guy down as we walked on. He was my hero.

We got through it, though it took several hours to get my heart to stop racing.

One of the most shocking things about this incident was the hostility shown toward us as women - countless sexual threats, and vulgar references to our anatomy. There were even some women out there yelling out at us, although most just watched. One elderly blue haired lady give me the finger.

Looking back, I can't help but think that if this is George Bush's America, he can have it. I'm going to keep working on my own America.

Women In Black


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