solidarity and survival
we have an opportunity for revolucion, todos juntos
This week, Bill "kick me" Frist decided to give his Presidential campaign a boost by adding his voice to the "smear the queers" amendment. And meanwhile the NSA revelations have grown and grown, so that we now know that all of our emails, faxes, telephone conversations, and for all I know bathroom graffitos, are gathered and analyzed by supercomputers. This is handy for several reasons, not just to identify dissenters to target, but to analyze trends and zeitgeists and possible cracks in the collective psyche.
So I have little doubt that when Karl Rove sets up smear-the-queer efforts nationwide like Oregon's Measure 36 of yore, it is because he uses the best and latest hyper-analyzed social data collected from these terabytes of information. He knows it will work, because the data collected shows that, whatever US citizens might actually say or pretend, they're actually quite frightened of the greater spectrum of human socio-sexual behavior, especially as it is mirrored in themselves. So if the Great Totalitarian Computer says that targeting queers will work to unify millions of soft-headed people, you can count on it being correct.
What, you say, no evidence that Karl Rove does this? I would say that the likelihood that he does such things lies in, first, his access to such information, and second, the fact that he would never even once consider acting in a restrained or moral fashion, especially as it concerns the wielding of manipulative political power. Is there anyone anywhere who actually thinks he would hold himself back?
Likewise, the sudden attack on Hispanics is doubtless a calculated policy developed from this rich vein of spying. White English-speaking US citizens are frightened of, paranoid about, and unfamiliar with Hispanics, and suspect that they're up to something more than survival and freedom and the pursuit of happiness. ("Hey, are those guys talking about me?") Therefore, Dictator-façade Bush shows up on the television set, and says he's sending troops to the border. There are a lot of caveats, conditions, and evasions associated with that act, but it doesn't matter, because, first, Bush considers himself a law unto himself, (or to be more specific, the Bush puppeteers think that way,) and secondly, the real intent of the act is racist propaganda.
Evil people are being met with armed force—get it? The 29% remaining fanatical Bushites, and their prospective allies in the Bush comeback, don't read the newspaper at all, much less the second sentence in the article in the newspaper. They understand that this terrifying threat of new-people-who-are-different-and-therefore-evil is being met in a familiar and satisfying way. They lap it up like gravy. It's working.
But before I get down on the bonehead part of the population, there's something far more sinister to this attack: it's working on the college-educated. That's where the cybernetic analysis of our collective unconscious comes into play. Rove knows that even the liberals are afraid, and that their fear exceeds their knowledge of the subject of immigration (and of immigrants) by far. So I have been hearing so-called liberals calling into talk shows and asking, basically, when the immigrant populations are going to be punished—punished for not doing things legally, for being forced into false identities-- and that's code for "when are you going to round up the brown people?" 'Cause they ain't talking about white Canadians.
For more than a hundred years, Uncle Sam—-a.k.a. Tio Cayman—-has forced the countries of Latin America, at the point of a gun, to sell their raw materials for a trice; and Tio Cayman says it's illegal to build your own value-added mills and factories. How did they get poor? Our financial elites demanded, insisted, enforced poverty on Latin America. Education programs, rural electrification, health-care rights, and milk for babies are cut under austerity programs by the US-controlled World Bank.
Listen, liberals: how could there be worse punishment for Nicaraguans than having your five-year-old daughter's fingers used for pistol practice by the wholly-owned-and-directed US contras? What could be worse for Salvadorenos than having Ronald Reagan and Pat Robertson's personal friend Blowtorch Bob D'Aubuisson burn the face off your wife as she screams while tied to a chair? What more punishment shall we offer to Mexicans than coordinating the coverup of the wholesale machine-gunning of students in Mexico City in 1968, or the subversion of their entire banking system to Citibank for wealth extraction, or the destruction of all corn farmers' income by passing NAFTA, and allowing ADM to sell in Mexico for a quarter of the price?
How much damn punishment do you want to mete out?
How about Guatemaltecos who lost whole villages, hundreds of thousands of peaceful innocent people, to our escuela de asesinos graduates and their torture factories? Dig up the mass graves and ask them what they think of who got punished!
And what about when people get here and find that, magically, their forged documents are accepted on the I-9 forms at Jack in the Box or wherever, and then they're expected to work for base pay forever, twice as fast, twice as hard, no breaks, extra work off the clock, and never a word to be said in complaint --or else it might suddenly happen that somebody looks to see if those documents are correct? Is that punishment enough? How about when you pay into the Social Security system for decades and never qualify for a cent of it in the end, because eventually you'll get old and slow enough for your fake documents to accidentally get found out?
There's such a think as karma, I suspect. Who are the guilty parties? Who started this crap, and who benefited? Who benefits from a thousand dollars' worth of work paid at a rate of a hundred? I never want to hear another word about punishment and amnesty. It's just liberal abuse. Mommy, stop, I'm bleeding, please Mommy....
I have a different suggestion: let's reject all of that oppression, including the part where we look the other way and let employers hire people as second-class human beings. If I deserve a living wage, then so does my fellow world citizen. An injury to one is an injury to all, remember? The cry that "they" are depressing "our" wages is the wail of an infant. Let's grow up! One big union! If I get $22/hr driving a bus with awesome benefits, then by god mi hermana desde Tegulcigalpa gets the same damn thing, and woe to the employer who says no, right?!
That's the attitude we should take. The real problem is that we have all acted in a racist manner in order to benefit the ruling elites, and to sneak in a little personal advantage here and there as well. If that drives up the price of strawberries in a country noted for its endemic obesity, well, cry me a river.
That's the way out of this whole capitalist global-warming totalitarian nightmar: solidarity. Education, solidarity—there's a reason that the first thing the Sandinista government did in 1979 was to introduce literacy campaigns. There's no such thing as democracy without full literacy. And now it's paying off at last, as the Sandinistas are heading back into power, even after all these years of US-paid subversion and death..
We need to educate these so-called liberals. When you don't know your history, you're going to get manipulated. We drove Latin America North. We did. We did it, and benefited from it.
People need to be educated, too, that Katrina was a genocidal act of intentional neglect and the opening salvo of a new war against the African American. Some leftie people want to de-emphasize the facts on the ground, as if acknowledgement of the Bushite-planned neglect is a conspiracy theory. What, can we afford on the Left to throw away black people now? How would that be moral, or tactically effective? So don't believe the crap the corporate-owned media threw up about rescue helicopters being shot at on any significant basis—that lie was calculated, and I do mean supercomputer-analyzed-artificial-intelligence calculated, to punch your racist buttons. ("Punch the Fear Black People button, boys! All will be in ordnung soon!")
Likewise, ask yourself: why did Tony Snow use the term "tar baby" twice in a press conference this week? It doesn't matter what the context was, really—it's a code word to the NASCAR set, just as Ronald Reagan's Presidential campaign launch in a Southern lynch-mob city was a code gesture. The troops on the border are propaganda, they're not going to stop very many people coming in. They're also a handy notice, and precedent, that this Bushite regime will use to break the Posse Comitatus law, and use Federal troops to project the will of corporate Amerikkka. Get used to the guy with the machine gun on your street corner.
This all affects even whitest and rightest, under the Martin Niemoller principle—you know, first they came for the homosexuals, and I didn't stand up for them because I wasn't a homosexual, then they came for the gypsies, then Jews, et cetera, you know the quote by now I hope. The basic lesson is that if they come for X, you're next and there ain't no Y.
I nearly faced some deadly consequences myself, yesterday, as a result of all this calculated hatemongering. So when I say I want solidarity, (when I say thank you to for example PCUN,) I mean it and feel it, as it is necessary to my own survival. I'm transgender. People don't like that.
It's a very rare thing for anyone to stand up for me when I'm doing my job driving a municipal bus, when someone decides to transfer the aggression of their self-loathing onto me, by bullying me for being a transwoman. Actually, three people, over the course of four years, have stood up for me, and two of them are associated in some way with this (KBOO) radio station, as it turns out! That's three people out of hundreds of near-daily incidents for years running.
Tri-Met, the local bus authority, simply ignores the problem, for their own purposes, I think. So that says something about education being necessary to human rights and revolution. But yesterday I was alone, not driving the bus but just having parked my car, at 10:38 AM, on East Burnside outside the Philo House thrift shop, which opens at eleven, and I popped out to look into the window, to see if it might be worthwhile coming back later to look for used drapes for my house. Two giant corn-fed sixty-something white republicans were strolling East on the sidewalk, and they remarked rather pointedly that I was in a no-parking zone.
Now, if that sounds a little non-sequitur to you, I should explain that there is a bumper sticker on the back of my car that says "one man, one man, no on 36," and it was cobbled together from appropriated "yes on 36" stickers by my artistic daughter, and it has been the cause of many a rage-filled comment since that smear-the-queers law was passed a year or so ago. So I looked over at the couple, who were rapidly approaching, to acknowledge them, and looked back into the window, cupping my hands to see better. These people knew it was my car, of course, because I had just popped out of it and had spent all of ten seconds looking in the window.
Got the picture? Beautiful warm day, uniformed bus driver on sidewalk, large whities strolling along. Normally I don't give much attention to the Gucci-and-Rolex set, except to avoid meaningful conversation. However, these two positioned themselves on either side of me. He used to be strong, and was about six-foot-two. "You're in a parking zone," he said, as if I needed to jump on it right away. I looked them over. I don't see a badge on either of you two," I said, and looked back into the shop-- for reason "a," to finish my business there, and reason "b," to visually dismiss them. Well, this just popped their Republican corks.
"Tri-Met, eh," said the man, and pulled out a cell phone and began dialing. He wanted to report employee misconduct. Now this sort of thing doesn't work at all; I have a union. So I had nothing to fear from this gesture, but I was infuriated that anyone would engage in such aggression against me just because I'm queer and working-class. So I told him and his good lady wife just what I thought of them and the horse that they had rode in on. Loudly. Angrily. Which was when the woman said something very interesting: "I have a gun."
You know, I always thought it would be a pickup truck with the high school sports team wielding bats—at least on the streets, that's how I expected the death penalty for transgenderism to appear, as it has for so many. But no: I was being threatened with death by a superannuated, morbidly obese upper-middle-class woman. Surprise, surprise.
Well, she could have easily killed me if she had simply said nothing about a gun, if she had stepped back a couple of feet and just opened fire. That would have worked. I really don't know how she would have explained gunning down an unarmed bus driver in broad daylight, on the basis of a parking violation—though Lord knows, I admit it, mea culpa, I was parked in a loading zone. Guilty as charged, your honor.
However, I did take an excellent self-defense class years ago, and I have kept in practice, and it is very difficult to bring a firearm to bear against me, if I'm standing next to you, most expecially if (a) you tip me off while you're in reach and (b) I'm twice as fast and three times as strong as you. So of my options at that point to avoid death—(the first, to plead for my life, probably a sixty percent chance of survival, second, to run away bent over in irregular zigzags, probably a forty percent chance if she practices at the range, or third, use the Robinette gun grab), I decided on the gun grab.
Shoot me, I told her. "Shott me! Draw your weapon now, you fucking murderer!" She looked like she really wanted to, but after I shouted and taunted her several times, she got smart and kept it in her butt-holster. Then Hubby called 9/11 and said they were being attacked. By me. For refusing to die by gunshot, I suppose.
Once again, this was all about power, arrogance, gun permits, and homophobia. I figured a cop would show up, and that the person with less money was less likely to survive, so I cursed them roundly and escaped.
But wait, it's not over. Did you think a queer was going to get away with an incident like that? The cops came to my house. One cop, actually. I refused to speak with him. God knows what I'm charged with, if anything. But Mister White Republican must have had some connections and clout, because, well-- I work with cops all the time as a bus driver, and if there's been no assault, no spit, no blood, no theft no nothing, I guarantee no cop is going to show, not that I would ask them to.
And the moral of this story is: solidarity or death. I will stand by the Hispanics and Blacks, because it's right, and because it's survival, and we all need to stand together or we will be manipulated and ruled forever by corporate capital and their fascist minions. Right?
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