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I just got back from a walk. It's 11:02 pm and I need to be at work in seven hours and fifty-eight minutes. I didn't want to walk, but I only have about a teaspoon of gas in my gas tank and if I'm not punched in at work in seven hours and fifty-eight minutes, I'm gonna get in trouble. I can't afford to lose my job because I'm one of the tens of millions of Americans who are a paycheck away from homelessness. Tomorrow is payday, though. So the plan is to wake up early enough to get to the gas station and then go to work.
The walk was worth it! The walk was to the store where I regularly buy smokes so I could speak with George who works there. I had lost his phone number, and I wanted to know if he had worked things out so that he could go to Tallahassee with me tomorrow to support the Dream Defenders. George is a young black college student. I am a firmly middle aged white woman. The only interaction we've ever had is in the store where he works.
George is going with me tomorrow and I'm soooooo glad. It's these young people that are most affected by the laws that produced the Zimmerman verdict. It's the Dream Defenders that are angry enough to make the personal sacrifices necessary to change those laws. I couldn't be more proud of them. George and I will be carrying supplies that the Dream Defenders have on their wish list to help them continue their occupation until justice is served.
When I walked to the store tonight, it was dark and a little drizzly. I was pretty lost in thought until I heard someone behind me. It was way dark, so when I looked back to see what was up, I only registered that it was a human being bigger than me. I sped up a bit. A little later I looked back again. The human being was further behind than it had been before, so I felt a little safer. I looked back a couple more times before arriving safely at the store.
Did my looking back make me look suspicious?
Did the person call the "non-emergency" line and report me as suspicious?
Was this person armed? (I wasn't)
I don't know the answer to any of those questions, but I know I was scared and I know I'm home safely now.
I know that what the Dream Defenders in Florida are doing right now is vitally important and wholly moral.