This time they won't be wearing white robes and burning crosses.
This time there won't be any dogs, won't be any water hoses.
This time they won't be sporting swastikas.
No, this time they'll preach hate from behind golden microphones. This time they'll drape themselves in the American flag and claim to be protecting the country they love. This time they'll be 'pitbulls', and lipstick is optional.
Maybe I'm overreacting. But the truth of the matter is the episode I'm about to unfold has got me pretty shook up. And I fear that this is just the beginning for us.
For the purpose of background, I'm a 28-year-old black male working and living in Traverse City, MI. Like many young Americans, I have a whole lot of student loan debt, no health insurance and a second job as a janitor to help ends meet. I also have a magnetic 'Obama for President' bumper sticker that the first job won't let me display, but the minute I'm done, I slap it on the back of my car with pride.
Tonight while driving back to the warehouse from the second job I noticed a truck following me closely. Looking in my rearview I noticed this angry individual vigorously shaking his head (in my mind I imagine him screaming "NO-bama! goddamn terrorist-lover"). This has happened before so at first I didn't pay him much mind. I just nodded my head (YES-bama) and laughed, maintaining eye contact with this man in the rearview, trying to ascertain just where and how far he wanted to take this encounter. In the past people who weren't impressed with the bumper sticker would just shake their heads and keep it moving. But this guy wasn't satisfied. He just kept following me and waving his hands around like a madman. At this point I start to figure "maybe I'm into something a bit more serious here". I've been in fights before so mentally I'm starting to prepare myself for a possible altercation. I'm no tough guy, and I'm not particularly good at fighting (all seven bones I've broken in my life have been in my face or skull) but I don't typically run from confrontation. Tonight's got me reevaluating that position however.
As I was turning left into the warehouse parking lot, he pulled up on the right of me. I looked over expecting to get the bird or maybe even some rude racial slur. What I got though was far more disturbing and has me thinking about taking off my bumper sticker for good. As he pulled up alongside me he took his right hand and with his index and middle finger pointing at me cocked his thumb and let it drop, like he wanted to shoot me. Then he drove off.
So you see, when you call Barack a buddy of terrorists McCain, this is what happens. When you claim "This is not a man who sees America like you and I see America," Palin, your supporters figure that twisted rationale extends to Barack backers too. When you sit there fanning the flames of bigotry and hate daily Limbaugh, you dirty fuck, this is the result. People taking it upon themselves to use your words as guidelines, as marching orders to exact their vengenance upon Americans who they view as traitors to their country. People taking it upon themselves to right the wrong done by us liberals. People taking out other people, with your implied permission.
But you already know that, don't you?