I woke up early this morning thanks to a nightmare.
I, as an adult, was back in my childhood home looking through the front window. Several white men with stern faces and a business-like or zombie-like manner were nailing boards over the windows from the outside. They were nailing in my wife and me.
I yelled to my wife that we had to get out—and then awoke.
Afterward, I lay in bed with the image pressing down on me. In my mind I took the dream further, imagining us grabbing our phones and money, chasing our cats out an upper story window as we followed them out and ran. I imagined the attackers might be planning more than just locking us inside.
Back in the late 1970s, I wrote a play that was produced locally. It was indirectly about the JFK assassination, or more accurately, about a woman, Wilma Tice, who was called by the Warren Commission to give testimony related to the assassination. When Wilma heard the President had been shot and was being taken to Parkland Hospital, in Dallas, she drove to the hospital. It was only 15 minutes from her home. When she was there, she saw Jack Ruby walking next to the stretcher that was carrying JFK’s body after it was wheeled inside the hospital.
The Warren Commission inquiry was established about a week after the assassination, on November 29th, 1963. She only later wrote to them about what she had seen. But after receiving a letter from the Commission telling her where and when she would give her testimony, she received threatening phone calls and faced tremendous opposition. It was never made clear how anyone learned she was planning to testify.
The night before she was supposed to appear before the Commission, she was home alone; her husband worked nights. She woke up to find herself “barricaded” in the house, her windows and doors blockaded shut. She couldn’t get out until her husband came home and broke her out.
When she arrived for the interview, instead of supporting or compelling her testimony, they told her that, if she feared for her life, maybe she should not testify.
The whole image of people locked into a structure by others who hated or wanted to silence them reverberates through history. Consider what happened to Jewish people locked in Synagogues or African-Americans locked in churches that were burned.
When I hear about T’s actions and statements, I feel they themselves are a form of terrorism. His statements and tweets are designed to frighten, to gain submission, to bully—to lock people into their homes or nail his opposition, nail all those not consumed by hate and greed, into coffins.
Maybe this is an exaggeration. But after his treatment of immigrant children at the border, after his chants of “Lock her up,” after Charlottesville, after calling the free press the “enemy of the people,” after his joking about “body-slamming” reporters—maybe not.
After the bombs were sent earlier this week to CNN, George Soros, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and others, and even after the likely bomber had been found, he continued to incite division and violence. He continued to attack his opponents as “evil” and never accepted any responsibility for inciting the bomber. Instead, he tried to blame others for the confusion and pain he caused. For example, he blamed the media for the hate, or for reporting the hateful comments that he himself has made.
We must do all we can to get out the vote and stop T and the GOP.
**Meanwhile, according to the Daily Beast, New York Times, and others, right-wing media tried to claim last week, with no evidence, that a Democrat or someone who opposed T had sent the bombs. Rush Limbaugh suggested the bombs served a “political purpose.” He said, “Republicans just don’t do this.” He distorted the entire universe of recent GOP politics with this statement. He purposely put out of mind everything from Charlottesville to the burning and defacing (with graffiti saying “vote Trump”) of African-American churches, to statements and tweets from the White House. Such reporting serves a dangerous political purpose. It incites, blinds the right even further, and possibly threatens the vote or how people might feel about the integrity of the next election. We must watch out for such reporting, check our sources, and be careful about what we accept as the reality of the situation.
**This blog was submitted before Saturday’s horrible act of terrorism in a Pittsburgh synagogue. This act is truly upsetting and we must meet it with thoughts of compassion for the people hurt and killed, their families, the whole congregation, the police, and other first responders.
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