Friday morning very early, the Spouse and I were on the road on our way to Pittsburgh to visit the mother-in-law.
After a quick stop-off at the dump (aka “transfer station”) to get rid of garbage from the Feastival, an hour later, we found ourselves on the Pennsylvania Turnpike headed West. We were making great time–it was only 0800.
Along the way, we stopped at a rest stop in the dead-red middle of the state. I am always a bit apprehensive stopping at this particular location…
…because it was just a few years ago at this same location when some cretin told me, “gays shouldn’t wear loggers.”
The Spouse told me what he wanted to eat and went to sit at a table. I got in line to buy breakfast and was behind two men of dark complexion. I thought nothing of it. They were speaking to each other casually in perfect American English.
But two other guys apparently emboldened by the political rhetoric of the xenophobic buffoon who will become U.S. President pointed at the two men in front of me and sneered loudly, “you people should go back where you came from — things have changed!”
I was aghast. The look on the faces of the men in front of me was one of fear and sadness, both.
This is exactly what I feared by the election of that awful, awful man as President. His rhetoric has given power to hate and public expression of same.
I could not stand it or stay silent. I walked a step forward, turned to face those white rhetoric-believing deplorables, stood tall in my most confident Leatherman stance, wrapped my arms around both men and said, “listen, Bub, these guys are Americans, but unlike you, they are educated and believe in what our country is all about–freedom! You need to go back to your swamp!”
I was not expecting what happened next…
…the crowd around us broke into a loud round of applause. Whew… for a moment there, I thought that I was going to get pummeled.
The two bozos walked away, and the manager of the food outlet comped my meal, as well as the meal of my two new friends.
They sat with me and my husband while we ate. I learned how accurate I really was.
My new friends were both veterans of the U.S. Army, having been deployed on a tour of overseas service for our country. Each were born here, and indeed are as American as those two idiots and me & The Spouse. They were of Indian descent–not the Middle East.
Sheesh… these next four years are going to be very, very hard. My beloved country has lost its openness and character of acceptance and welcome–the very foundation upon which we were founded.
Life is short: show through your actions that hatred has no welcome or acceptance.