Monday, September 21, 2009


Place we canvassed today kind of pissed me off, because I was supposed to walk back to our pickup point along about a quarter of a mile of totally unlit suburb and unlit country road. A couple male coworkers met me along the way and I had a big fucking stick that I'd picked up early in my shift, but it still kind of freaked me out.

Then I found out on our ride home that Martinsville is apparently a huge Klan haven in Indiana. Which explained why the other burb went to Greencastle instead. One of our canvassers is black. According to one coworker, in a place like Martinsville and when it's getting dark now before we finish at nine, "he'd be dead."

And you know what? First off, it just burns me that there are places like this that my employer just straight-up has to make sure his black canvassers do not go. Secondly, if people in Martinsville are that fucking hateful and violent... is a woman alone all that much safer there than a black guy?

The most frightening thing about racist people, at least to me, is not how deeply and insanely they are capable of feeling and acting upon hate. It's how nice they seem when they're talking to a white girl. It's how fucking friendly and fucking concerned for my goddamned safety they are in a town where those very same people would string me right the fuck up if I weren't the same color they are.

God damn this place. I never want to canvass there again. Night left me feeling like shit. As my partner said, "I'm sorry. I know it's not my fault, but in a cold and impersonal universe that will never apologize, somebody should."

To every person of color I know and to every white person with a conscience, please accept my apology on behalf of this fucked-up universe we live in.

1 comment:

Lyon said...

I have heard that about Martinsville before, myself. I was told that the leader of the klan for this area of the country, at least at one time, had lived in Greencastle. That's just what I have been told, but I do know from my own experiences that racism is alive and well in Indiana. There are some havens of sanity like nearby Bloomington. But I have spent the summer in the Lawrenceburg area (and Gods willing will be leaving soon!) and I swear to you I maybe have seen one person of color in all of these small little burgs down here the entire time I've been here, and there is a *reason* for it. It's scary and sad stuff, and enough to make anyone with half a conscience want to scream at people.