A Long long time ago I worked for an independent contractor and had to cross a picket line during a strike. I had worked with those on strike for a few years then gone to work for the independent contractor that worked inside that factory. During the strike, I was harassed and attacked. My car windows got shot out. I received threatening phone calls. I got drunk after work most nights just so I could be dead enough in the mornings to make the journey to work and try to get past the picketers. My conscience was clear. I was not taking anyone’s job. I was deemed the “weakest link” in the chain of workers by the union steward and thus attack-focused. Despite a few breakdowns, I outlasted them. Most of the guys on the Line came back to work and got raises. The union steward and a few others lost due to greed. The company owner had given the union a decent offer but the Union was greedy. The owner of the company essentially said, “fuck you, stay out there” and gave raises to those that came back to work. I eventually went back to work in the factory as a regular employee. I write all that for anyone that might be critical of what I did. If so, fuck you. I went through living hell for about 6 months. I was the focus of mental/emotional harassment but nobody was stupid enough to do physical violence. One of the picketers was a vet but he was smart enough not to do violence. Only to THREATEN it. He and the union steward DID do a drive-by of my car and shoot out the windows one morning. I got the windows repaired in a few hours and went back to work. One of the finest moments of my life giving them a big FUCK YOU and showing they did not stop me.
Changing focus now…
THREATS MADE TO PUBLIC OFFICIALS and threats made by politicians. These days in the USA it seems common for the people who are mostly right-wing to make threats to people. Recently an idiot congressman made a very bad video that showed another politician being killed. Nothing happened to him. It did make me wonder IF that politician could do physical harm to another person or …was he all bark and no bite? I wonder about that with those that make threats at school board meetings. They call people and leave threatening messages and talk tough but SO FAR it all seems to be what they intend it to be: No Balls TERRORISM. A way to promote FEAR and change the behavior of others WITH FEAR.
In the state of Michigan in the summer of 2020 ARMED protestors armed with hand guns, rifles, and assault rifles invaded the state capital and walked around trying to look badass and threatening. People with guns and even knives tend to be visibly threatening. The point was a show of force to INTIMIDATE the politicians. In my view, they should have been forced out by the police but it was a very delicate situation for the police. THEY were outnumbered by idiots with guns. It was a very tense situation for a while because if a firearm had discharged, all hell would have broken loose with people most probably firing wildly due to not knowing shit about how to react to gunfire. They had a legal right to carry guns openly (in that particular state) and they did so to…INTIMIDATE AND CREATE FEAR.
A young man was recently acquitted of murdering 2 men at a protest recently. He has been praised by the right-wing for that. Many believe this will open the floodgates for more such murders/killings to occur. It has added to the anxiety and fear in the USA created by laws that can favor such people and by that growing threat. That FEAR created in this society by such people. It is something that is growing. The PROMOTION OF FEAR AS A FORCE FOR NEGATIVE CHANGE BY ONE SIDE. There is an IRONY in all this in that the USA has been supposedly fighting a “war on terror” in other countries but our country has a growing terrorist threat that starts with people making threatening phones. Then gathering in groups with guns. A lone gunman kills and is found innocent and others are emboldened believing they can probably do the same. Or worse. The terrorists the USA needs to fight are NOT the big mouthes of the largely fictional “antifa” but the right-wing badass wanabes that walk around with assault weapons sowing fear in many. They carry the guns to make themselves fear powerful knowing they INTIMIDATE and intimidation is a fear creator and fear leads to terror.
I remember how on the first day of the strike I had to go through, there was a large group of people outside the factory. We workers lined up to go in protected by a heavy police presence. I remember seeing people with knives, screwdrivers, clubs, and rocks in their hands behind their backs or tucked into their clothes with just enough sticking out for us to see. We did see it. We WERE afraid. They did succeed in that. I remember running for a factory door entrance with rocks raining down around me one day. They were a mob but individually they probably would not have been so brave. I remember 2 blacks exchange students from Nigeria that I worked with. 2 of the bravest men I have ever known. They were walking across rail road tracks near the factory. The union steward held a baseball bat and was calling them “nigger”. I was watching. That is all I could do. Watching and being a witness AND HE KNEW IT. In Nigeria, no whites did that. It was the first time they had encountered such racism. They could have destroyed that man - as badass as he thought he was. He was a racist and for THAT he needed to lose and he did. His attempts to terrorize failed. I look back on that time decades past and am grateful nobody came to that line carrying guns. Carrying guns as they might do NOW. A different time and atmosphere but one thing was still the same: THAT UGLY RACISM.
In the USA in the past 5 years, racism and terrorism have been rising. Racism, always there. Racists like the union steward I wrote of above, not hiding it and more brazen about it. More open. Instead of someone carrying a baseball bat, they carry that and assault weapons.
So many make harassing phone calls and attack others on the internet. It’s all about fear. Terrorism. Most of them are just blowhards. Big talkers. I think many cowardly punks that think they are tough guys. My experience with the tough guys is that they do not talk a lot. They DO. Their terrorizing talk becomes horrifying physical action. THAT is something I hope the terrorism in the USA does not lead to. But the past 5 years have shown that possibility growing.
I wonder writing this, am I talking fear? Do I promote it? I think I show I fear terrorism in the USA. A logical healthy fear. A WARINESS just as long ago experiencing it I had to be on guard all the time. There is a weariness of many in the USA and I think that is in part because so many are worn down by being on guard about the pandemic and the terrorists all around us.