We were heading to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Just outside of Asheville. I had grown to love the transient south. I had grown to despise the denizens of Madison County. Perhaps, on a more global scale, I had began to dislike all things not so well hidden.
Having been bred white to a catholic mother and pretend catholic father; we, as a family, never acknowledged those of different backgrounds for being…not quite like us.
That confirmation, verbally, would not be deemed ‘appropriate’ and certainly, not how polite persons conducted themselves.
The misnomer in the south, as far as, this lesbian had been concerned?
Blacks were free!
For that matter,
Not only were African-Americans able to do whatever they pleased, or so I had been taught; Gays, minorities, immigrants, persons living at the poverty level and, Mexicans, were all given the same rights as every other American.
This sort of ‘fake’ news…had been all I knew of the ‘real’ south!
I lived in tobacco country. And, it was not unusual to see, hear and/or sense, that this equality for all, was just another line of bullshit fed to a public that loved to eat someone else’s fecal filled donuts.
While attempting to navigate the Blue Ridge Parkway, just outside of Black Mountain, North Carolina; myself, my love interest, a gay man named, Tye and his friend, Diego…found ourselves to be ‘lost potheads’ without a cause.
Kim, my friend for the night, had recommended we take a ‘quick’ drive thru a ‘bit’ of the parkway…to clear our heads.
Indeed, that is, Hippie speak for,
“I want to get high and commune with nature!”
Up around the visitor’s center, at approximately, two in the morning, our little caravan found itself the subject of Parkway Police…interest.
Certainly, the well navigated thoroughfare was not shut down for banker’s hours. The Blue Ridge was a major route for many going to work, play, the movies, etc.
Our brand of ‘chaos’ did not break the law in respect to traveling the barren road…whilst it was closed.
But my group of misfits made the, not mistake, of traveling with a person who did not look ‘American’…and, with a car window that had been broken out!
The broken out car window to the ‘witnessed to much bad driving’ elderly Escort…is a story for another time.
Needless to say, and to stay on point, the Escort and the better tan than myself, Diego, had been all the cops needed.
I had once read or been told about this senator from North Carolina, Jesse Helms. Aghast, I could not believe that such a man still existed. And, to say the least, others of deep bigotry, must still exist…for Helms had many supporters.
I offer a quote from Jesse, as evidence exhibit A:
“The government should spend less money on people with AIDS because they got sick as a result of deliberate, disgusting, revolting conduct.”
Either way, twenty-five years ago, Jesse had been all the rage. More importantly, many were elected to smaller official positions to carry on his work.
In offering the above description, it should be noted that two of the ‘Parkway’ police seemed to be big supporters of Helms.
It takes quite a bit to scare me. I grew up in an abused home. I had been gay in a very catholic family. I went to Narcotic’s Anonymous meetings during Bike Week.
That being said,
I have only been in fear for my life, on a few occasions. One of them being…that early morning on the Blue Ridge. With little time spent, two other squad cars arrived. My posse and I were told to remain in the vehicle. When the police deemed the situation…safe enough to venture in; a loud-speaker came on.
‘Come out of the car with your hands up! Place yourselves in the kneeling position behind the car. Do not move. Any move will be considered a threat. And, taken care of…according!’
Two items of note, if you ever find your, peace-loving, tree hugging, self, in the kneeling position with guns pointed at you…
Flinching becomes a huge obstacle.
Stifling a nervous cough? Insurmountable!
I could go into detail. But this will be brief.
The COPS came, they saw, they conquered.
Diego had been issued a ticket to appear in court for not having his ‘green’ card on him. Tye had been issued a citation for the broken window.
Kim and myself? Well, it took weeks to wash away the ogling and dyke statements!
I avoid watching the News, currently. I know what is going on! I am not uneducated. Bigotry is back. For that matter, it never went away. Banning persons for their religion, color, tastes, nationality; is now fashionable…again.
What frightens me? As it had, not too long ago…
The supporters. The, ignorance is bliss, mentality. The Americans, most of which were immigrants, at some point or another:
Friends, associates, Trump supporters, in a loosely associated way,
Are themselves, pulling people over with no real reason for detainment. Other than a need for superiority!
Shame on You
My friends they wash the windows and they shine in the sun
They tell me wake up early in the morning sometime
See what a beautiful job we done
I say let’s put on some tunes sing along do little all day
Go sown to the riverside take off our shoes wash these sins away
The river said la la la
Shame on you
I go down to Chicano city park because it makes me feel so fine
When the weeds go down you can see up close in the dead of the winter time
But when the summer comes everything’s in bloom and you wouldn’t know it’s there
The white folks like to pretend it’s not but their music’s in the air
You can hear them singing la la la
Shame on you
You can feel them dancing la la la
Shame on you
My friend Tanner she says you know me and Jesus we’re of the same heart
The only thing that keeps us distant is that I keep fuckin’ up
I said come on down to Chicano city park wash your blues away
The beautiful ladies walk on by
You know I never know what to say
They’ll be singing ooh la la
Shame on you
Let’s go road block trippin’ in the
Middle of the night up in Gainesville town
There’ll be blue lights flashing down the long dirt road
When they ask me to step out
They say we be looking for illegal immigrants can we check your car
I say you know it’s funny I think we were on the same boat back in 1694
Shame on you