Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The difference between "vigilant" and "vigilante."

Photo by Chester Arthur Burnett Posted by Hello

The price of liberty, for sure.

Just a few Vigilante anecdotes in this time of "Minuteman" invasion of Southeastern AZ.

The Border Patrol doesn't have it hard enough? Send out some lawn chair surveilance crews with night vision to make sure they do their job? I know people who've had the "Minutemen" trespassing in their yards and sitting in their chairs watching the border and then leaving behind more trash and crap than the undocumented individuals leave behind.

Then there's the guy from California who is running for the state legislature there who was passing out tee-shirts to apprehended people that said something like "I jumped the border and all I got was this lousy tee-shirt." He'd make them pose with him for pics. Funny? Maybe. Anyways, the Minutemen had the sense to send the mug packing. He even got on their nerves, I guess.

Finally a personal experience. I was driving down the highway and the border patrol was attempting to do their job. They were "backed-up" by "Minutemen" who were impeding traffic. Things slowed to a crawl. I was playing some Tex-Mex sounding music and this old pappy walks up to my car and says, "What the hell kind of music are you listening to?" I rolled up the window and gave him my best salute.

No, nobody's hurt. But the cause of vigilance ain't really being served. In many ways stuff like these episodes go further to ridicule a situation which, even wrong, still has a human face.
Yesterday I drove through Yellow Springs, Ohio, one of the most politically liberal places on the planet. It's the home of Antioch University, a very innovative, artsy, peace-loving kind of place. During its 2001 search for commencement speakers, Antioch College apparently wanted to send a very special message to its graduating class by inviting former journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, now famous for killing a policeman in Philadelphia. Also speaking at the event was transsexual activist Leslie Feinberg.

I parked my car in the community and stretched my legs. A fighter jet ripped through the sky overhead, probably headed toward nearby Wright Patterson Air Force Base.

At that moment, I realized ... leftists and rightists, doves and hawks, liberals and conservatives ... co-exist in a very fragile balancing act in this freedom-loving land we call America.

It reminded me of Sparta and Athens.

I thought of Germany and Austria.

My ex-wife and me.
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