First in the Series “Building a Case for Cultural Work in White Rural America”

The country’s highest-ranking uniformed officer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley, has said bluntly that the military would have no role in the matter. Milley’s office referred queries on the transition of power to a recent NPR interview: “There’s no role for the U.S. military in determining the outcome of a U.S. election. Zero. There is no role there.”

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On the Ground in Rural America

A health clinic front-desk staff member whose longtime discriminatory gatekeeping practices continue to kill the most vulnerable. A water utility in a small town whose chair (elected by 100%) retaliates against community members he doesn’t like by shutting water service without notice. A California contractor exploiting the most vulnerable with fraudulent business practices and intimidation while visiting his second, Southern Oregon home where he pays scant property taxes. An HR manager for a major university whose relationally discriminatory gatekeeping steals the power to speak up from new, vulnerable employees. The president of a local artists group who sits in her position (elected by 100%) for more than 50 years, never letting anyone else lead.

As [the 45th] continues his vain attempt to overturn his election defeat, Republicans who refuse to go along are being hit with a coordinated campaign of intimidation, retaliation and threats.

Millions are at Risk

Missouri: 1,253,014; Alabama: 849,648; Arkansas: 423,932; Florida: 5,297,045; Indiana: 1,242,495; Kansas: 570,323; Louisiana: 856,034; Mississippi: 539,398; Montana: 244,786; Nebraska: 374,583; North Dakota: 114,902; Oklahoma: 503,890; South Carolina: 1,091,541; South Dakota: 150,471; Tennessee: 1,143,711; Utah: 560,282; and, West Virginia: 235,984.

Choosing to agree with authority so you don’t get beaten is not a choice. Choosing to supplicate — because to dissent earns a black eye and bloody nose — is not a choice. Choosing to live on your knees — because to stand means to starve — is not a choice. Choosing to cover your ears and try to ignore the screams from the bedroom — because to acknowledge and challenge means being homeless — is not a choice. Choosing to resist arrest — because to be taken into custody means an unspeakable life in a private prison — is not a choice. Choosing to numb your body and emotions so you don’t feel the gut-churning agony of enduring a life you know won’t get any better is not a fucking choice.

Next in the Series: “Growing a Radically Democratic U.S. Relational Culture

Written by

SF Bay Area critical researcher, creative, & cultural worker. Content developer for The Relational Democracy Project relationaldemocracy@gmail.com IG @dr.cbg

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