My dear friend’s current life below

Susan Nickason,
Penfield, NY.

Listening to the news this evening about the Charleston shooting, I hear “what harms our neighbor, harms us”

This speaks to me as it wasn’t even 2 months ago that I left Kemmerer, WY, under the cover of darkness because of the harassment and inexcusable behavior that seemed, well, normal. To them. A state that prides itself on equality.

While I was only there a year and some odd days, I quickly learned the values of Mormon speak, which was loud and in my face about my differences. I learned that God, while he was very present in almost all conversations, did not protect my kind as I was, am and always will be a sinner. I learned how officers of the law, who are supposedly held to a higher standard, nodded their often familiar bobble heads saying, they would keep watch. Yet, dead animals were still put on my porch, air was let out of my tires among other things and the night I left was harassed by two women who let me know of their intentions by keeping a gun in plain view of my sight. What did the police do? They patted them on the back and said, go home. Each time they came by house.

Knowing how small the town is, of course it was gossip by the next morning, and yet the Chief only made a call to me after he got a report from a community member saying it happened. Not that he was being updated that night by his officers the entire time it was transpiring.

It’s these moments that a community has the opportunity to stand up and say enough is enough. But instead they stayed silent, and when the city council who is supposedly leadership of the community, as they are voted in to be representatives were questioned, they said, we didn’t do anything wrong.

Your silence and doing nothing, is plenty…

While I share a summary of my story, there are so many others that have their own stories. Stories of how this land of the free home of the brave, has simply; Forgotten.

I watch my fb feed fill with intellectual discussions of how to come together and begin this exchange that has been pushed aside by mainstream media, because it’s hard and they are trying to avoid – the anger…

And I will say it for no one else but me, the anger will never go away. And the more these sensationalized stories about how these race related situations are not really about race, makes me even angrier. However, it is in my anger that I find logic that the only way to start fixing these problems is to start talking about a plan, to have a future that begins with admitting, we have a f****** problem.

I’m ready, are you?


Tweets by Michele Norris