Martyrdom

I’ve been accused of being a reactionary, a fascist, a Reagan Republican, a racist, a white devil, a genocide enabler, a communist, an America hater, a right wing Donald Trump supporting explicative, you name it. Keyboard warriors make the best name callers. I rarely mention the fact that I am not a keyboard warrior, that I have had several years as a real world activist. Among other things I spent a stretch there back in the 1970’s working with the United Farm Workers. Did all kinds of stuff for them, even handling security for Cesar Chavez at rallies. There was one scary day in a park in La Colonia in Oxnard I still haven’t gotten up the nerve to write about. Some things perhaps should remain unwritten. On a keyboard political opinions are nothing, really, but in real life it can be harsh and vivid and terrifying. Sometimes you live, sometimes you die. Mostly you never know. I think of this whenever I opine my non-radical political opinions and get yelled at by the keyboard warriors. They do love to yell sometimes. So dedicated they can be, so fierce and uncompromising and always right. Sometimes they are. Sometimes they aren’t. Does it matter? It’s so easy to be fearsome and uncompromising on the internet. But reality has repercussions and things that can still keep you up at night, wondering, nearly forty years later. Haunted by what might have been and never knowing for sure. Martyrdom is a strange concept, your name on a plaque in a park named for you.

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