Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Michael Moore.com : Crawford Began to Buzz

Michael Moore.com : Mike's Message : Mike's Latest News: "Early in the afternoon, as the tiny town of Crawford began to buzz, someone in a car passing the Peace House rolled down the window and yelled, 'Ain't democracy great!' All afternoon and into the evening we saw thumbs raised and lowered, listened to the yells of Bush supporters and heard heartfelt thanks from many folks. It was a magnification of the usual responses I get when I sit on the porch--waves, nods and one-fingered salutes from the residents in this town. Defying the stereotypes that people have of Texas, this controversial event took place in a peaceful way, giving hope to those of us who are working to take back our democracy.

I have only been fulfilling the role of Resident Volunteer at the C.P.H. for a little over a week but I am no stranger to rural Texas. I grew up about 60 miles south of Austin near the community of Rockne. Folks with minority views in Rockne--and in Crawford--do not feel free to express themselves. Even a good country neighbor who leans to the left is always somewhat of an outsider in her or his own community. As I begin to write this essay, the flashing red lights at the main intersection, the trucks going by, the neon beer signs at the Coffee Station, the drone of the locusts--all this reminds me of the isolation that is so often felt by liberal Texans who live in rural areas. Yet again, an event at the Peace House gave residents of Crawford who do not support the current administration a moment to feel what it is like to be a part of the majority. Crawford is a microcosm in a nation where fear has limited the freedom with which we can express dissent.

This was a very small and wonderful success in a nation that continues to fall deathly short in the quest to live up to it's ideals. Maybe when all citizens are guaranteed a free and critical press, maybe when Crawford Democrats do not fear expressing their minority political sentiments, maybe when a documentary is not necessary to inform us of the disturbing facts related to our nation's leadership, maybe then we can say that we live in a true democracy. Maybe when we start to support democracy in places like Venezuela and Chile, Iran and Palestine, places where we have failed murderously and miserably, maybe then we can say that we stand for democracy. Certainly Crawford, Texas is a good place to start."

by Josh Collier
Crawford Peace House


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