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Tom Coburn is a Big Fat Jerk


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Monday, April 18, 2005

And tomorrow

I know that, for the rest of you, the world changed on September 11. But for me, the world changed on April 19, 1995.

I remember it was snowing that day. I was in Colorado, driving to a class and listening to the radio. And there was something about an explosion in Oklahoma City, and speculation of a gas leak. I was mildly interested, but not much. Things were always blowing up in Oklahoma.

Then, I switched to Wingnut Radio --- Dobson's Focus on the Family channel. And there was positive exhileration over --- over what? I didn't know --- I liked to listen to them because I thought they were so crazy, but bore keeping an eye on. But they were really worked up that day. Manic. Ranting. Joyous.

I heard the words "Oklahoma City" and decided to take the long way to class. I turned into a housing division, parked the car and listened.

It was then, for the very first time in my life, I heard real live good old fashioned anti-government rhetoric. The host and his callers were thrilled that it had happened. I was stunned.

Dobson and company, I might add, now deny that radio show ever happened. But I heard it. I heard every last word of it. And every last word of it was sanctioned by Dobson, who knew good and well what these people were who were running this show.

Even then, I still didn't know just how bad it was.

I went on to class, a chemistry class. A couple of students were smiling to beat the band and excitedly carrying on what a great thing this was. I began to realize what had happened might be a lot worse than I thought. I left class, sped home, turned on the television and was stunned. I began calling everyone I knew to make sure they were okay. One friend, a soon-to-be doctor, had been a block away when it happened. Half her husband's family worked in those buildings. She'd first run to the scene, then raced back to her car to drive the 98 miles back home so she could make sure her children and husband were okay. Her husband, who is Jewish, said his Synagogue had received a threat just after the bombing.

They were scared. They were crying.

I called my parents. I said to my dad they think it's white supremacists who did it. He said yep, a simple, all knowing yep My dad --- black haired, black eyed, dark skinned, raised in the hills --- my dad knew pretty much all there was to know about old fashioned white supremacy. Its meanness. Its senselessness. Its cruelty.

I discovered that a number of my fellow students were militia members or militia wannabes. I got into furious arguments many, many times and told countless people off. I joined Southern Poverty Law Center, the Northwest Coalition, I vowed to get back to Oklahoma and to never leave again.

I was gone within a month and a half. I swore never to set foot in Colorado again --- Colorado, the first place I ever saw a KKK rally or met a Neo-Nazi. The whitest state in the union. The Alabama of the West, or so it seemed to me.

When I first arrived here, I lived south of OKC. When a siren would go off, people around me would jump. I never could bring myself to see the site of the bombing. Just driving a bit too close to it would make me ill to my stomach.

It is as though the entire world shifted on its axis with that event. I never believed before then that there was evil in the world. I do now.

3 Comments:

At 4:13 AM, Blogger MJ said...

Yea, there is hate in the world. And there is love, too. I'm thinking about you again this morning. Your psyche and everything around you, earth and growth and bunnies and birds and interested neighbors and engagement with ideas and memories and life. Again, I'm glad you're there.

 
At 9:28 PM, Blogger M.T. Daffenberg said...

Hey cookie,

I want you to know that I've read a few of these "remember OKC" themed blogs, but yours is the best, and you weren't even in OKC. Thanks for a special insight from a unique perspective.

 
At 1:44 PM, Blogger Leila M. said...

I remeber when it happened too-- I was also in Colorado, working at a mental hostpital answering phones, etc.

by the way, Denver and Boulder- thats real Colorado, the rest is just... shit (and most of the state)

You were in the SPRINGS??? Horror...

The number one thing I remember was... folks say they had seen Mid Easterners at the time. That still sticks with me today.

 

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