Have you thought about that?
I got an email from someone who recently witnessed a scary situation somewhere in rural America. She wrote about her experience. I decided to share it on the blog to get you thinking about “what if”.
Until something so unexpected as this happens to you personally, it may not seem like it would be so jarring. But there’s nothing like real life…
This past Saturday, I took a few minutes to read the comments in the open forum. One of the comments was about how the current problems with riots and violence may soon be headed for rural areas.
It was only a few hours later, that I truly believed that.
I have written down what I witnessed in my community Saturday afternoon, and if you would like to mention it in your blog you certainly may.
I live in a rural, farming community. It is a quiet area, except for the sounds of pickup trucks and tractors. In this area are mostly older farmers with nice houses, or people like me who live in old family houses, but do not farm. The county here is small and not heavily populated. A major interstate runs straight through the county. The county seat has a very poor, mostly minority population, but the countryside is mostly white. We have not had race issues here. There may be small issues between certain people, but for the most part people leave each other alone.
This past Saturday, June 6th, something occurred that has me deeply disturbed and I wanted to share it with you. We all know the current events that are gripping our country. It seems that the riots and violence was mostly in the larger cities. Now, however, that may not be so.
Around 5:30 in the afternoon, I heard a disturbance coming up the road. Sometimes we have motorcycles that drive through our area, and frequently people ride their 4 wheelers, so I didn’t pay much attention. I was busy cooking dinner. But the noise was so loud and it was constant that I went to see what was happening.
I was shocked by what I saw. I saw motorcycles, 4 wheelers, and ATV’s being driven by black men. They were wearing masks that covered from their necks up to their eyes. They kept on coming. I ran to my front window. They kept on coming. They were two or three wide and they were taking up both sides of the road. From this viewpoint I could see that they were all adults, mostly male. Some vehicles had two people and the there were a few female passengers. Almost everyone was wearing a mask, and those that were not driving had their fists high in the air.
I could not believe what I was seeing. Nothing like this has ever happened in the 16 years that I have lived in this house. Nor has anything like this happened in the thirty-five years that my family have lived here.
I quickly called the sheriff’s office. No crime had been committed so I thought this was best, but the officer told me to immediately hang up and call 911. I called 911 and explained what was going on. She took my information. She wasted a few precious minutes asking me dumb questions, like were the group heading out of the county. I said this road is only 5 miles long and dead ends! (Seriously, 911 dispatchers should know the area better than that.) I could hear in the background someone dispatching the information.
After several minutes, two deputies’ vehicles went by. In the meantime, I called people I knew who lived in the area, to try to get the word out. I had a weapon with me by this time. However, I quickly realized that I was alone. My neighbor across the road was not home. I can see two houses from where I am. I can see the roof of another. That is how sparsely populated my road is. I was alone with my teenage daughter, and if this group of people came back intending to do any harm, we were all alone to defend ourselves against them.
Fifteen, maybe twenty minutes or so passed by. Two of the men on motorcycles from the group came back heading in the direction that they had originally come from. One was dressed in all black, and the other had on a white t-shirt. They both still had the masks on. I called 911 again, to report that they were back. The dispatcher said that the deputies were out trying to find the group.
I was not the only one who saw this group, nor was I the only one to call 911. Apparently, this group had been on other roads and 911 received several calls. However, I do think that I was the first call that 911 received. I have not heard any information from our sheriff’s department regarding if the deputies found the group or not.
This was a huge wake up call to me. I had felt safe living in my area but I do not feel as safe now. I wish that people in this community would feel the unease that I now feel. Unfortunately, I am in the minority. Most people did not witness firsthand what I saw. It makes a big difference seeing with your own eyes, versus hearing about it. In addition, there are always people who want to rationalize things. For instance, someone has been spreading the tale that this was a group who nearby and they had been having a family reunion. Therefore, no big deal.
I hope that this was just a one-time thing and that these people were just showing out. However, I cannot stop looking up and down the road to see if trouble is coming. And I cannot shake the feeling of uneasiness that I have.
I think that everyone, no matter where you live, should probably be looking up and down their road to see if trouble is coming.
[ Ken adds: I posted her story for those who live at the edges of suburbia or out rural. I suggest that you resist the lull of feeling secure because of it. We have entered tumultuous times. It’s likely going to spread. Beginning with “in your face” intimidation as we are witnessing today. ]