A Small Town Story - Soft Fascism
I've lived in a few small towns in Texas. They have some good qualities to commend them. They also have some ugly warts, magnified by the big fish in a small town fishbowl effect.
There was one small town, that I knew a few folks in, back in 2001. And this relates to a few stories one could hear back then in the Dairy Queen, or one of the Feed Stores, Bait Shops, etc...
One day this town was rocked by the news that Muslims flew airplanes into the World Trade Center. This upset everyone in the small town. It was a horrible day. People had a right to be upset and angry.
Then the news people got on the TV airwaves and told everyone to report suspicious activity.
Well, everyone that had Not Our Kind (NOKs) for neighbors, knew who they were. They dressed funny. They worshiped funny. They weren't quite right in the head.
So they all called the police and FBI to tell them about their suspicious neighbors. the FBI is reported to have gotten many thousands of leads, all across the USA.
So in this small town, the FBI and the local police went out to visit these suspicious people. They put the men folk in handcuffs and took them to the local jail. Their women wailed and pulled their hair out. This was mighty suspicious behavior.
Then some of the good citizens got visiting privileges with these NOK men. When they came back they bragged and bragged how they wailed on them terrorists, real good. "Punched him real hard!" they would say.
The women were allowed periodic visits, but couldn't drive. So the local law enforcement used those open air sight seeing carts, to drive miles and miles to the jail on the highway at slow speeds, so everyone in town could see the suspicious NOK women going to see their men.
The NOK folks then began to have trashy yards. Garbage would be strewed across their lawns in the morning and the women would go out and dutifully clean it up. The walls of their homes were plastered with eggs and graffiti. Sometimes crosses would get lit on fire in their yards. They worked hard to clean this stuff off of their homes and keep their yards neat.
When Christmas came, many of the NOKs put nativity scenes in their windows. But the town's people weren't fooled.
One day, the NOK men, were transferred to a prison somewhere else.
They hadn't been able to make mortgage payments on their homes, ranches or keep up their businesses since their incarceration. So the banks took those away and sold them at auction. Even the NOK women had to leave.
Now these towns don't have those particular kinds of 'Not Our Kind' of people around anymore.