This is from an email we received this morning. An email from Dr. Amanda Kemp; we’re on her listserve.
“This morning I planned to send you a last minute invitation to our Stop the Hurt 5 Day Challenge which starts today at 9am.
“But here’s what happened yesterday, and I got to tell you.
“There is nothing like the sting of feeling intimidated and assaulted.
I’ve canvassed for Congressional candidate Jess King in Lancaster County for a good two or three months.
I’ve knocked on doors with my friend Rae who is Black, with my European American husband and a few other European American volunteers.
I’ve always had to take a breath and get over my fear of knocking in predominantly white neighborhoods.
More often than not, we’d leave literature.
Sometimes we’d get to talk to people.
I loved saying, “Hi, I’m Amanda and we’re volunteering with Manheim Township Stands Up to talk with our neighbors about …”
(Can you tell I’m an extrovert?)
People who’d speak with us were generally in agreement about the sad state of affairs.
We’d discuss Jess King or Dana Hamp Gulick (a working mom who lives in my area) as grassroots candidates doing good.
Give some literature. Remind to vote. Thanks for the time.
On to the next.
This pattern got disrupted yesterday.
A woman in a gated community aggressively challenged and chased me and my husband.
We got as far as her driveway.
She told us that we did not belong there.
Told us she hated our candidate.
She followed us onto the street.
Told us again that we did not belong.
Took our picture.
Called the police.
I told my husband to take her pic.
I told her this was America.
We drove away.
All in what was probably less than 5 minutes.
We stopped for coffee; spoke to the campaign volunteers and staff; and decided to go home.
This is where the story goes off the rails ….
About five minutes after we got home, the police rolled up to our house.
Yes, they tracked us down.
I refused to talk with the police and told my husband I was going to my office.
My husband made a statement. The Jess King campaign manager came to the house and
spoke with the police as well.
Here’s what I want you to think about.
What kind of privilege is working to have the police track us down and come to our home?
What would the police do if I called to say we were harassed and felt in danger for our lives by this European American woman?
What if my husband were Black?
What if you knew she had your picture and perhaps your address?
What if you had her name and address?