Dave Koehler was a Bellcore wonk living close enough to the front gate of the MIC massive procurement operation up river from me so that he might have walked there if he wanted to. I was selected, perhaps, because I was not curious, or had been conditioned not to be curious about what people did.
He gave me a thousand dollars to go to Rio where I said my bit to the world about American Fascism. I was right and I knew it. By 1992 I knew that drug war was a pogrom and that both parties where willing to allow the selective enforcement of it in poor mostly non white communities.
I had concluded that ecology needed a broad base of support to ebb relentless degradation, and that non white urban Americans were subject to the very worst conditions even before post segregation internal state sponsored terrorism shaped into a mass incarceration like no other. The collapse of the Soviet only made the destruction of urban America more brazen.
I had concluded long before Rio that drug war was foolish and racist, but eventually understood fascist as well. American Fascism had expanded to include Irish, Italians and Jews as white, and this was shocking to me. I had not been raised to hate Jews or Catholics but was also not taught that Jews or Catholics were actually white or that America had never stopped projecting white power violently. We lived together, but there was never a question as to who was who in our little world.
And so it was in Rio that this dog had bit the hand that fed it, by calling 41 exactly what he was...a fascist. Bush was a fascist who cared about the planets ecology to some extent...certainly more than he cared about people who did not look or ACT like him.
I am grateful that 41 had made it to Rio at all, and that our people did not kill me. I paid dearly when I got home, but they let me live...Perhaps only because I was as white as they were...or whiter.
I hid...activists were getting wacked all over the world. I quit being broke and broken and became a photographer, or was allowed to be a become a photographer, but stopped being who I actually was for seven full years. It took me that long to recover from the behavior modification program that I ran right into after Rio. Bush 41 is dead, but American Fascism lives on.
We almost overcame, but were jackbooted into what we are now, a failed state with a despotic figure head.
I’m not driving.