This is the worst building I've ever lived in. A senior complex in the County of Kenosha, Wisconsin.
A thirty-something white woman who doesn't wear a mask is the manager. Why start with that description? Because in America, in the America all of America is waking up to since the ascendance of Trump to the presidency, not wearing a mask while the COVID-19 rages is to recognize someone who possesses freedom. Some months back when I asked her why she didn't wear a mask she gave me her back, as she usually does. She can't face me. No. So as she gave me her back with her blond hair swing behind her, she let me know she didn't have to. She didn't have to wear a mask. No.
Opened in August 2019, this building is an "investment". The realty is the real estate prominent in the Racine, Burlington, Salem, Kenosha housing market. They offer market-rate and affordable apartments. Here, rent is based on your income.
Older tenants in Kenosha County tended to work at the old Chrysler or the Snap-On Incorporation, the same workplace Trump visited after he become president. On the other hand, I'm the only one out of academia. The only socialist. The only black woman activist. Socialist, did I say, with one too many books and dreads. Long, non-styled dreads.
And did I say this is Trump-all-the-way or Trump-in-spirit. What's the difference? Not much to me.
My income is fixed, social security. The former Gov. Scott Walker took care of the pensions for some of us who had much to lose. And we lost. I have cancer, and I'm in my 67th year on an Earth that's had enough of humanity. I'm being asked to vacate my apartment by the end of August. There are tenants, according to the notice, who are being disturbed by me. By my presence? By my dreads, my appearance?
No. None of the tenants in my immediate surroundings have complained. We have, however, complained about the one woman who moved here in December 2019. At least two nearby tenants complained about her before I did in March. But that's truth and truth gets in the way of a perfectly good game of gaslighting.
Discrimination isn't far from her mind, but she has to tread lightly. Hate can't appear as hate. Make it appear as if the struggle is and has always been about white Americans keeping these black people from destroying property, from disturbing the lifestyle of white neighbors who recognize now, after all this is Wisconsin, as in Wisconsin, let's pretend-we-are-not-too-much-like-Mississippi.
It's a matter of fact in this neck of Wisconsin where white residents in predominantly white buildings understand the rules, there's a quote, not on the books, but in reality. So some black people must live among the lilies of the fields. But these blacks must understand they aren't truly believe themselves freed to be. They should recall the days when the KKK kept things in check, when the rope, too, keep things in check. Only, no, there aren't any ropes or KKK but rules and policies. Policies and rules. Notes and notices on doors of predominantly the hand full of blacks.
These blacks are to think about the old days of law and order. This isn't Madison even where a good number of liberals working for neoliberal organizations today used to be activists before they were asked to clear the battlefield, move out, so the criminal justice system, exerting and expanding it's reach and power, can herd the blacks into shinny new prisons. The rest will take note and calm down. Join their white brethren in those neoliberal pursuits, chasing the money, for the cars, and homes, and high-tech gadgets.
Did I mention becoming familiar with "skunk weed"? What is that smell that wouldn't allow me to sleep in my bedroom?
Oh, skunk weed.
Neighbors know and suspect the culprits, so I ask...
Has management been told?
Heads turn. A new subject is introduced.
Or just silence.
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