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Frightening news this morning, very close to home

I woke up to Newschannel 8 this morning with a start when I heard the words “Bull Run Mountain” in the same story with some sort of crime. I was too foggy headed at first, but that work me up because I live on Bull Run Mountain, so this story is very local.

Once I was thoroughly awake, I found the story here: (warning, News8 has lots of cookies and occasionally pop-under java scripts – grrrr)

Brief summary: A local African-American family found a noose hanging from a tree in their own front yard Wednesday afternoon. The noose was hung from a branch approximately 40 feet up the tree, so it took some substantial effort to put it there.

This is horrifying.

I do not know the Simkins family, and have not figured out exactly how close they live, but it can’t be more than a couple of miles; and out here that means only a few hundred houses at most. Bull Run Mountain is a small community in the woods on the slopes of the hill that demarks the border between Prince William and Fauduier counties, where they both butt into Loudon county.

I hope the police are treating this seriously. With all the thinly vieled racism masquerading as an angry protest against immigration here in Prince William County lately, and the spread of nooses turning up all over the country we have to treat crimes like this seriously. The cost of freedom is being ever vigilant.

One of the things I like best about the Washington DC area is that it is so culturally, racially, and ethnically integrated. There are not Italian-American neighborhoods, nor African-American neighborhoods. There are no Asian-American schools. We are all mixed in with each other and we learn from each other and grow stronger because of the wonderful diversity in ideas, music, food, and solutions.

Being raised as an Air Force “brat” – I grew up in a similarly mixed environment. All military, but aside from that no race, color, creed mattered other than doing the job and serving the country. One of the reasons I decided to settle here after my own Air Force career is because it felt right. Seeing reprehensible behavior such as these noose hangings, and the singling out of Hispanic-Americans when enforcing overcrowding laws makes me sick to my stomach and question my decision to settle in the area. It also makes me righteously angry, and I intend to put down my roots and fight even harder for responsible leadership in our governments and to protect the human rights of everyone regardless of their race, culture, and creed.

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