Is It Just Me, or is Sanity No Longer Trendy?

And how long are we going to sit around and wait for problems to resolve themselves?

7 min readJun 21, 2021
Photo by Florian Schmetz on Unsplash

I’m a member of a local activism organization. The other members think I’m “extreme.” I live in rural Iowa. There’s roughly two dozen of us in a group made up of mostly farmers, senior citizens and less than a handful of younger folks.

After our state senator dodged us, I informed her clerk that I’ll be camping out on the road in front of the senator’s house until she can find the time to speak with me. She called me 20 minutes later. What the group referred to as extreme, I consider an action forcing a reaction.

When I found out that both my state representative and senator voted in favor of a bill banning diversity education from classrooms and workplaces, I spray painted “1619” on a piece of plywood and hammered it into the ground on the edge of the property.

I’m sitting on prime real estate. Neither of them can drive into town without passing my homemade billboard along the roadway. Why would I let this opportunity to go to waste?

As a local reporter, I risked my job by bringing attention to the lack of mitigation measures at the only grocery store in town. It doesn’t matter that we live in a food desert and one positive case equates to two or more weeks without access to groceries, Iowa is a Trump state and we’re not supposed to talk about COVID-19.

I let the cat out of the bag and suffered the consequences from every direction.

I told the truth after I was told to bury the story. I’m now jobless and the Red municipality hates me. A few of my neighbors and local business owners aren’t that thrilled with me, either. They make it a point to remind me of this when I step off my property every other week for errands.

Summer 2020, my employer told me “we won’t be bringing attention” to the young white guys on tractors with Trump flags who blocked off access to the town’s essential businesses while holding signs that read, “Trans lives don’t matter.” If I were to bring attention to that, it would be impossible to omit the fact that the police said “they’re harmless,” and, “leave them be unless…