“A recent report co-authored by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project and Atlanta-based Militia Watch, warned that Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Oregon are at highest risk of increased militia activity in the election and post-election period.”
I could kick myself in the behind for my oversight.
And still might.
You see, by the time the ink is dry on this, the 2020 elections will be behind us. But unfortunately, I missed an opportunity to offer some tips on how to protect yourself from potential spikes in violence by right wing militia should Trump lose.
Now what prompted my writing this is an article (excerpt above) I came across that listed states more likely to experience militia violence if Trump loses. So how can you protect yourself?
Here’s my advice followed by the advice from others I reached out to:
- Remove all Biden/Harris signs from your property
- Stock up on extra water, food, etc., in the event of civil unrest
- Put away your Black Lives Matter cap and scrape off BLM decals from the bumper on your vehicle
- Make sure that your cell phone is fully charged when you are out, and key people know where they can reach you
- Add police and fire department on your phone speed dial
- When possible do not drive alone and have one person record on his/her phone anything unusual
- Avoid driving on unfamiliar country roads, especially at night. Tune into local news
- Make sure to have a full tank of gasoline when you leave home and only fill up at high visibility stops off the main highway
- Avoid “cheap” place to eat with vehicles parked outside with MAGA decals or license plates with Confederate flags
- If someone tailgates, attempts to run you off the, or otherwise tries to provoke you while driving, slow down but do not stop
- Minimize drinking too much liquid, especially coffee, which will necessitate extra pit stops
- If you are in an interracial or same sex relationship, maintain a low profile while in public
- Do not speed, stay within driving laws
- Minimize participating in large protests or celebrations
- Keep public political discussions to a minimum because you don’t know who’s within earshot.
“Great list of tips. I will share this with others, particularly with young people in my family and church,” said Joanne from Florida. “It reminds me of “the talk” discussion points Black parents have with kids about what to do when they get stopped by the police.”
“Great advice Terry and very timely,” wrote Alma from Southern California. “I would also suggest driving to the nearest police station if you are being followed.”
Said Mike from New Jersey, “as a Black male, I think I’ll pick up one of those bright red “Make America Great Again” caps and wear it when I’m out.”
“These days I’ve had to rethink where I will now do business with,” said Bernard in Virginia. “I don’t want to walk into an unsafe situation.”
“We need to be careful with making this much bigger than it is,” advised Robert from Georgia. “The odds of being subject to this are pretty slim, although a useful bit of paranoia is not a bad thing.”
Sam Jones, a spokesman for the Armed Conflict Location Event Data Project, reports that his organization has tracked more than 80 groups since the beginning of the summer, most being right-wing groups.
“Voters should not be intimidated,” says Jones. “Rather, we hope people can monitor their own threat environment and organize locally to stay safe, reduce polarization in their communities and, ultimately, mitigate the risk of violence.”
Hopefully this week has been incident free for you. However, if what’s been happening across the nation recently is any indication, the period between now and the beginning of next year will be times of uncertainty whoever wins. Better to be safe than sorry.
Yeah, I still deserve a kick in the behind.
Well, okay, here goes….
© Terry Howard is an award-winning writer and storyteller. He is also a contributing writer with the Chattanooga News Chronicle, The American Diversity Report, The Douglas County Sentinel, The Atlanta Business Journal, The Echo World, co-founder of the “26 Tiny Paint Brushes” writers’ guild, and recipient of the 2019 Dr. Martin Luther King Leadership Award. He can be reached at email@example.com