In that spirit I feel compelled to not go silently one more day regarding the November 2, 2010 election day assault by Sam Mecum at the polling place where I work.
I have kept silent for many reasons. There were rumbles of a lawsuit (against me and/or my employer). I like my work and feared losing my job. To be clear, I have not been nor ever was threatened with termination. But one does not wish to invite any sort of trouble, never knowing where it may potentially lead.
Since then, amazingly, I am getting older. Too often in my youth and middle age I have witnessed or been subjected to physical and verbal violence. I would like girls and boys to be able to grow up in freedom from the violence I have experienced. Too often authorities are dismissive; people are quick to side with money-power. I read comments online accusing me of having "blocked" Mecum from using the restroom. Such was not my intent, and our encounter was over in less than 20 seconds, after he hit me.
At that time my understanding was candidates or their supporters were supposed to use the front door of the building to access the restrooms, not the interior door through the room where people were voting. Mecum popped around the corner of the interior door just as I was heading to the ladies room. I had seen him outside greeting voters and assumed he was either a candidate or working for one, so I asked why he was not using the front door. He said he was going to the restroom. I said he was supposed to use the front door. Not another word was spoken. He pushed me with his body into the wall. Papers from the bulletin board were knocked to the ground by my impact. It knocked the wind out of me.
That's no way to treat a lady, let alone a registered Democrat (one who would be registered Independent if they were permitted to vote in primary elections).
He went into the restroom. Feeling numb and nauseous, I phoned the police.
Police charged Mecum with harassment but immediately the district attorney's office intervened. Christopher Larsen explained the prosecution would have to prove intent to cause harm. The citation was dropped.
I'm getting too old to be manhandled. But never too old to believe in hope and a future... and the importance of treating all people with dignity and respect.