"I hope they kill him."
This is what my neighbor said about Obama.
"Don't say that. Why would you say that?" I say, stunned.
She handed me some tomatoes. We were standing in her garden.
"Why not? I hope they do."
I would expect, say, a white separatist man from Idaho to say this. Or someone who proudly flies the Confederate flag.
But we, my neighbor and I, live in inner-city Cleveland. We are homeowners, so theoretically we chose to live where we do. And this woman was/is a Hillary supporter. I don't expect all people to love Obama, or Biden, or democrats, or black folk. I don't expect hardly anyone to agree on anything anymore.
But I still believe words have power. That when something is said, it becomes manifest in some small way. Even if one thinks about--or hopes for--assassination, don't speak it. Not here. Not around me.
Those tomatoes she gave me? Outside on a shelf. Uneaten.