Last night, I called the police on my neighbors. Not for chaining up their dog for too long in the hot sun, or for littering their property with old beer cans, although that might be a red flag as well. No, I called the police because of a distinct word being yelled repeatedly on a Saturday night, piercing through the silence and reverberating through my skull.
They kept screaming it while I sat on my couch, watching a prison documentary on Netflix. And along with the foul word came a strange clanking and knocking noise. I kept wondering with my arm hair raised: were they banging chains against metal bars? Trying to simulate some sort of death camp background noise as they shouted happily a word we have long used to demonize fascists?
After 11pm, I couldn’t stand it. I called the police, which is something I normally would never do (ACAB), and they came with lights blazing after I explained what I had been hearing. I watched from behind a curtain as they banged on the apartment door, and a white man opened up with young white kids peering out underneath him. The man welcomed the police officers inside, and they didn’t stay for long. Shortly after 11:15pm, the police left, without lights and without sirens. They didn’t even arrest the white man. I wasn’t surprised. However, the noise stopped for the night. In the morning, there were papers sitting inside the trash left out by the family that I took during my investigation to show to the world.
They were playing Yahtzee. But the story doesn’t stop there, because at the top of the papers, some of the letters had been altered. Scribbled over the “Y” was and “N,” and I knew that what I had heard was real. This simple dice game was teaching children that yelling Nazi gleefully is not only okay, but fun, and being a Nazi must be like that, too! I feel a deep fear in my heart, that our country is still careening toward the wrong path. We might be too late to save.
Keep an eye on your neighbors, folx. See something, say something. This upcoming presidential election will be the most important one of our lives, and if we lose, we may as well be dead. Yahtzee is just the jumping-off point, and soon, they might be putting torches up in their yards. Be vigilant, and stay safe.
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